How to Quit Your Job and Become a Digital Nomad 35 Expert Tips

How to Quit Your Job and Become a Digital Nomad: 35 Expert Tips

By Rob | March 31st, 2016 | 28 Comments
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It turns out that there are a lot of people who make a phenomenal living without a traditional job.

These people don’t have an office. They aren’t locked into an 8-5 schedule. And you can find them at co-working spaces, coffee shops, and AirBnB rentals all over the world.

They might work on the beach. They might work on a plane. Many of them just work from home.

Some may look like vagabond travelers. Others could be mistaken as executives on vacation. Regardless of how they might appear, they’re all making money from wherever they want. Surprisingly good money.

Who are these people? They’re digital nomads.

Simply put, a digital nomad is someone whose livelihood is independent of a specific location or schedule. They are freelancers, entrepreneurs, consultants, or employees whose work is accomplished remotely via the internet.

Some are world travelers, but others just want the freedom and flexibility to spend their time where and how they wish.

If you’re intrigued by thought of becoming a digital nomad, than take a look at the following list of 35 people who are currently enjoying this lifestyle. I have no doubt that you’ll discover the motivation and inspiration you need to realize that you can make a full-time living (and then some) on your own terms.

Once you’re ready to make the transition yourself, check out my free 14 post blog series: How to Quit Your Job and Become a Digital Nomad in 90 Days.

About this list of 35 digital nomads

Interested in discovering the many why’s and how’s of becoming a digital nomad, I decided to post a query on Help A Report Out asking people two questions:

  1. Why did you become a digital nomad?
  2. What is one tip that you would share with someone who wants to quit their job and become a digital nomad?

My only requirement was that the respondents earned at least $20,000 a year remotely. Although I felt that this dollar amount was rather low, I wanted to ensure that my sample size included a wide range of experiences to reveal that it’s possible for anyone to become a digital nomad.

And the responses were impressive!

The following list includes entrepreneurs earning six figures, bloggers who make $50k a month, freelancers living comfortably on $36,000 a year, and everything in-between.

Some of these digital nomads deliberately chose their professions, others stumbled upon them out of necessity. But, they’re all doing what they enjoy – and they’re doing it from anywhere in the world!  

The experts (in no particular order)

The following list is based on the order in which responses were received. I believe that each respondent on this list as valuable experiences and insights for both current and future digital nomads. Enjoy!

Pamela Wagner

Pamela Wagner - Digital NomadPamela Wagner Marketing

Who are you?

Former Googler and digital nomad who has been to 60 countries. I own a digital marketing company which is based in Austria, but I can work from anywhere since my clients are across 21 time zones. At the age of 24, I’ve been to 60 countries – 10 alone in the last 6 months.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

I love the freedom of working from where I want, how I want, with who I want, and when I want. This drives me, challenges me, and keeps me going. I love immersing myself in new cultures and practicing new languages (so far I speak about 7 and work constantly with at least 3). Besides, I want to visit every country in the world, and seeing how business is done in different countries enables you to take the best of everywhere. Travel also helps you get very creative at solution finding and learning new ways of creating and doing business.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

While being on your current job, look into the various freelance platforms that are out there and see what people are actually looking for. If you are able to provide a solution, you will never be short of work. Most clients don’t care from where you do your work as long as it gets done.

Laura Hall

Laura Hall - Digital NomadKid & Coe

Who are you?

I work for Kid & Coe, a family travel website where we are a 90% remote team.

Prior to joining Kid & Coe, I was a freelance travel/lifestyle journalist, a choice I made because that lifestyle is so much more stimulating than being a desk-based journalist. I traveled the world, interviewed interesting people for a variety of top rated UK magazines and newspapers, and fitted it in around my young family. I’m not saying it’s the dream lifestyle – not having a pension, bonus, healthcare etc can weigh on you but the freedom to be creative is intoxicating.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

Personally, my primary motivation was the opportunity to be involved with a start up I believe wholeheartedly in. The work set-up was secondary to that.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Tip for someone else wanting to live this lifestyle: 2 things really. You have to be super organised and reliable. More so than if you are in an office because you need to be able to deliver without having someone hover over you. You have to be accountable. If you aren’t the right personality fit, you’ll know soon enough.

The second thing is that you have to embrace it. You have to make it work for you. I could – and have – worked from 8am to 10pm daily. It is easy for work to bleed into your family time, and for you to get burned out. I fight this by exercising daily – taking 30-60 minutes at lunchtime to run, go to the gym, sweat. It makes me feel better when I’m working in the evening, taking conference calls with partners around the world.

Paul and Becky Kortman

Digital Nomad familyNomad Together and Home Along the Way

Who are you?

We’re a Digital Nomad family of 6 plus 2 dogs,  we’re currently traveling around Mexico on our way to South America. We’ve been nomads for over two years spending the majority of that time in Asia and Africa. You can read more about our family’s journey at homealongtheway.com

Yup, we’re  not single or just a digital nomad couple, but a full digital nomad family!

Why did you become a digital nomad?

As for our motivation to travel and become nomads it really was financially driven. First we wanted to move from where we were living in Michigan and wanted to move somewhere with less snow. However when we looked in the US everything we looked at was a higher cost of living.

When we started to look internationally we realized that we could significantly cut our costs of living (food, housing, utilities, transportation, entertainment) while still making the same amount of money.

That would allow us to afford hiring staff like a cook, au pair, and the like.

