Common Questions About The Digital Nomad Lifestyle

If you’ve been thinking about pursuing a digital nomad lifestyle but have no idea how to go about doing so, this episode is for you! On our Digital Nomad Society live call today, we had three members decide this was going to be the year they travel full-time. By answering common questions and concerns, I hope you feel empowered to do the same if you wish to. Tune in for expert tips and advice on creating this life for yourself!

When we have dreams and goals, we need to empower ourselves with the knowledge to help us achieve them. So for those that are thinking of becoming a digital nomad this year, I hope this questions help shed some light on how to make it realistically possible!

Prefer To Read? Here’s The Blog Version…

Hello my loves, welcome back to the podcast. I just got off an amazing call with our Digital Nomad Society members. 

The Digital Nomad Society

We have member meets and Q&A’s twice a month every month, and I just absolutely love meeting all of our aspiring nomads.

Our members are from all over the world and we actually had three people on today’s call decide that they were going to pursue a digital nomad lifestyle this year in 2024. And it just makes me so happy because other members, you know, I can see their wheels turning, ideas flowing. And one of our members, she was like, I don’t know if I wanna quit my job. And I’m pretty sure by the end of the call she was like, yeah, I’m, I’m gonna do it like you guys have inspired me to do so. And honestly, that is why I created the society in the first place. Who you hang out with is who you become. We have these calls and it’s just such a safe space for you to have a like-minded community online of people who love to travel, love, freedom, love entrepreneurship.

And most of the time we don’t get that in our day-to-Day lives. We either grew up in a family or surrounding where people don’t have these non-traditional lifestyles, right? Because they simply didn’t grow up with it. And sometimes we end up in positions where we’re either in corporate or we were led to believe stability was going to make us happy. And we find out, you know, these aren’t the people I wanna surround myself with. And finding that community online makes it so special and so powerful. We had one of the members comment:

‘I appreciate Danielle, how much value you give to us and your community. Thank you to all of the soul sisters that showed up to support one another. I experienced a huge shift simply from being around you all reminded me of the love that existed within me. I was reminded of the power and the path that I was on. Thank you all.’ 

And that just gives me chills, like I’m just so incredibly grateful that by pursuing what makes me happy and growing my business, I’m able to just connect with the most aligned community around the world. And I invite you to come join us if you aren’t in the digital Nomad society already, it’s only $7 a month and you can cancel anytime you get immediate access to all of the modules and you can join us on our next calls. I cannot wait to support you on your journey.

Digital Nomad FAQ’s

So today’s episode was actually inspired by our call and I realized that many people want to live a location independent lifestyle, right? But there seems to be common questions and uncertainties around how to go about doing so. So we were able to address all of the concerns, answer all of the questions on the call, and that’s what made way for people to feel empowered about doing this for their lives themselves. And so in this episode, I want to answer common questions. Maybe you have them so that by the end of the episode you’ll also feel empowered, if you want this for yourself. I’m going to peel back the layers on how I got to almost seven years of living as a digital nomad and expert tips, some of which I share in the digital Nomad Society modules and ones that you know, I just wanna share with my lovely podcast listeners.

How Do I Become A Digital Nomad?

So the first question that I’m going to answer is, how do I become a digital nomad? Like how do I get myself to a place where I’m able to just travel full-time and sustain myself while doing so? Like if you are in a corporate job. I understand that this whole lifestyle can seem very daunting and almost like impossible for you to achieve. But I guarantee you, if you want it, you can have it. And my first tip for you is to plan to set the intention that you are going to make this a reality for yourself and plan for it. So when I was in corporate America, I knew that I wanted to become a digital nomad. I knew I wanted to start my own business and I gave myself a quit date that was a year out into the future. So I gave myself a year to plan out how I would get there because I couldn’t do it at the moment. 

Plan Your Finances

And the first thing that you really have to nail down is what are your new monthly expenses going to be? Where in the world do you wanna travel to? How long do you wanna stay? Do you want to become a slow mad where you’re moving every few months? What does this look like for you? And you don’t have to have it like decided five years out in advance, just the next few months or maybe like the first few months of becoming a digital nomad, how much money do you need? And then when you get this number, there’s three ways you can go about it. You can either save up so that you have enough money to fund your travels.

