by Elaine Slatter | Featured Contributor
What Is A Nomad Entrepreneur?
You could say I’m a digital nomad entrepreneur. I travel almost six months of the year while at the same time working. Recently I spent time in England, Gran Canaria, Florida, and Cuba. I can do this because all I need to work successfully is having access to a great internet connection. Well, that does rule out Cuba, because most places don’t have easy access to free wi-fi yet. So while I’m in Cuba I am truly electronically disconnected, but I can still look for interesting stories for future projects and therefore am technically working!
In today’s wired world, many companies are allowing employees to work remotely. Entrepreneurs have even more flexibility. Jobs that previously were anchored in a specific location now have the freedom to move around the world, still serving clients.
From my travel/work experiences, there are some key points to factor in if you would like to try this lifestyle.
1) Plan Ahead – Country Research
Depending on your citizenship, you may or may not be restricted to working in your country of choice. For example, as a Canadian citizen, I am not allowed to work in the UK and can only visit for six months. As a digital worker, with a business registered in Canada, I’m ok, but if I was a fashion designer and wanted to open a pop-up shop in the UK, for example, that would not be ok. If you were born in the UK as I was, you could re-apply for a British passport and then you would be able to work. In Gran Canaria (a Spanish entity) there was no such restriction.
Some countries, such as France, require you to register for a ‘titre de séjour’ for an extended stay if you are not an EU resident. Summing up, expat rules are different for each country, therefore it is important to check these out first.
2) Taking Care of Your Health
Nothing is worse than being sick abroad. It could be a simple problem due to dietary changes or a more complex situation requiring a hospital stay. No matter what the situation, having the right plan to help you while traveling is critical. You don’t want to be facing a mountain of bills because don’t have the right health coverage.
3) Financial Security
Will your business run uninterrupted while you work in a different country? Will your cash flow be continuous and can you access your cash whenever you need it? Taking care of your banking as efficiently as possible is another key factor in living abroad. Exchange rates can be a killer if you are receiving funds in your home country but living in a country where the exchange rate is not in your favour.
4) Cultural Adaptability & Having Fun
Living abroad isn’t always the utopia as advertised, especially if you haven’t had much travel experience. Before you make the decision to travel to a foreign country and commit for a long-term stay, why not do a sample trip to see if this lifestyle is for you.
Companies such as Venture With Impact specialize in setting up work/travel arrangements where you can also make an impact by helping the local community. These one month stays in either Colombia, Mexico, Thailand or Portugal can be a lot of fun, because the research has been done for you. To learn more about this, check out our podcast with founder Ann Davis.
For fitting into your new home, expat culture expert, Rachel Smets, specializes in training individuals and teams on how to fit in culturally abroad. Check out her advice here.
5) Permanent Move
After a trial run experiencing different countries or even different parts of your own country, you may decide to make a permanent move. Now it’s important to do a more in-depth study of your new location, especially if it involves more than just you. Up front, research can save you a whole bunch of heartache down the road because making the wrong move could be very expensive and hard to reverse. Relocation expert, Margaret Vandergriff, gives 6 great tips on how to relocate successfully.
If you are still in the planning stages of changing your life to move from your home to become a nomad entrepreneur, you can still do lots of online research to find the perfect location. Travel magazines such as Wanderlust have many articles for you to explore travel life.
A website such as Expat Focus gives detailed information on different countries that are very useful for expats to consider before they move.
Living in different countries or exploring new parts of your own country is exciting. You can become a nomad entrepreneur if you are open to new experiences. Travel can be addictive. There are so many places in the world to explore and travel is the best education and experience in the world on so many levels.
What is my favourite thing to do on my adventures? Try new coffee shops! Coffee shops are often the hangouts for fellow nomad entrepreneurs. Sipping a coffee and having a treat while chatting with someone from another country is the highlight of my day.
Why not embrace change and explore new cultures as a nomad entrepreneur it will change your life forever!
If you are already a nomad entrepreneur, tell us about your travel experiences. We would love to know how you navigated a successful transition to become a nomad entrepreneur.