We could have done the same in the US but we’d have to make 2-3 times as much as we do which means we’d have to be working more. Right now Paul clocks about 20-30 hours a week.

So it was a lifestyle desire that we could obtain by lowering our costs of living. In addition to travel, we’re helping our kids grow up well-rounded, getting away from American consumerism, feeling rich without being rich, and being reminded of how the majority of the world lives on a daily basis.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Cut your expenses now, there are thousands of things you can live without and you will when you start to travel, so why not live with less while preparing the transition. That way you can build up a savings account allowing you some flexibility when between gigs, or as you develop your business.

Matt Inglot

Matt Inglot - Digital NomadTilted Pixel

Who are you?

I run a 6 figure profit web agency that’s completely remote. In addition to travel, this has allowed me to choose where I live based on my lifestyle instead of where I could find work. I write and been interviewed on the topic of remote freelancing a fair bit (see Matt’s blog).

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

If you really want your freelancing business to be nomadic, then force yourself to succeed by putting yourself in a nomadic situation from the start. Take a several month trip to somewhere far, and start or move your business there. This will force you to acquire clients remotely and to build a remote business infrastructure. My two month trip to Poland forced me to virtualize my business, and now I can travel anytime.

Maria Dykstra

TreDigital

Who are you?

Our team is on 3 continents and we continue to quadruple business every three months.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

When my partner and I launched our business after over a decade at Microsoft, our goal was to be able to travel while running the business. We first attempted extended travel 3 years ago – we were able to maintain, but not grow the business. We tweaked our approach and last summer, we significantly increased our business while spending 8 weeks in Europe.

Our business grew from a 2 person consulting company to a global team that operates on 3 continents in just 4 years. While we still have a strong community presence and some local clients in Seattle, we largely rely on our content strategy and social media engagement work to continuously generating leads. Most of our team is remote, we balance global talent and expertise to create strong virtual teams and the business continues to quadruple.

Michelle Schroeder

Michelle Schroeder - Digital NomadMaking Sense of Cents

Who are you?

I’m a digital nomad. I earn over $50,000 a month through my blog [learn how she does it in her course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing] and you can find my income reports here. I like to help others find ways to save more, earn more, and live more!

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

My top tip would be to start your business on the side if you can. This way, you can test it out, find customers, see if it’s a viable business idea, and see if you even like what you are doing.

Erica McCurdy

Erica McCurdy - Digital NomadMcCurdy Life Coach

Who are you?

I am a master certified life coach who helps ‘Stuck’ people get ‘Un-Stuck’. I work with clients and companies all over the world. I believe it is possible to earn a living and live a life at the same time. Through my company, McCurdy Life Coach I am living my best life while helping others take their best next step.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

I always wanted to be someone who created her own destiny. After helping so many other people build their dreams, I wanted the chance to work on mine.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Remember your ‘why’. Remember why you left your job, remember why you decided to work this hard in pursuit of a goal. As life gets busy and opportunities cloud and confuse

you, keep the why in mind to help clear the path and make sound financial and strategic choices. If your ‘why’ was to spend time with your family, then don’t take opportunities that prevent this from happening. If your ‘why’ was to become a writer, then write every day. If your ‘why’ was to make money, then arrange your priorities in the order that gets you closer to making money.

Sam Romain

Sam Romain - Digital NomadDominate With SEO

Who are you?

I am the owner of Dominate With SEO, an online digital marketing agency helping other businesses reach their online potential. I am a digital nomad.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

I started my business less than a year ago and am averaging $3500/mo off my online business. I live in a rural area of Minnesota far from the urban landscape and have chosen this life because I like my living situation and their are no digital marketing agencies in my neck of the woods to seek a job. So I had to create my own. It has been a struggle, but it’s been fun.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

My biggest piece of advice to someone looking to leave their job and be a digital nomad would be to learn how sales funnels work online and then dive in! If you drag your feet you will never make enough income online to make it worthwhile!

Caroline Lupini

Caroline Lupini - Digital NomadCaroline Lupini

Who are you?

I’ve been a digital nomad for just over two years and have finally gotten to the point that it is sustainable and something I think I can keep doing for the foreseeable future.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

My biggest tip is to be persistent. Growing a business takes time.  I started growing my blog while I was working a regular 9 to 5 for about a year and it took another year and a half of working full time on my business before it got to the point that I wasn’t constantly questioning whether or not I would need to go back to the 9 to 5. Even now that I have reached that point, I am always searching for new opportunities and continuting to grow my business. It’s a lot of work, but the freedom and flexibility is so worth it!

Mark Koep

Mark Koep - Digital NomadCampgroundViews.com

Who are you?

I am someone who recognized the classic American Dream was more of a nightmare and decided to take a different route. 7 years ago we sold most of our worldly possessions and hit the open roads of America. We have now circled the country twice spending months in all the major National Parks and experiencing the uniqueness of the country.  My expertise is in digital marketing and was enabled to work virtually via our very successful boutique SEO firm. As a direct result of our challenges finding campgrounds and RV parks to stay we launched CampgroundViews.com to help travelers physically see what places look like. We have built the world’s largest library of first person videos of parks with over 2100 locations on film already.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

Life is way too short to sit at a cubicle and spend your hours commuting back and forth.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Don’t just do it. Plan in advance and have an exit strategy.

Vadim Bichutskiy

Vadim Bichutskiy - Digital NomadInnovizo

Who are you?

