How do you start your nomadic lifestyle?
Great, you have decided to start your nomadic lifestyle, we are very happy for that brave decision.
Now, this is a very important decision in your life, it does require a new mindset and resilience, but we are here to help. Feel free to contact us at any point of this journey.
We’ll present here the main steps we suggest you to take, and later we’ll have an article for each one of them.
There are some major strategic decisions you can also consider when making decisions, and it is called flag theory. (we have a chapter for that too)
It might be a little to early for that, but it is also important to have the bigger picture in mind.
Want to learn more about our nomad life?
Step by step to nomad freedom
0 – Be 100% sure this is what you want
Read, read, read, ask and ask. Try to meet or ask questions to current nomads, we are millions already and pretty much willing to help others.
This is a critical (although reversible) decision of your life and it will take some time and bumps until you able to achieve your nomad goal.
Be ready for the ride and go full on.
1 – Start adjusting your expenses and savings
A leap in the dark requires a safety net , meaning money savings. There are a lot of people that say they did with 100 dollars on the pocket, and while that’s doable, there are many disaster stories too of people who did not make it for a lack of safety net. Of those you don’t read blog posts.
There is no magic number, but I would say upwards of 5k would be a good target for your safety net.
Another important step is to change your current expensive habits. Less going out for drinks, festivals, non critical tech and other things that will delay achieve your saving goals.
While traveling you will realise that a good balance of your expenses is critical so getting used to a more frugal life is a great skill to master.
2 – Prepare your friends and relatives
Don’t underestimate how much you will miss your family and friends, and they will miss you. For many this can be a reason of giving up the lifestyle which is totally fine.
But it is also important to prepare your loved ones what full time travel can mean. We visit our home cities every year for 2 months, and they still complain.
Also, as a word o advice, don’t try to keep in touch with everyone like you used to do. You will not loose friends, but you will loose friendships. I mean, their lie will go on, without you.
Nobody said nomad life would be perfect.
3 – Be part of a community (start online)
One thing travellers are good at, is to create communities either online or offline. It makes total sense, you are out of your original community, so you need to create a new one, humans do need a sense of community to feel alive.
In the beginning there are many groups, either free like Facebook or paid like Nomadlist.com. Later when you mature your nomad lifestyle and tend to visit some places frequently, you’ll also create an offline community.
We currently spend part of the year in Chiang Mai, the same as many other friends that travel the rest of the year.
Online communities are great to get support for all the steps of your nomad journey, use and abuse them.
4 – Plan your income model
Here you need to decide how are you going to make money, and for that you have 3 main options:
1 – Digital jobs – that go from freelancing to remote work, you become a digital nomad
2 – Digital business – you create your business that you can manage online
3 – Local jobs – many options here, from seasonal work to volunteering
Follow our working nomad challenges article
4 – Logistics planning
You need to plan where you are going to start your journey. The first country and city and then what goes after. The detail here depends on your personality, you can leave destinations open, or you can try to plan it to the detail.
You can use websites with living costs, and nomad life friendliness (nomadlist.com) to help you with this decisions, and of course your income plan may play an important part here too.
Our advice is not to plan too in the future, just decide your first base and enjoy it for a while to adapt to your new freedom. From there you can feel what should be your next steps.
Ready to go?
First of all you need always to remember that you can always, always go back to your original home, get another job and continue your life.
You can look at this as a test run, you try it, see if you like it, if not go back. IN the mean time you have travelled, met many people and have some stories to talk about.
Second you need to be aware of the “I’m not ready yet, need more money” mental challenge you will face.
If you are unhappy with your life, don’t torture yourself for a long time. If you want to save 10k but it will take one year, do it with half of it.
One of the main reasons for this is that it is very hard to try to save money by not doing nothing for a long time. You will feel miserable at some point and spend your money to compensate.
Now, start planning your dream, follow our steps and reach out if you feel stuck on something.
Flag Theory Strategy
We referred in the article the flag theory strategy, we only recommend it after you are fully confident that being a nomad is going to be your lifestyle for a long time. You are comfortable about living in different places and spread around your assets. If that’s the case then the lag theory strategy is your next obvious step.
The idea is to approach certain aspects of your lie with a pragmatic lens, how can optimise my life in terms of freedom, finance and security. Never have all the eggs on the same basket goes the saying.
1. Passport or Citizenship
Why not get a second passport? Your country may have issues, or you may want to travel easier and some countries are better than others. A backup nationality sort of speaking.
2. Tax Residency
Having access to all countries where should you register your taxes? Deciding which one benefits you more, can also be associated where you live more of your year.
3. Offshore Business
Te same goes to your business, you can think about tax havens or just countries that charge less taxes. Many options out here, very competitive.
4. Offshore Banking / Assets
If you get very successful and decide to invest in assets, where should you keep them? Safety wise with good judicial systems for future proof prevention. (if that exists)
5. Actual Residency
Where is your “playground”? Where do you want so spend most of your time? In the best case you chose countries with low VAT, low consumption tax, and with affordable cost of living, remember the nomadlist.com website
6. Digital Security
What about digital security? At this point you store all your lie in the cloud right? If not then you should consider it as a backup right away. But even if it’s in the cloud, which country does it belong? Which data protection laws?
7. Digital Assets
This is even more important today due to crypto currencies, again store them where you see it’s the safest, this means country too.