And that’s kind of like taking a sabbatical from work, right? You have a limited fixed amount of cash or credit and you’re relying on making it go the farthest it can go. 

Employee or Entrepreneur?

If you think of becoming location independent, you can either be an employee or you can become an entrepreneur. So you’re either working for someone else but remotely and being location independent in that regard. Or you can start your own business so that you can generate your own income and work your own hours. Obviously in my programs in the Digital Nomad society, in my coaching, I always encourage my clients and members to start their own business because you get more freedom, you get more time freedom, more location freedom because you’re not confined to certain working hours.

And for me that is just what I had set out for in the beginning. Like I didn’t want to quit my job and then continue working for someone else, although for other people, you know, it might be the move for them. But for me, I decided to go the entrepreneur route and I gave myself a one year runway to make that happen. And if you go back to episode one of the Podcasts or read my about me on my website, you’ll know that I started many, many businesses in that year. I started drop shipping, I started Amazon FBA, I started my own e-commerce company. I started blogging. And so it was a lot of trial and error, but I had the intention that I was going to quit.

So I needed to make a plan. And so once you have this plan of where you’re going to go, how much money you are going to be spending each month, how much money you have in savings, plus how much you’re bringing in via your business or maybe investments, you need to have the money to support that lifestyle, right? And depending on whether you choose to become an employee or an entrepreneur, that’s also going to affect your digital nomad lifestyle. And so when you put all of the pieces together, you can then start clearly seeing this is exactly when I can make this happen. I know exactly what I need to do, what flights to book, what accommodations to book. And that is essentially how you make it happen. That is how you become a digital nomad. 

I teach all of this, I give you planners, I give you vision board, I give you templates to make this happen inside the Digital Nomad Society

How Long Can You Be A Digital Nomad For?

How long do you have to be a digital Nomad for? Is the grass really greener on the other side? And I shared that I’ve been doing this for almost seven years. And the thing is like you can try it out for a year or for a few months and if you don’t like it, then you can design a new life for yourself or you can go back to your corporate job. 

I’ve had multiple opportunities to go back to corporate and I simply choose not to. There is no way I am going back after having experienced this for myself. Obviously it’s not the case for everyone and it’s really personality dependent and you know what you do in your business, how you’re living, but the thing is you have the freedom now. You have the freedom to either choose to continue or choose to go back. It’s not like you’re committing to a contract where you have to do this for a few years, right? It opens up so many new opportunities and possibilities. If you choose the entrepreneur route and you have an online business, you can stay wherever you want for however long you want. And the thing with that is if you go to a place and you realize that you don’t actually love it.

You can go somewhere else and you can leave. You’re not attached to one location. You also have the freedom to move. And there’s been instances like when I first went to Buenos Aires, I thought I was going to love Argentina and that I was going to surf down south in Mardel Plata. And then I realized, you know, it’s actually not working out. The logistics aren’t really working out. And I ended up in Brazil and that was a complete spur of the moment, last minute decision to go north instead of going south. 

And I think that is a really key learning of this lifestyle is you don’t need to have your whole year planned out. I shared on the call that next month we are going to Mexico and Indonesia and we still don’t have accommodations yet, but we have the knowledge to find what we’re looking for.

2 (11m 7s):

So I don’t need to be worried, I don’t need to be anxious as a veteran nomad, I’m very comfortable with the unknown and just trusting that everything is going to work out and I have the means, the knowledge to figure things out. An example of this would be like if you don’t have dinner plans. You know that you have the resources to feed yourself or find a way to feed yourself, right? Whether that’s going to a supermarket or ordering Uber Eats or finding a restaurant nearby, you have the power to feed yourself and you know that even if you don’t have plans, it’s going to happen.

2 (11m 47s):

And that is similar to, you know, finding accommodation or finding where to go next. If I wanted to move booking last minute flights, these are all possibilities within my power. I do think there is an adjustment period for this because I do remember the first year after I quit my corporate job and became a digital nomad, I wanted everything planned out. That’s just how I was programmed and what I was used to after so many years in a corporate environment. And so I remember I needed to know exactly where I was going for how long I even had return flights booked. And now I only book one way flight.