I am the Director of Data Science at Innovizo, a data science and technology consulting company based in Washington, DC, where I lead remote dedicated teams of engineers and data scientists who advise clients on data analytics projects.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

As a data scientist who works remotely, I wanted to have the freedom to work on projects in a variety of application domains, and not be stuck in some uncomfortable office 9-5 everyday.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

I would say to someone who wants to transition to this type of work: be good at what you do, don’t be afraid to fail, and develop your soft and networking skills.

Vernon T. Foster II

Vernon T. Foster - Digital NomadPodParrot.com

Who are you?

I’m the founder & CEO of Pod Parrot.com. We provide podcast education and consulting for startups and small businesses.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

I backpacked through Costa Rica in 2009 shortly before graduating university. I remember standing on the shore of Playa Manuel Antonio and thinking, I could do this for the rest of my life! Fast forward seven years later and I’m actually living it.

Back then, I just wanted to see some cool stuff. Now it’s more about exploring other cultures, becoming more self-aware, and exposing myself to things I wouldn’t have the opportunity to back Stateside.

It’s also nice if you’re earning income with a strong currency. You can live like a king in parts of Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe right now.

I lived in Antigua, Guatemala in 2014 for a month. Total costs for my apartment, eating out every night, tours and daily coffee runs was $1,000 U.S. FOR A MONTH!! Try doing that in the United States.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Start surrounding yourself with people who are already doing it. When you get around people who are already doing or have what you want, something magical happens. You start to believe you can too. You have a support system as well.

Join The Digital Nomad Academy or other Facebook groups, listen to podcasts like Tropical MBA, read blog posts and connect with people in other nomad communities.

Get to SEA as quickly as possible if you have limited cash flow and savings. Make it your base of operations until you can build up a decent list of clients or customers, then the world is literally your oyster.

Cierra Savatgy-King

Cierra Savatgy-King - Digital NomadReset Retreat

Who are you?

I’m a digital nomad entrepreneur and own two companies, both allowing me to work remotely while traveling and with teams.

  1. Pigtail Media- A social media marketing firm for travel and hospitality clients.
  2. Reset Retreat – A women’s personal growth, yoga and adventure retreat in Belize.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

For freedom – To follow my dream and where my heart feels the most happy: exploring beautiful places. While my businesses are very structured and I have daily conversation with clients and my partners (similar to a 9 to 5), I’m able to do it from wherever there is an internet signal.

Over 2 years ago, my longtime boyfriend and I decided to move our belongings to a storage unit in Austin, Texas and live in AirBnb or other vacation rentals, even in our own hometown. The exploration of life has no limit and it continues to amaze us. My life had been on auto-pilot and I hadn’t even known it.

We’ve lived in 22 homes in Austin in the past 2 years, 1 month a year in Telluride, CO, and handful of ‘extended vacations’ around the country and beyond where we work remotely. And at night / weekend, we explore like we’re on vacation. We do not have a standard mortgage or rent, so our ‘life vacation’ is just that.

It has reset my life and I now live off auto-pilot.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Make sure you are able to focus and still find drive to complete projects, and stick to strict timelines – all while an ocean might be outside your door. Depending on your industry and what you want in life, of course, this can be a game changer. Living remotely can be romanticized, but if you still want steady income and to keep your business continuously evolving, you must be able to manage yourself really well. And if you have a team(s), solid processes and communication make all the difference.

Test it out by working from home at your kitchen table for a couple weeks and see how you do … How distracted do you get by the squirrel outside? Now multiple that by 20 because likely, you’ll have a view of gorgeous mountains or waves at some point.

Julie Ewald

Julie Ewald - Digital NomadImpressa Solutions

Who are you?

I’m the CEO and Creative Director of an all-remote marketing agency I founded four years ago.

I had been obsessed with the idea of portable careers and becoming a digital nomad, so I made it happen, starting with freelancing. That went really, really well, which lead me to launching a business that let me (and my entire team!) enjoy the same lifestyle.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

My initial motivation (and what started that obsession) was living overseas and being flat broke. My now ex-husband had a misunderstanding around some regulations, and I was in Italy unable to work. We were both trying to live, pay student loans, and eliminate debt on $1800 per month, which didn’t get anywhere under a strong Euro. After about a year, we had to return stateside, but I was still interested in that life. I hopped on what was then oDesk, now Upwork, and the rest is history. Since then, I’ve generated over $500,000 in revenue for myself and my agency through that platform alone.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

As for one tip: Utilize a platform like Upwork to feel out the lifestyle first. Not everyone has the discipline and drive to pull it off, even if they think they do. Feeling out a few of those gigs are a good way to try it out without taking the plunge.

I now try to give back to folks who want to become digital nomads, build their own career, or launch businesses online. I’ll be speaking on this at the upcoming Workhacker Conference in Dallas, and I’ve mentored at SXSW and SXSW V2V.

Pauline Paquin

Pauline Paquin - Digital NomadMake Money Your Way

Who are you?

I am a personal finance expert who owns three finance websites. I made $8,000 last month, 60-70k a year. I am French, based in Guatemala, and travel about six months a year. Just came back from three months in Patagonia on a motorcycle.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

My main motivation was freedom. Even if you don’t move around, that is freedom from a day job, a schedule, obligations. I wake up when I am ready to, eat when I am hungry.. That is a lifestyle I love.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

The one tip I would give a person thinking about leaving their job is to keep a comfortable emergency fund, to last you at least a year in your country of origin. That will allow you to live 3+ years in other cheap countries. Try out a country before settling down. Spend a month or two, stay more if you like it. Always have enough money to come back home and live for six months until you find a job.

