Do you have the travel bug? Are your too-short vacations packed with whirlwind visits to fabulous destinations you long to spend more time in? Do you waste time staring out the window and wishing you were anywhere else but where you are now?
You know what? You don’t have to win the lottery or wait till retirement to travel the world if your job — like so many jobs nowadays — can be done virtually. People who work this way even have a name: digital nomads.
• Unless you’re also interested in starting your own business or freelancing, you’ll have to either convince your current boss to let you work remotely or find a new employer who’s on board with the idea. Fortunately, more and more companies are.
• You’ll need a good laptop and smartphone, plus enough technical know-how to troubleshoot any computer and connection problems. In fact, a reliable internet connection will become your top priority. Be prepared to find yourself working in cafes or creating your own hot spots by buying mobile data online. Also, remember that some U.S. carriers charge less for international roaming and data than others.
• Even if you set forth on your adventures with a job in hand it’s a good idea to do so with no debt and some savings. You’re going to want maximum flexibility.
• One way to build up that nest egg is to sell off your current possessions. Resist putting a lot of stuff in storage. It’s pricey and, two years from now, you’ll wonder why you kept it all.
• While you won’t need a lot of stuff, you will need a physical address for banking, employer records and some bills. Friends or family members might let you use theirs. You can also rent a mailing address.
• Insurance is of course a must. If your employer isn’t providing it, you can buy a plan from an international health care provider.
• Taxes: Yes, you will still need to pay them. Know the tax laws for your home country as well as any other countries where you’ll be spending extended time.
• Find out if the countries where you plan to (temporarily) live and work require visas or any special immunizations.
• Finally, you can find tons of support and advice from the digital nomad community. Read blogs, join groups, make some virtual friends.