2 (12m 27s):

So you can see how there’s a big difference there. But I do encourage you to adopt the mindset that everything is always going to work out and you don’t need to have every single thing planned. You are capable of figuring it out as you go and doing what is the most aligned for you at the time

How Do You Choose Where To Go?

The next question I want to answer is how do you choose where to go next? And so there are still kind of like “constraints” to this lifestyle. And what I mean by that is visas usually the visa situation dictates how long I’m able to stay in one place and if I wanted to stay longer, I would need to apply for a different type of visa.

Only because as an American citizen (check out my digital nomad tips for US citizens here), I’m usually allowed as a tourist in most countries for two, three or six months. And I need to know, okay, after this amount of time, where in the world do I wanna go? Is there somewhere nearby that I can go? Can I do visa runs? And I have to really think about not overstaying my visa. And so depending on where I am originally, I’ll think about, okay, where do I wanna go next? That’s close by. Do I want to return to my original country? And what else is on my agenda for this year? For the past few years, a bunch of my friends have been getting married all over the world.

I’m just at that age where you know everyone’s getting married and having babies and so a lot of my travels are first dictated by which weddings in which country do I need to go to. And then I’ll plan my travels around that. Before this chapter though, or the season of my life when people were getting married, it was more like, where do I want to be based? Obviously in the tropics, what do I wanna experience? Do I wanna experience something new and go to a new country or do I want to go back to somewhere I really love and spend more time there? The trend for me and my husband is that we go to a lot of surf destinations.

We both love surfing and so we gravitate towards coastal towns, villages, cities with a big surf culture (this is a list of my top 5 digital nomad destinations for surfers).  And obviously the swell is dependent on the time of year. So we kind of like plan out our endless summer travels around where there are good waves. I am so, so grateful and lucky to be able to do this with my husband. And this is going to look different for everyone, right? if you don’t surf. You might have other hobbies and interests and you might not be constantly chasing waves. And so your choice of where to go next is going to look different.

But I would say this feeling of being able to go anywhere in the world whenever you want, it’s not going to grow old. I will choose this over being limited to where I can work and live. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, like when we’re trying to decide where to go next and we’re like, we have no idea, but we always end up figuring it out. And I will always prefer to have that as a quote unquote problem. Like I don’t know where to go in the world and I can go anywhere than only having limited vacation days and having to be in an office for the majority of the year. 

How Do You Make Friends?

The last question that I get very often is, how do you make friends and meet new people as a digital nomad? Because you’re usually new at a destination and you don’t know anyone, how do you feel like you are part of the community? And my advice for you is to stay longer in one place. I’ve found that the longer I’ve stayed, I’m able to integrate better with the local community and make friendships that last instead of, you know, just spending a week or two somewhere and going to only like the tourist destinations. So think about staying longer in a place because you’re totally able to, right? You’re not limited by vacation days anymore. So if you wanted to meet more people in one place, stay longer. 

I will also recommend finding a community around your interests and hobbies. If you have your own online business, you’re able to attend networking events at coworking spaces or meet people who also have their own online businesses or our entrepreneurs. I love going to coworking spaces and I have compiled a list alongside other Digital Nomad Society members of our favorite co-working places around the world. I also obviously surf and so there’s always a big surf community and I see the same people in the water and I make new friends that way. So having hobbies, exploring your passions and just being open. Have a smile on your face, go to events, find other people who you align with and don’t be afraid to, you know, step outside your comfort zone and say hi to someone first.

Friends don’t just like appear. You kind of have to put in the effort to make them. So it’s a good practice and learning experience. If this is your first time to really get outside your comfort zone and join online communities, right in the Digital Nomad Society, we have over 200 members from almost every single continent and we meet twice a month. So it’s also a really solid, stable community for you to join and I cannot wait to welcome you in. I hope this episode was helpful. if you have any other questions, obviously feel free to DM me at any time. My dms are always open and I’m looking forward to seeing how 2024 unfolds for you. I will see you guys in the next episode sending love.

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Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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Hi, I’m Danielle

My mission is to help you design a location-independent lifestyle through online entrepreneurship, to achieve time freedom, location freedom, financial freedom.

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