Lori Sussle Bonanni

Lori Sussle Bonanni - Digital NomadEvents.com

Who are you?

I am a freelance consultant who works remotely.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Don’t sit hunched over all day and make sure you get fresh air throughout the day! Get a standing desk and/or modify a treadmill so you can work and walk.

(Great advice for anyone working from home!)

Sage Smith

Sage Smith - Digital NomadLimitless Interactive

Why did you become a digital nomad?

After doing the digital nomad lifestyle for nearly 6 years, I went and picked up a contract position at a company that wanted me to show up every day. I said fine. That’s when I realized how overqualified the digital nomad lifestyle had made me at the job. I could produce ten times as much work than anyone in the office. And that’s when I realized I was producing at least ten times the work than I was myself five years prior.

That’s where your free time comes from: the ability to work ten hours, do the work of 3 people working 40, and make the cash of 1 person working 40.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Work harder than you ever thought possible: The only way I was able to successfully earn a salary that paid all my bills as a young adult starting out in the digital nomad world was to work harder than I ever thought possible. You are go-go-go 24/7 until you don’t have to be anymore. There is no option to travel for the first couple of years, that’s for sure.

Jill Bong

Jill Bong - Digital NomadChicken Armor

Who are you?

To earn a living, we sell a re-invented chicken saddle – Chicken Armor. I also write and publish books on self-sufficient living.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

We became digital nomads so that we could spend more time at home with our young children. We were pushed even further to become digital nomads when we decided to pack up our lives to pursue a homesteading (self-sufficient) lifestyle in rural Oregon.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

My advice to someone looking to leave their current job would be to trim expenses as much as possible and get used to living on a small income. Changing the location of where you live can drastically help with this goal.

Maryam Henein

Maryam Henein - Digital NomadHoneyColony

Who are you?

I am a digital nomad. I am an investigative journalist, the director of the well known film Vanishing of the Bees, and the CEO and founder of HoneyColony, a magazine and marketplace aimed at empowering you to be your own best health advocated.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

My motivation was to be my gypsy self and travel. I spend 10 hours a day in front of my computer so I may as have the ocean or jungle as a backdrop. Last year while working,  I spent a few months in Central America getting my permaculture certificate. Then I returned to Los Angeles before leaving for Rome, Italy  where I studied food politics and taught a class. Then I went to Greece to check out my roots and report on the financial crisis. Now i am back in Los Angeles and getting ready to travel again.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Life is short and if you are disciplined and have an online business you can work from anywhere and be as productive If you are going to work for yourself, understand that you have to lay the foundation first and that will take time and resources. I work for myself and therefore i do not make as much money as i would if i did the 9 to 5 mainstream matrix thing, but i am free and my own boss. First year i didn’t earn ANY money and travel was not possible. In other words expect some sacrifice at first.

Kate Harvey

Kate Harvey - Digital NomadChargify

Who are you?

Chargify is 100% distributed, so all employees are remote. I have been part of the Chargify family for approximately 6 months, and I found the position via FlexJobs.com – a job site that features telecommute and alternative schedule job postings.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

My motivation for becoming a digital nomad is simple – I love my job and I love traveling. Being a digital nomad allows me to combine both of those passions! In my current position as Content & Search Marketing Manager at Chargify, I can work from anywhere (the caveat is a strong internet connection).

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

My #1 tip for someone looking to move from a traditional day job to a digital nomad is to look for companies who already understand and appreciate the benefits of remote workers. Doing so is much easier than attempting to “sell” a company with a traditional office setup on the benefits of you moving to working remote.

Tip #2 – Be realistic. Remote work and the digital nomad lifestyle isn’t for everyone. It takes more discipline than many realize. Also, remember that while you are working remote you still need to be productive with your work. Be honest with yourself – would the travel aspect be too distracting? Are you willing to be work on U.S. time zones (even when physically at a location on a drastic time difference) if needed? Can you realistically get work done from locations other than a traditional office-space?

Erin Engstrom

Erin Engstrom - Digital NomadRecruiterbox

Why did you become a digital nomad?

I obtained a 100 percent remote job 11 months ago, and I was motivated to do so by two primary factors: quality of life and flexibility.

Though my family is located in Chicago now, we’ve know for a while that we don’t want to stay here, and in fact, we’re moving next month. Thanks to my remote position, my husband can quit his 60-hour-a-week job and take care of our daughter full-time while I work as we travel around the world. (Our first stops are Lisbon and Sarajevo.) We’ll lose the second income, of course, but we’re building wealth in terms of time and richness of experiences.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

The tip I’d give someone interested in quitting their job to become a digital nomad is to be prepared for an adjustment period. Previously I was working from home one or two days a week so I thought I knew what to expect, but it’s quite a different experience when you’re entirely remote. Connecting with colleagues on video calls, and working from coffee shops and co-working spaces, can help you feel less isolated.

Another tip – for both employees and employers – is to check out We Work Remotely. Recruiterbox has hired all of its remote workers off of this job board, and there are some great opportunities with some really cool companies. Something I find especially refreshing about this board is that it’s not programming jobs – there are lots of opportunities for people looking for roles in support, marketing, business development and more.

