How to Become a Digital Nomad in Australia: A Guide

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how to become a digital nomad
Becoming a digital nomad could allow you to travel and see the world. Image: Manuel Meurisse/Unsplash

Do you want to know to become a digital nomad, sitting by the fire on a faraway beach? Let’s look at common challenges for beginners and how to overcome them to live the ‘nomad dream’.

How to become a digital nomad

The easiest first step is to download a free copy of my e-book. It’s filled with everything that you need to know about how to become a digital nomad, with:

  • An overview of digital nomadism;
  • Exploring your goals and motivations;
  • Low-cost and free things you can do to test out the digital nomad lifestyle before making the leap;
  • Tips learned from my own early mistakes;
  • Important things to consider before leaving.

Want to become a digital nomad? Get your free copy of ‘Before you become a digital nomad: An Australian guide’ by Kate Zarb.

The eBook to help start your digital nomad journey today.

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Some common challenges to becoming a digital nomad:

If you are considering becoming a digital nomad, you might be feeling like you are facing some major challenges before you can ditch your 9-to-5 and join the growing movement of Australians who swap their home offices for lives of travel and adventure. The other Aussie nomads, remote workers, freelancers and entrepreneurs worldwide that are embracing location-independent freedom aren’t any different to you, they are just further down the road than you are now.

Let me assure you that I felt the same way three years ago and I had to try (and fail at!) several different things until I found a combination that allowed me to live the digital nomad lifestyle full-time. As long as you understand that there is still work involved and a degree of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone – with a positive attitude and persistence – you can do it too.

How to be a digital nomad with no skills

Everyone has skills, it’s just not always obvious how to use them to become a digital nomad. As I’ve written in my post: “181 Best Digital Nomad Jobs Australia: A Guide“, the best place to start is where you already are. Take a piece of paper (or open a document on your computer) and brainstorm all of your skills and experience, even if they seem insignificant. Read through the post and consider if any of the jobs listed use some of the skills that you already have. If so, these will likely be the easiest to transition from what you are doing now or have done in the past.

You can also gain new skills in almost everything from free courses and YouTube videos, as I’ll explain below.

How to be a digital nomad with no experience

If you’re wanting to move into a completely new field, free courses and information are abundant about how to do almost anything. There are 1000s of free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) run by top universities and organisations. Most of what I’ve learned about blogging and writing has been through watching YouTube videos, doing free short courses and consistently doing it until I gained enough experience (through trial and error) to make a considerable income from it.

You can do some volunteer work in your field to “get your foot in the door”. Seek Volunteer is a great place to start. Tell everybody you know what you’re doing and offer your services for free to people so that you can fill up a short CV and portfolio. Put in 110% and then ask them (politely!) to give you a reference for your work.

To be a successful digital nomad freelancer, you don’t need to start with any experience. Learn everything that you can about the freelancing that you want to do, put together a portfolio and start pitching your services. It is going to take time and a lot of rejection to get your first client, but once you do – ask for a testimonial and see if they know anyone else who might also be interested in your services. Building a freelance business starts with just one client and if you put in 110%, others will follow.

If you’d like paid 1:1 coaching, guidance and support, get in touch.

How to be a digital nomad with no money

I became a digital nomad under a mountain of university HELP/HECS debt and little money in the bank. You don’t need a lot of cash to get started and if you go to a country with a much lower cost of living than Australia, will be able to get by with much less. I’m not a financial advisor and your current spending might look very different to mine, but this is how I began:

  • Sold everything that I no longer needed;
  • Started housesitting to get free accommodation (in exchange for caring for people’s homes and pets while they are on vacation);
  • Took on a few side hustles (like paid online research) to make money in my spare time;
  • Wrote down all my expenses and reduced as many unnecessary luxuries as possible.

If you have other debts, it is best to contact a finance professional to help you consolidate and/or reduce these before embarking on a digital nomad journey. As tempting as it is to run off to “a faraway land” to avoid them, the money that you make in your new endeavours will be chewed up by interest and repayments – it’s better off working for you, instead.

How to become a digital nomad: a summary

Becoming a digital nomad might feel like a mountain to climb, but you’re already halfway there. By considering your existing skills and experience, you can use the tools you already have rather than looking for new ones. Consider a remote job in an adjacent field, start a side hustle or do a bit of research and/or self-study to make a move in a new direction. I now spend a lot less money as a digital nomad, through things like housesitting and a more minimalist, thrifty travelling lifestyle. Nothing is stopping you but you. You’ve got this!

Mega-Guide to Australia for Digital Nomads.
Complete Guide to 50+ Digital Nomad Visas.
Want digital nomad support? Get in touch.

Want to become a digital nomad? Get your free copy of ‘Before you become a digital nomad: An Australian guide’ by Kate Zarb.

The eBook to help start your digital nomad journey today.

By entering your information, you agree to receive helpful emails from Oh, Nomad!
We will never share your details or spam you. Unsubscribe anytime.

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