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What it’s Like Quitting Your Job to Become a Digital Nomad

Digital Nomad. Laptop Lifestyle. Remote work. Permanent traveling. Freelance work. Quitting your job for nomadic freedom…

The terms listed above can be seen all over the internet. New age entrepreneurs obsess over what it is to be a digital nomad living the laptop lifestyle.

And they should obsess over it. Quitting your job for one of those work from anywhere jobs are a dream. Living the laptop lifestyle literally allows you to work anywhere in the world.

What is a Digital Nomad?

If you’ve never heard of digital nomad, the laptop lifestyle, or the other terms above, they all mean the same thing. Here’s the definition according to Investopedia:

“Digital nomads are people who are location independent and use technology to perform their job. Digital nomads work remotely, telecommuting rather than being physically present at a company’s headquarters or office.”

laptop-lifestyle

Imagine forgoing the 9 to 5 job to work from anywhere…

Imagine quitting your job to work and travel wherever you please…

Sounds nice right?

If you’re fed up with the daily work commute – if you’re tired of the 9 to 5 day job, quitting your job for the digital nomad lifestyle may interest you.

In today’s article, I feature a few successful digital nomads. I asked them what the hardest part about quitting their job and becoming a digital nomad was, and how they adapted.

Digital Nomad Jobs are the Future

Before you dismiss digital nomad jobs altogether, know that it’s not just some internet fad for the lucky few… the digital nomad movement is on the rise. The laptop lifestyle is attainable. It’s a real future for real people.

Before you dismiss digital nomad jobs altogether, know that it’s not just some internet fad for the lucky few… the digital nomad movement is on the rise. The laptop lifestyle is attainable. It’s a real future for real people. Click To Tweet

In 2015, Pieter Levels gave a presentation at DNX Global discussing the future of work and travel. Levels referenced the Freelancers Union, who claimed that as of 2014, 34% of the United States workforce did freelance work.

Levels also stated that “in 2035, there’s going to be 9 billion people (Population Pyramid, 2105), and 6 billion of those will be… the labor force. 50% of [the labor force] will be freelancers. That’s 3 billion people… 1 in 3 [people] are going to be remote workers, or digital nomads. And if you can calculate fast, you know that’s 1 billion digital nomads.”

TechCrunch recently addressed the power of the digital nomad. They claim that “digital nomads are hiring and firing their governments.”

We entered an age where the 9 to 5 job isn’t necessary. The world is smaller and remote job opportunities can be found on every corner.

digital nomad jobs

Anton back in his digital nomad days coworking in a SE Asia cafe.

Yes, quitting your job is scary. Quite frankly, it’s terrifying.

But YOU CAN do it. The world is shifting. Making money with a laptop, anywhere in the world, is viable. Millions of people are finding nomadic jobs and joining in the laptop lifestyle.

The Hardest Part About Quitting Your Job: 3 Digital Nomads Explain How They Adapted to the Lifestyle Change

I asked a few successful digital nomads this question. These people live and breath the laptop lifestyle and have plenty of tips and advice for those considering making the leap.

“The hardest part is making the decision… and committing to it.”

When I asked Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott from Uncornered Market this question, they were getting ready for a 10-day trek through the mountains of Peru. Luckily, I caught them before they went off the grid.

The serendipitous couple’s motto is travel wide, live deep. They do this well.

Offering a wide array of services, Daniel and Audrey help individuals and companies tell their story.

Here was their response to my question on quitting their jobs:

The hardest part is making the decision…and committing to it. We continue to adapt by embracing the work required to make it a reality.

“Loneliness is a major problem for many who work location independent.”

Working in a bathrobe on the pool makes me a #digitalnomad again, right?

A post shared by Manuel Ebert (@nkosinathee) on


Manuel is the founder partner of summer.ai and an avid supporter of the digital nomad lifestyle. Here’s what he told me when I asked him about becoming a digital nomad:

“Many digital nomads won’t admit it, but loneliness is a major problem for many who work location independent. Having to introduce yourself and “tell your story” many times a day makes it hard to feel connected to others and at home in the world. Quickly establishing a routine helps: whenever I arrive in a new city, I find a co-working space, a breakfast spot, and a bar. I stick to it for a week to build relationships.”

He also shared his documentary with me. It’s called One Way Ticket. Manuel spent two years interviewing nomads and companies in 12 different countries about their lifestyles and routines.

There are a myriad of influential faces in this documentary, and I highly recommend you check it out if you’re interested in quitting your job for the laptop lifestyle.

“The hardest part for us was definitely being focused and productive with work. “

Radhika and Johnny are the brains behind Fulltime Nomad. The nomadic duo is passionate about helping people build location independent businesses. To them, being a digital nomad isn’t a phase, it’s life.