Brad Hines

Brad Hines - Digital NomadBradfordHines.com

Who are you?

Digital nomads: I am a digital marketing strategist, writer, and founder of NerdPlaythings.com.

I am semi-notable in my field and I write frequently about this lifestyle.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

I have been a digital nomad for over a decade now, first starting when I sold one of my websites from the ski slope in British Columbia, and a car I fixed up–while driving an entirely different car across country 9 states away. I’ve been hooked ever since.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

With Internet usage now pervasive in so much of the world, any coffee shop can become your makeshift office. You need to know if your personality thrives on that or not. If you are the type of person at work, that you are frequently getting up from your desk, need a lot of novelty, and like to be on the move, being a digital nomad may be for you.

With cloud computing, like SaaS sites like Box, Google Docs, Drop Box, it’s fun to travel the world with a mere laptop, or not even, and know that your files are just there “following” you virtually anywhere you go.

Travel as well is very stimulating for some types of work like creative work as you get exposed to new contexts from which to cross relate things.

Sarah Vandenberg

Sarah Vandenberg - Digital NomadFrayed Passport and Vandenberg Digital Communications

Who are you?

I’m the founder of Vandenberg DC, a company that builds analytics-guided digital marketing strategies and campaigns for small businesses and nonprofits. I built this company to let me travel and work from anywhere in the world, as long as there’s a wifi connection (you can see my travel site at FrayedPassport.com).I’ve been to Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and am adding new destinations to the list all the time.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

I love to travel, get bored working for the same company for too long, and always run out of vacation time too quickly. So I built a business that lets me work remotely for a variety of really cool nonprofits and SMBs while still letting me explore the world.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Be as specific as you can about the type of work you want to do, and make sure to build the foundation of your enterprise (freelancing, new business, whatever you’d like to do) before quitting your job. Write your business plan or goals, get your accounting in order, start taking on side jobs during weekends and evenings to get testimonials or referrals, and then hit the road.

Justin Malik

Justin Malik - Digital NomadOptimal Living Daily

Who are you?

I’ve been a digital nomad and remote entrepreneur for 3 years, leaving my corporate job on April 1, 2013 – almost my 3-year anniversary! I’ve been making a good living since then (taking a $3-4k salary/month and saving the rest for rainy days), developing mobile apps for myself, and more recently, podcasting.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

The short answer: My obsession with entrepreneurship, but also social anxiety.

The longer answer: Ever since I was a kid, I had a knack for entrepreneurship. I remember selling origami to other elementary students for $0.10 a pop. However, selling has always been tough for me because I also suffer from extreme performance-based social anxiety, also from a young age. I couldn’t even recite the Cub Scouts oath. While I’ve had worse years than others, social anxiety took a big swing at me in the last few years, while I was getting my MBA from Pepperdine University. I somehow managed to graduate, but struggled to find a job. After meeting with a therapist, sleepless nights, and lots of practicing, I finally landed a job.

After 2 years, my entrepreneurial habit and social anxiety kicked back in and I looked for a way out of the corporate world. I started working on an app idea with a friend. When it finally launched and I was able to drive about 2000+ downloads a day, I quit to focus on apps full-time. I eventually created a blog/site documenting the creation of apps and sold products & services on the site, supplementing my income further. My best year was 2014, when I did close to $150,000 in product sales and app revenues. I recently started a podcast to help overcome social anxiety, and that is my focus now. I read blog posts (with permission from the authors) covering topics like personal development, personal finance, motivation, and more to bring a more convenient way to consume online content. While I don’t travel much, I easily could. All I need is a laptop, a USB mic, and an internet connection. With pets to take care of at home, and living in sunny Southern California, I’m quite comfortable where I am. 🙂

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Coming up with an idea is the easy part. If you want to make money being a digital nomad, you need to commit to the idea and get your first sale, or at the very least, put yourself and your product out there. I often hear people having ideas, but if you’re not out there testing what works, learning from the process, and improving your craft, you have no chance of getting noticed and ultimately succeeding.

Nate Tsang

Investment Zen - Digital NomadInvestmentZen

Who are you?

I’ve been a remote entrepreneur for nearly 6 years, but I don’t necessarily identify as a digital nomad. I usually travel about 5-6 times a year for a week to a month at a time, but I spend the majority of the year at home.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

I don’t necessarily identify as a digital nomad, but I am a location independent entrepreneur.

I know a lot of digital nomads are motivated by the opportunity to travel and take advantage of geo-arbitrage. That is a big benefit – most people I know with jobs (or location dependent businesses) need to plan out their vacations at least half a year in advance. Then they get 1-2 weeks, where they stress about how much work will pile up for them when they get back. If I want to go somewhere, I can just go ahead and do it. If need to work while I’m travelling, that’s totally fine since I get to choose work that I enjoy.

But at the end of the day, location independence to me is about freedom, which can include freedom to travel, but it can also be about the freedom to stay hunkered down at home and hustle on a project I’m excited about.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

I think it’s important to either have a savings cushion or a profitable side hustle before quitting your job to become a digital nomad. Even though cost of living abroad can be cheaper, you won’t really have any freedom if you’re stressed about needing to bring in income right away.

Also, if you can’t manage your money or build a small income stream on the side while you’re at your job, you probably won’t be able to do it while starting a new life on the road either.

Kate Gilbert

Kate Gilbert - Digital NomadI Am Kate Gilbert

Who are you?

