These people are called digital nomads and they are doing arbitrage to be able to work and receive a Western salary while living in low cost of living countries. This allows them to work abroad indefinitely and have a completely unique living experience. There are many things that go into being a digital nomad. If this sounds like something that interests you then you need to know about those factors that go into it.
In this article, we will go over several things to know so you can understand what you’re getting into.
1 – Healthcare
Many countries require everybody living there to have healthcare. In many of those countries, healthcare is provided to residents through taxes so it is essentially free. However, if you are not a citizen or have a residency permit to stay indefinitely then you are not eligible to be in this system. You’ll need to have international travel medical insurance to get a visa for many of these countries.
This will make sure that you are taken care of for your health needs. Many include emergency care but also things like doctor visits and even drug coverage. It’s not only necessary to have it in many countries but a good idea to have especially in developing countries. In developing countries, it is always best to have private insurance and not to rely on public coverage as it can lack basic infrastructure for good outcomes.
Having evacuation coverage is also a great policy when traveling to developing countries in case of an emergency. It may be better to leave the country immediately in case of certain emergencies so you can receive proper care in a neighboring country that has better infrastructure.
2 – Research Your Visas
It would be nice to pick up and go on a whim and visit whatever country you like. However, many countries require a visa to enter legally. Even as a tourist you will need to understand if a country you have in your sights will require you to have a visa. Each country has its own rules on how to get a visa so these things need to be researched ahead of time.
For instance, Turkey requires a tourist visa for many nationalities, but the visa can be gotten at the airport on arrival. However, if you plan to come by bus or car then you’ll need the visa in hand when you arrive at the border. Other countries require you to apply for a visa and send in your passport well ahead of time.
All of this is to say that you have to make sure that you plan well ahead. Not only for travel to the country that needs a visa, but to make sure that you aren’t needing your passport while you are without it during the wait to get it stamped.
3 – Budget Well
There are a lot of moving parts that all have to come together to successfully do the digital nomad life. Waiting for invoices to be paid when you’re a freelancer can complicate matters and unexpected expenses will always be cropping up.
It is very important to be on a budget so that you are never stuck without money. A good budget is going to be like a roadmap that helps you navigate the lifestyle in a way that will work. Make sure to track your expenses for a month to understand where your money is going.
Categorize the expenses so you know what you’re spending on travel, food, lodging, and visas. This way you can understand if you are able to splurge on a dinner or weekend out of town. You’ll also understand what countries will be off-limits due to the higher cost of living if you realize how much you’ll need to get by.
If you are freelancing and don’t have a stable salary then this is the most essential part of the experience. Make sure to have a system so you never find yourself without enough money coming in. This all starts by knowing how much you need to spend.
Being a digital nomad is exhilarating but it isn’t easy. This list should help you understand some of the factors that make it complex.