When I asked them about their digital nomad experiences, they told me this:

The hardest part for us was definitely being focused and productive with work. When you live in all these new and exciting places it can be very tempting to take time off to go sightsee and explore, especially when you are your own boss.

We soon realized that if we were going to maintain this lifestyle we would need to get sufficient work done. To achieve this we had to improve our productivity. This included things like:

  • Creating a weekly work schedule – This included setting a goal of the number of hours we needed to work per week.
  • Planning time off in advance – This helped reduce impulsively taking time off work.
  • Working in a coworking space. – We find working from home isn’t productive. There are way too many distractions.
  • Mixing up the work environment – We will often work from cafes as well as the coworking space. There’s something about a change of environment that keeps us motivated and inspired to work.

6 Common Digital Nomad Jobs

While this list only includes six, believe me, there are many, many more possibilities for digital nomad jobs. As technology and ways to communicate with co-workers and clients advance, digital nomad jobs are on the rise.

  1. Blogging
  2. Copywriting
  3. Drop Shipping
  4. Digital Marketing
  5. Software engineering
  6. Web design/development

At Drop Ship Lifestyle, our work isn’t exactly tethered to a particular location. We blog, make courses, and run the business from anywhere we want. Sure, we have an office in Austin, TX, but we make sure to get out of town when we can. Work and travel go hand in hand.

When Anton started Drop Ship Lifestyle, he was living the laptop lifestyle. Success in eCommerce allowed him financial and location freedom.

When Anton started Drop Ship Lifestyle, he was living the laptop lifestyle. Success in eCommerce allowed him financial and location freedom. Click To Tweet

Whether we are picking up a Shopify award in Canada, or attending Collision Conference in New Orleans, or meeting up with 120+ other drop shippers in some tropical destination around the world, our work allows us to be anywhere. This is the beauty of the digital nomad lifestyle.

best ecommerce course

Picking up the award for “Best eCommerce Course” at Shopify Unite in Toronto!

3 Tips for Working Remotely with a Digital Nomad Job

1. Commit and Respond

When you want to quit your job, you MUST commit. Again, I understand that quitting your job isn’t easy.

Job security, stability, familiarity… these are put on the line when quitting your job. You can’t procrastinate, and you can’t sit back. You need to stay proactive. Respond to uncertainty with action.

Like Daniel and Audrey, you must embrace the work required to make YOUR dream a reality.

digital-nomad-dream

2. Establish a Routine

Earlier, Manuel Ebert explains the importance of routine.

If you lack routine as a digital nomad, you will wander from place to place – your work will suffer, and you’ll miss out on an experience. Remote jobs can be sporadic. Get your life in order. Get a routine going.

3. Put Productivity First

Radhika and Johnny stress that productivity is key when living the laptop lifestyle.

lifestyle-change

There’s no substitute for hard work. Since digital nomad jobs let you work anywhere in the world, you’ll find yourself in some incredible places. Don’t let that distract you. Work first. Play second.

I’d like to once again thank Uncornered Market, Fulltime Nomad, and Manuel Ebert for being a part of this post. It’s digital nomads like them that make the community great.

If you want to quit your job – if you’re sick of the 9 to 5 – look into the lifestyle and possibility of a digital nomad job. It’s a good gig.

What do you think of the digital nomad lifestyle? Is it something you’re hoping to achieve? Let’s keep up the discussion, share with us in the comments!

Ryan G
 

Marketing Assistant at Drop Ship Lifestyle. Currently based in Austin, TX, but a digital nomad at heart. Avid writer, musician, and lover of stories.

  • keveen says:

    I would like to enroll myself into this digital laptop lifestyle.

    • Ryan G says:

      Do it Keveen! The laptop lifestyle is the way to go. Start small, be consistent, and you’ll eventually find yourself in a place of sustainability.

  • Felicia says:

    I am really looking for something like this to do.i know I can do this if given the opportunity. However, I have tried other home-based business jobs in which I lost money trying it out. I’m not giving up because once I find THE ONE, i will surely dedicate myself to it because I am truly at the time in my life where I am tired of the 9-5 jobs.

    • Ryan G says:

      That’s awesome Felicia! Perseverance is key as a self-starter. Find something that you can balance with your 9-5 for now, and grow it steadily.

      Many of our students start their own drop shipping stores while grinding the 9-5. Once they are ready, they jump ship. Here is an example http://bit.ly/2Ln3Dgs .

      Matt built his drop shipping store, and he got to a place where he felt secure.

      There are also a thousand other nomad jobs besides drop shipping. We love the drop shipping model because it takes less than 30 minutes a day to run, and it’s semi-automated.

      But find what suits you Felicia!

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