In June of 2014 I quit my job as a healthcare marketing executive, my husband and I sold our home and we began traveling full-time. I now work part time as a freelance strategic marketing consultant, supporting my clients remotely from wherever I am in the world. I rely heavily on the ability to be connected via the internet. The availability of internet connectivity all around the US and the world means I can collaborate on projects, do in depth research and jump on conference calls at any time.

I also love to write, self-publishing my first book last year and blogging about my travels at TalesFromtheScenicRoute.com

Why did you become a digital nomad?

My motivation for becoming a digital nomad was the desire to have more flexibility in my schedule.  Switching to a freelance role that was location independent has allowed us to pursue a life that prioritized our goals of traveling full-time rather than being trapped in a corporate job that dictated our schedule. We now travel all over the US and the world and as long as there is an internet connection I can still work.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

My biggest tip for anyone who is interested in becoming a digital nomad, and the thing that has made the biggest difference to me, is to simplify your life first. Reduce your living expenses as much as possible and get rid of clutter and unimportant things in your life. Being nomadic is much more enjoyable if you don’t have stuff like possessions and financial obligations weighing you down. Traveling can be very inexpensive if you do it the right way, and don’t behave as if you are on vacation. We have found it much less costly than owning a regular sticks and bricks home. By reducing our expenses we can have a full and rewarding life, without the old pressures of having to bring in a large income.

Jesse Harrison

Jesse Harrison - Digital NomadPre-Settlement Lawsuit Funding

Who are you?

I’m founder and CEO of Zeus Lawsuit Funding.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

I am not a 9 to 5 kind of person. I get bored easily. I can’t be doing the same thing all day, every day. My motivation for becoming a digital nomad was that it allowed me to do different things every day, and it also allowed me to set my own hours. I can work from anywhere at any time of the day. I could be at the beach at noon and work from my laptop. I can be at home at 3 am and work from my home.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

My number one tip for those wanting to leave their current jobs to become digital nomads: Don’t wait for the perfect time to do it, because then you will be waiting forever. There is no perfect time to do it, it will never feel like it’s the right time. So just do it now, even though now does not feel like a perfect time.

Victoria Chemko

Victoria Chemko - Digital NomadUmami Marketing

Who are you?

I run a growing digital marketing agency that has been around for over 4 years – we’ve doubled our revenues in the last fiscal year, and are on track to double again for 2016. Umami Marketing was a sole proprietorship until January 2016 when we recently incorporated, but I have worked with a solid team of contractors who specialize in various areas for the last 3 years (located both in Vancouver and around the world). I spend 6+ months a year working remotely and have been to over 40 countries and counting, and am based out of Vancouver, Canada.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

Ultimate freedom and flexibility, above all else. I was traveling around the world for a year after quitting my corporate job as a software project manager, and knew that my main goal was to be able to be wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted, on my own terms.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Prioritize your goals, and if being a digital nomad it is really what you want, take one step at a time to get there. Essentially, figure out what it is that you want, then learn how to ask for it!

David James

David James - Digital NomadBusiness Growth Digital Marketing

Who are you?

I am into my first month as a Digital Nomad and have a business that earns around $5000 a month on average. I am currently based in Ubud in Bali, but over the coming months, my wife (who is a digital nomad) will base ourselves in Bangkok and Koh Samui in Thailand and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

My business is a copywriting and digital marketing agency. ­We document our digital nomad lifestyle on our Youtube Channel ŒWhat are they up to. My wife runs her own YouTube channel which grosses about $1000/year at the moment, but she is working to increase her income this year as a digital nomad.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

Our motivation to become digital nomads were fueled by our desire for travel, adventure and entrepreneurship. I believe if others share these motives, then becoming a digital nomad is for them.

Before becoming a digital nomad, I ran a digital marketing agency in London, so I had experience in running a business. I’d learned how to manage cash flow and build the business¹s income stream to tens of thousands each month. My job exposed me to other travel bloggers and digital nomads that were earning $1000-3000 per month and were living the travel lifestyle full time. My wife and I later traveled to Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand) and realized how achievable it was to live as a digital nomad providing that we could earn the income to support our lifestyle. $2,000 USD per month could provide most people with a sufficient quality of life while fulfilling their travel goals.

I was fortunate to launch my business and to grow it fairly quickly.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

My advice to people that want to become a digital nomad is: Know what lifestyle you want to adopt. Do you want to travel and backpack or live lavishly in villas and resorts? Living in backpacking accommodations as a digital nomad in South East Asia could cost as little as $5/day. Or hire a villa with a private pool for $1200 a month with catering included.

Know how to manage cash flow.

Develop an income stream that allows you to afford the lifestyle that you desire.

Being a digital nomad is a lifestyle business. You can earn an income through employment, self employment, investment dividends or passive income. You need to build an income that will outweigh your expenses.

Vironika Tugaleva
Vironika Tugaleva - Digital NomadVironika.org

Who are you?

I am on a mission to make this world a better place, one person at a time. I help people cultivate self-love, heal mental and emotional suffering, develop healthy self-care habits, build deeper relationships, and unleash their inner potential to change the world.

