Digital nomad

Preparing to become a Digital Nomad

So, it’s 90 day to become a real digital nomad. And, apparently, there are tons of things to complete before the dreams comes true. Here are some of the steps of the journey preparation, that we needed to take care of.

Preamble

A short intro about whom I will be referring in this article as we.

✈ Flights and accommodation

So far we’ve planned our trip until 1st of May, and had to consider all the nuances of each individual country. For e.g. in some countries we are allowed to stay without the visa for only 14 or 30 days (ahem, Thailand — talking about you), or they don’t require visa at all. In some countries the internet is very slow, which makes it impossible to work online. Well, technically it’s how it’s suppose to be, as you are not allowed to work from there, without a special type of visa, right?

Our decision is to have some longer stays up to a month in some locations, and in the other have a transit state for a few days or a couple of weeks. Sometimes, only because there is no direct connection from one place to another.

This leads to a careful planning on how do we get visas, how long can we stay, what are the prices of the accommodation and flights at that period, whether we want to spend Christmas in some particular country or not, etc.

For all of this we basically used a big spreadsheet with all the information, prices, limitations, and based on that we’ve looked through Google flights (sorry Momondo, or SkyScanner — not you), Booking.com, AirBnb and Nomadrental.com.

🛒 Buying stuff

All the recommendations that we’ve found — pack as less stuff as possible, and get rid of what is not necessary. Ideally, everything you need should be packed in a cabin luggage size bags. But for very efficient transportation of our luggage we needed some things to buy extra. For e.g. packing cubes.

In all the packing lists, that other digital nomads write about (i.e. copy-paste from each other), we can find Roost stand, Macbooks, etc. They become stereotypes of “must-haves”. What we’ve packed is (no affiliate links!!):

  • Huawei Matebook D — a really powerful and lightweight laptop, with i7 processor (fast for editing videos, programming, gaming, etc.) with SDD storage (again — fast). And the price is up to 1000€.
  • Nexstand — for holding the laptop. Roost stand costs 2-3 times more. There is another post about how to be frugal that you might be interested in.
  • Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard.

That was the electronics. Also we have smartphones, chargers for them, external hard drive, power banks — you can choose whichever you like or already have. We don’t want to promote anything really.

💼 Work optimization

Until now, I was a CTO at the largest career portal for students in Europe. But combining two activities — managing other people and digital nomading — wasn’t really inspiring me, so I had to choose. Travelling in the World seemed to me to be a better option than limiting myself to management and being “at work” at some certain hours. Again — as Robert Kiyosaki points out in his magic quadrant — you have to be self-employed, or have the freedom at work.

🤕 Insurance

To choose the insurance we’ve spent so much time. Since we are Europeans, it gives us a different set of the options. A lot of insurances in the market are targeted to regular travelers (up to a month or so). Which is not good for a digital nomad. SafetyWing was the option that we’ve decided to go with. Primarily because of the price ($37 per 4 weeks), and because it’s targeted to the nomads. The only thing that we are missing for now is the insurance for the devices (phones, laptops, etc.), so probably we’ll just cross the fingers 🤞 and hope that nothing happens.

Also, one advice about health in some countries. We were trying to research as much as possible about the possible risks to health, specifically about malaria. We’ve found Fitfortravel — a portal about every country and recommendations, featuring malaria maps. So, in most locations, where are planning to stay, we are quite safe, and there is no need to take antimalarial pills.

🏠 Leaving the “home”

The last thing that we need to make — move out from the apartment. It sounds easy, but it’s not. It’s a bit sad to leave the place, to which we’ve invested a lot. We’ve already started selling some of the stuff that we know for sure, that we are not going to use in the future. Some of the stuff we hope that our lovely friends here will keep until we come back here again. But… will we? 🤔 Sorry, friends, you may keep our stuff forever. The last month of our stay here will probably be dedicated to cleaning and donating the remaining items.

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