The time has arrived in which people can live an untethered life. This means that you are no longer required to live where you work or vice versa. The drudgery of a commute and rising real estate prices near where many of the good jobs are is making people take another route. They are taking their work on the road and living abroad. Some people call this being a digital nomad, others call it geo arbitrage or living in a low cost of living area while earning a higher wage. This allows people to see the world while still earning a living. It’s exciting to travel to exotic destinations and live like a local. However, there are some less glamorous things that you have to deal with as a digital nomad. When you watch a travel influencer on Youtube they usually leave out these menial details. In this article, we will go over the less glamourous things a digital nomad deals with to be able to successfully travel the world while working remotely.
One of the most important aspects of international travel and living abroad is making sure that you are covered for your healthcare. You may find yourself in a country with excellent healthcare systems but since you aren’t a local then you are not going to be able to take advantage of them. You’ll need insurance to pay since you haven’t been paying into their socialized medicine scheme.
This is especially important to have when you are going to be moving frequently. Since visa times are limited, often you will be spending only a few months in one country before moving on to another to avoid staying over your visa.
It’s important to take the time to find the right policy that is going to give you the coverage that you need. Not only will you want emergencies covered, but also things like doctor’s visits and general healthcare. You’ll need a policy that covers many different countries like Cigna International. Make sure that you check which countries are and which ones aren’t so you can plan your travels accordingly.
If you find yourself in a country that has very low quality of care, then you may want a policy that covers emergency medical evacuation in case you become ill or injured and need better care than what is available locally. This insurance is definitely a good idea when you are doing some risky travel.
Though many North Americans enjoy almost visa free travel to most of the world, there are still plenty of countries that will require you to get a visa to stay there. In some cases you simply fill out some forms on arrival, but others require you to send your passport to the local consulate or embassy to get a visa beforehand.
This is almost always easy to do, but it is a bureaucratic nightmare when you are trying to do the visa shuffle. This is when you have to be very organized so you can make sure that your visas are secured in time so you can move on when you are ready.
With visas that need to be applied for ahead of time, you will have to be ready to travel at those prearranged times. Some digital nomads have a very detailed and complex spreadsheet that they use to be able to manage their itinerary based on the visas they need.
Finding decent infrastructure
The most important thing for you to be successful at being a digital nomad is that you are able to work effectively and efficiently. You may have read about how the internet works in a particular country, but you really don’t know until you get there. It can be a big time waster to have to hunt down a location where you can get a good signal that is stable and fast to get the work done.
You may have to make several phone calls and try out different coworking spaces as they may not all come as advertised. Working from a coffee shop is not ideal, but you may have to do just that after putting in too many hours looking for a suitable place to set up. There may even be times when you have to buy prepaid internet and risk running out of time before your work is done.
Infrastructure also includes being able to get around easily without taking up a lot of your time. Getting to another city on a rickety bus may look exciting in a video but the reality is that it can lead to missed work deadlines. The time it takes to figure out how to get around is often frustrating as you want to be able to hit the ground running as soon as you arrive.