I’ve been on an incredible journey throughout the past 4 years. I went through close to a decade of self-hatred, addiction, eating disorders, and profound mental health issues before finally breaking down and discovering who I was beyond all of my insecurities. My own healing process compelled me to help others in the same situation. I released a book in 2013, The Love Mindset, which helps people with self-love and emotional healing. I also do life coaching with people all over the world. I love my work, and I believe it is important. Being able to do it while traveling is just the cherry on top.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

I became a digital nomad because I wanted to travel, and I wanted my work to be portable. I also find that the internet is a much better avenue for me to reach my audience. I coach people on self-awareness and self-love. Being able to do sessions with me out of the comfort of their own homes is a huge benefit to my clients, and being able to work out of wherever I am in the world is a huge benefit to me. It’s a win-win for everyone.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

The tip I would give is simple – if you want to do it, do it. It’s not for everyone, and it comes with its own share of problems, like anything else, but if you don’t go for it, you’ll always regret it.

David Bosley

David Bosley - Digital NomadPBJ Marketing

Who are you?

I’m the managing partner of PBJ Marketing – we got started 4 years ago by me leaving corporate America and going full-time as a digital nomad or digital freelancer to help launch our company.

I started out working from my apartment, but quickly dreaded being stuck inside a small Manhattan apartment each day. From there, I started to explore different coffee shops around Manhattan – wherever I could get free wifi and a lot of caffeine.

I worked in coffee shops and hotel lobbies all around the city for nearly 2 years until we landed a commercial real estate client who allowed us to share a office space on Wall Street at no cost. Fast forward a year, business grew and we discovered WeWork and their dedicated office desks.

I’ve been at WeWork Soho West for the past 2 years. We are now 4 full-time employees – 2 at WeWork Soho West and 2 at the WeWork Wonderbread Factory in Washington, D.C.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Consider using co-working spaces.

Anna Lundberg

Anna Lundeberg - Digital NomadAnna S. E. Lundberg

Who are you?

A few years ago, I left the apparent security of a full-time job to work independently, pursue my passions, and make sure that I wouldn’t have any regrets when I’m sitting in that rocking chair in the retirement home in years to come. Today, I’m designing a life that allows me to live according to my most important values: freedom, personal growth and development, and authenticity. I’m mentoring start-ups on how to build their brands and market their message to customers, training new managers to become the leaders of the future, and coaching individuals on their personal transitions towards their most fulfilling lives. Coach, trainer, mentor.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

For me it was a gradual evolution, as I decided to first take a sabbatical to travel alone across South America for three months; then to quit my job; then, after going to a few interviews for other full-time jobs, to establish my digital consultancy; and eventually to launch my other two businesses and take all three online. I certainly never considered the possibility of starting my own business in the first years of my career, and I wouldn’t have aspired to be a “digital nomad” at the time.

I still love the social and interactive aspect of meeting people in the real world and I continue to give workshops and presentations in person. The appeal of my “portfolio career” now includes being able to work on lots of different projects; to take full ownership of all business (and personal) decisions; to be able to go where my energy is, so that I sometimes work long days, continuing into the night and over the weekend, and other times I have a much shorter working day; and, of course, to have the freedom to work from anywhere.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

The most important advice I would give anyone considering this kind of transition is to really dig into what it is you’re after. There are many versions of this lifestyle, and if you rush into quitting your job and launching a new business without thinking it through properly you’re likely to end up just as unhappy with the new life as with your old one.

Once you’re clear on what it is that you want, you can begin to plan how you will get there: Do you need to cut down on your spending and save some money? What about downsizing so that you have less STUFF and don’t have to pay for a huge storage locker? What do you need to do to take your existing business fully online? If you’re creating something from scratch, how long can you afford to give yourself before it needs to be generating an income? What about all the admin aspects of not having a base, managing your bank accounts and mail forwarding and so on? There’s a lot that needs sorting out, and you’ll have a much smoother ride if you do so sooner rather than later.

Nerissa Marbury

Nerissa Marbury - Digital NomadOne Epiphany LLC

Who are you?

My project management & digital marketing company, One Epiphany LLC, was established in 2010 with a virtual office. One Epiphany helps organizations solve business problems and implement digital marketing solutions when they don’t have the know-how, time, or resources to do it alone.

As founder and CEO, I decided in 2013 to transition the business from general brand marketing to digital marketing to better align with the work and personal lifestyles I desired. As a result, I was able to begin a location independent lifestyle in 2014.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

My motivation for creating a remote or virtual business and becoming a digital nomad was two-fold. First and foremost is freedom. There is the financial aspect of less overhead expenses because One Epiphany doesn’t have the dedicated brick and mortar office of traditional businesses, but there is also the mental aspect of knowing I have the flexibility to do what I want, with the clients I want, when I want to do it. Secondly, having a location independent work style and lifestyle helps fulfill my personal passion for travel.

To be truthful, when I started my home-free lifestyle (as I like to call it), it was out of necessity and unexpectedly occurred more than a full year prior to when I had originally planned on partaking in the adventure. So I guess I fell into it versus stepping in to it as originally planned. I have lived a home-free lifestyle in the U.S. for 1.5 years now and recently decided to take it up a notch by living abroad for a year.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Have the mindset that where you lay your head at night is your home. It’ll help you feel more stable, less lonely, and will give you a response when a friend or family member inevitably asks so where are you living now?.

Nicole Wright

Nicole Wright - Digital NomadNicole Wright, LLC

Why did you become a digital nomad?

