Advice on Digital Nomad Life for Millennials
Contributing Authors: Anastasia and Tomer
Anastasia and Tomer, of Generation Nomads, offer advice on digital nomad life for millennials. As they work on their forthcoming book about digital nomad life, these two provide plenty of tips and tricks to get your plan in place. If you want to travel full-time and see the world, first check out their insights for a practical leap into nomad life.
Six months ago we did it! We left our beloved Amsterdam behind and set off to become full-time travelers. With our backpacks ready, a monthly budget in place, and 2 brand-new passports that had not been stamped before, we took our first flight.
While our passion for travel is as strong as it was 6 months ago, our mindsets have changed completely. We are not just full-time travelers anymore, but aspiring digital nomads, future book authors, and social media influencers.
Amazing what 6 months of travel can do to you, huh?
Well, it’s not that simple and there is much more to it. So let us take you back to when we first decided to make this move.
Planning the Digital Nomad Life
It was on a not-so-rare gloomy afternoon in Amsterdam, back in 2014. We just returned from a 5-weeks-long backpacking trip in Southeast Asia after finishing our Business degrees.
We were so thrilled by our trip and everything we had experienced. We promised ourselves that we were going to travel the world full-time at some point, one day, in the future… After all, during our trip we had met many people that did it, so why couldn't we?
Full of enthusiasm and ready to join the workforce, we both were accepted for corporate positions and started our careers.
And this is where our life dream was kicked to the bottom of our priorities.
We were both rapidly climbing the career ladder, promotion after promotion, and pay-checks that allowed us to afford almost anything we wanted, how could we just pull the plug? We grew too comfortable to follow our dreams.
Advice on Digital Nomad Life for Millennials
With time passing by, we realised that it could possibly be the biggest regret of our life if we didn't take the leap.
We pulled ourselves together and picked a date. That was the easy part. Picking a date only requires you to look into your calendar and make sure it does not clash with any birthdays or a 13th Friday of the month.
But how do you prepare for a trip that requires you to pause or even break that life you have built?
The most important part of making your dreams a reality is to plan for them.
How to Plan for Digital Nomad Life
You can plan for digital nomad life in one of two ways: forwards planning or backwards planning.
In forwards planning, you define everything you should get done before setting off, estimate how long it will take, and see where you end up.
In backwards planning, you set the date first and try to squeeze everything into this time frame. The latter is naturally more ambitious, but it pushes you to do the things you need to in the envisioned time frame.
We chose the latter. Our plan considered the following factors:
- Financials – save enough to feel comfortable not having a stable income
- Investments – we invested in real estate and stocks that help us generate some income to cover our travel expenses
- Social Life – Family and friends’ life events consideration (weddings, babies, etc)
- Work Commitments – project deadlines, etc
Without action, a plan remains only a plan. The challenging part was to commit to it and make it part of our life next to our other duties. One thing that helped us was communicating our goal with friends and family. This made it a topic to talk about when meeting up, and required us to give regular updates on our progress. It also helped us to prepare mentally for our big move.
Mental Preparation for Full-Time Travel
When taking a big leap in life, it is important to allow oneself enough time to prepare mentally for it.
We planned for many practical aspects we needed to take care of to reach our target date for leaving. Yet, what is often overlooked, is the time you need to mentally prepare for a big change.
It is difficult to estimate how long this would take, but depending on you and how used you are to change, it is good to make a guesstimate.
Four years after making that promise to ourselves, and two years of working on our plan and mentally preparing, we left Amsterdam in the fall of 2018.
The Transformation to Digital Nomads
Anastasia quit her job and Tomer got an unpaid sabbatical. When we set off, our main purpose was to travel to as many places as possible and experience different cultures. While this has been indeed our focus in the last 6 months, we have also developed new passions and hobbies that we are taking to the next level.
While visiting all these beautiful places, we could not hold ourselves back from taking cool pictures of ourselves just like we have been seeing on Instagram. While we may not be at the same level as the big IG travel influencers, we are improving our photography and writing skills and our community is rapidly growing.
Besides, we notice that the income we currently generate from our investments is just barely sufficient to travel in cheap Asia. We want to do a road trip in the USA as well as travel Latin America, which requires us to create more income. Therefore we have started several projects and are growing our brand – Generation Nomads – as an umbrella brand for all the ideas we have.
Book for Digital Nomad Life for Millennials
Last, but definitely not least, the biggest project we are currently working on is our book.
In our book we are looking into the growing trend of millennials choosing to stray from “normal” life and embrace the nomadic lifestyle.
We’ve interviewed ten couples about the life-transforming benefits that travel had on them, and we’re running a research survey to find out how many millennials wish to escape their routine to travel long-term.
Our book will explain why we believe our generation is becoming a generation of nomads through our own story and the stories of others.