9 Tips for Working Anywhere in the World
Do you love to travel? Dream of Costa Rican beaches, fjords in Norway and the mountains of Japan? Worry that, although you take lots of vacations, there’s still not enough time to see all the sights you want to see and immerse yourself in all the cultures you want to live in?
It could be that the global nomad lifestyle is for you. Global nomad refers not just to travel, but to people who work in far-flung places, traveling and carrying their jobs with them. A global nomad may work near the beaches in Playa del Carmen, set up shop in Paris or conduct her business in Singapore – all for a few weeks or months, before the next place beckons.
Sound ideal? Here are nine tips to make global nomading your lifestyle.
1. Choose a Job You Can Do Remotely
Global nomads need jobs that can travel easily. If your work is done mainly online, you could be an ideal candidate. Content writers, Web designers and programmers can all work globally, because their jobs need minimal tethering to a physical office. Any communication is easily handled by online conferencing.
Global nomads have become so associated with the mobility of online work that some people call them digital nomads rather than global nomads.
2. Choose a Job That can Easily Take You Overseas
While online work can allow you to become a global nomad, so can choosing a job that will take you overseas. Teaching English in France or Japan will get you there. So will teaching music, skiing or tai chi.
3. Research the Working Conditions
Digital nomads need to plan more than other travelers do. If you’re a content writer, it could be that you can find Wi-Fi in Bali, plug in and hit the beaches by noon. However, you need to know whether the Wi-Fi is always accessible. Many countries have great Wi-Fi, but some do not. Given the increase in global nomads, sites like Nomad List share whether Bora Bora or Croatia have reliable Wi-Fi.
4. Check Into Co-Working Spaces
Because searching for a coffee shop or other Wi-Fi space can eat up your workday, many global nomads suggest using co-working spaces. These are shared incubators in which you’ll find Wi-Fi – and maybe of equal importance, the companionship of other global nomads. You can share experiences, plans and even job leads. These can be found everywhere from Egypt to the Canary Islands.
5. Plan a Virtual Workspace
Make sure you have a portable workspace that is comfortable and convenient to travel with. You don’t want to be hauling 50 pounds around every time you want to plug in a laptop. You also want to make sure you can tele- or videoconference if your office wants it. Lastly, stay on top of time zones with a planner that includes a global clock.
6. Research the Status of Women
Especially if you will be traveling solo, it will pay to do some due diligence about how women travelers are viewed. Will you be respected as independent, or are you likely to be hassled in a coffee shop? Countries vary widely in their cultural take on women alone. The privacy and autonomy you’ll be granted, fair or not, might vary as well. Sites like Nomad List review countries on their female-friendliness, with great, good, OK and bad ratings.
7. Check Into Legal Requirements
Just as countries vary culturally, so they vary in their legal stipulations. You need to know the scoop about visas and work permits – who can work legally, for how long and at what. At what point might you be classified as an immigrant? It’s worth a quick trip to a law office to make sure you know the laws of the countries you will be visiting.
8. Have a Plan B
You might kick off your global nomad life as a freelancer or on assignment from your current company. Life changes, though. What if your freelance work ends? What if your company decides it wants someone on deck, not 2,000 miles away? Fortunately, many sites for nomads and co-working spaces have robust job-sharing leads. Be sure to use them actively and network. That way, you can be a global nomad for as long as the work rolls in.
9. Share Neighborhoods, Not Tourist Traps
One of the great aspects of being a global nomad is not just the access to beaches or mountains, but also to the simple joys of living in countries overseas the way their citizens do. Buy a baguette in Toulouse. Shop in Hong Kong. But the key is to plan to stay in neighborhoods, not in areas with large tourist hotels. Neighborhoods can also be safer for women. Look at bed-and-breakfasts and inns in safe areas rather than package deals with chains.
Being a global nomad is more possible than ever. All you need is a job that can be done overseas and a will to travel. Be sure that your global workspaces will be as comfortable culturally and legally as your current one, and your experience as a nomad will be one that broadens your life.11