My motivation for becoming a digital nomad was freedom. Not to be tied to a desk, or office, or employees. It took a little bit of structuring, then restructuring, to get to the point that I could work remotely from anywhere. The career reputation I had earned as well as marketing/PR contributed to it working well for me too.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

What’s one tip would you give to someone interested in leaving *their current job to become a digital nomad? * Lol. You just either ARE or are NOT a digital nomad. If you are, you know it, and then it’s easy. All you have to do is make that decision and it’s done. It should be easy enough to find advice, mentors, and others who have paved the way. I’d trust in your own intuition that you know how to make it uniquely work for you. And asking yourself the right questions is key. The process of thinking is simply asking and answering questions. That’s all we do. So ask yourself a poorcrummy question, and you’ll get an answer of the same nature. Ask yourself better questions – How can I make this work? How can I find a supportive path? – and the mind can’t not find a working answer.

Thomas McGregor

Thomas McGregor - Digital NomadineedmoneyASAP.com

Who are you?

Just an average guy with two young kids, a wife, a house and one car. Blogging started as side project of mine and quickly morphed into something much bigger.

Why did you become a digital nomad?

I have two young girls, one 2 years old and one only 1 month old. They’re out there exploring while most people are stuck in an office. I want to be there with them during the day instead of being chained to a desk. Flexibility for me is key. I work a lot but I work when it suits me. That leaves me free to explore/learn with my two young kids.

What advice do you have for future digital nomads?

Have plenty of cash on hand…

There’s a reason they say “cash is king”, cash flow can make or break a business. Coming from a steady paycheck into the world of self employment may come as a cruel shock for many people who are under prepared. There’s security that comes with a steady income and giving that up can be difficult. Having a few months of extra cash on hand for those slow months (and there will be slow months) will significantly increase your happiness (and decrease your stress) when making the switch.

Closing thoughts…

Was reading through that list as inspirational for you as it was for me? I loved it!

If you have any additional thoughts or insights, or if you’re a digital nomad yourself, share in the comments section below. I’d love to learn more about your ideas on the digital nomad lifestyle.

Also, I’d like to thank all of the amazing contributors who took time to respond to this query. I have no doubt that your responses will motivate and inspire many.

Finally, if you get excited about entrepreneurship and travel, subscribe to my newsletter. You’ll receive one email a week sharing my latest posts, insider tips for both entrepreneurs and travelers, and opportunities for future joint ventures. I’d love to keep in touch! Oh, and you’ll also get my free ebook “How to Make Money as a Freelancer this Weekend”.

Now, get started with your own transition using my free blog series: How to Quit Your Job and Become a Digital Nomad in 90 Days.

Thanks for reading!

About Author Rob

Rob blogs at Money Nomad - where he shares strategies and tips for becoming a remote entrepreneur. When not working on his own projects, Rob writes articles for businesses and thought leaders. You can find him on Twitter @rlerich.

28 thoughts on “How to Quit Your Job and Become a Digital Nomad: 35 Expert Tips

  1. I don’t think you have to quit your current job. You may be able to continue doing what you do remotely. I am in the life insurance business and can work with clients all over the country. When I travel, which I do often, my laptop and cell phone are my office.

    1. Great point Doug! It turns out there are more and more jobs, with more and more companies, that can be done remotely. And it sounds like you have achieved digital nomad status yourself. 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  2. I like the term digital nomad. This list is a validation that you can make a living outside the traditional corporate high-rises. I feel this will come more common due to technology advances (automation & artificial intelligence) are going to change the employer model around the world. The more work you can outsource to “nomads” means less expenses for employee benefits, real estate, etc.
    Josh recently posted…Why Do You Want To Work From Home?My Profile

  3. You’re absolutely right Josh! It really results in a win for both employers and employees.

    Even for those who make slightly less as a freelancer or independent consultant, the option to work from home (or anywhere else) can save substantial amounts of money while also giving you the flexibility to do what you want, from wherever you might wish to do it.

    I appreciate you comment!

    1. It’s definitely inspiring to see how people succeed! Especially when you realize that you can start making enough to live on relatively fast – even if you don’t become a millionaire overnight.

  4. My dream life! I sent this article over to my fiance too. He’ll be unemployed when we move to California until he can find work. I think he’s hoping to kick start his online businesses since he’ll have time to focus 100% on them. He’s a fitness professional so hoping he’ll land some additional clients. Thanks for putting together this inspirational list!

    1. Glad you found it inspiring! And honestly, as a fitness professional it could be very possible to make a decent living through online resources. They say health, wealth, and relationships are the keys to a profitable online business. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and best of luck to both of you!

    1. Absolutely! Blogging is probably one of the harder ways to make a full-time living as a digital nomad (initially at least), but it’s very rewarding as you get to earn by doing talking about what you enjoy!

    1. I’m glad you appreciated it Pauline! I hope it helps you take the first step towards living your own digital nomad life! Thanks for reading.

  5. Hi
    some time quit a job is not perfect in some cases in my opinion like i quite the job and doing freelancing and i have travel blog called Tripbooki and i don’t even earn from this blog but in future i’ll earn a good amount from this blog.. the reason is that you don’t have to quite your job and pursuing your dreams.. if you are hard worker then focus on only 2-3 things to earn a 6 figure income

    1. You’re absolutely right Emma! Sometimes you don’t need to quit your job to launch your business. The key is making sure that you have time to focus on what matters to you. If you have time while working, keep your job. If your job consumes 60+ hours a week without giving you satisfaction, you may need to find something else to offer you time to focus on your passions. Thanks for reading!

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