10 Life Skills To Learn Before Pursuing a Digital Nomad Life

What are the basic life skills to learn before becoming a full-time digital nomad? After a quick internet poll, here are the top-voted responses for living that nomad lifestyle.

1. Time Management

“As a digital nomad, you must manage your time effectively to complete your work and meet your deadlines. To be a digital Nomad, you have to be able to complete your work without someone micromanaging your every move,” one shared.

“Time management is crucial to any online work, especially when what you do on a given day depends on how much work you have completed.”

2. Communication

“Good communication skills are essential for working remotely and collaborating with clients and team members. Also, knowing how to communicate with different people on your travels is essential,” stated another.

“It may mean learning the local languages, learning how the slang is used in your area, and learning the local terms for different types of food.”

3. Basic Financial Management

“As a digital nomad, you will need to be able to manage your finances effectively, including budgeting, saving, and investing. Therefore, knowing how to manage your finances and save for a rainy day is critical,” explained one.

“The world is full of people who did a poor job of this in their home country, then moved to somewhere cheaper but kept the same bad habits. At first, it was great because they had all this extra money. But the bad habits eventually take up all the extra money, and they are just as broke as when they left.”

4. Adaptability

“As a digital nomad, you will likely be constantly adapting to new environments and cultures, so being adaptable and open to new experiences is of the utmost importance,” admitted another.

“On the road, anything can happen, so you need to have the ability to change directions and accept that there are obstacles in your way to adapt to them.”

5. Independence

Someone suggested, “Be clear on goals and pursue them—have social skills, read people, connect with people, stay safe, and be an independent adult. Independence is significant when pursuing a nomad lifestyle.”

“Most people go through the shock of how much work is put into being an adult when they go off on their own. You don’t want to be one of those people. You must make quick, important decisions, make enough money to survive, and know how to do simple tasks such as grocery shopping and cooking for yourself.”

6. Working Through Trauma

“Work through your childhood traumas so you can feel alone while traveling. Many don’t realize trauma’s daily impact on them, but those emotions take a lot of their energy. Even subconsciously, trauma can cause you to hesitate on important decisions,” explained one.

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“Also, excessive anxiety caused by childhood trauma can hold you back from forming friendships and other relationships, resulting in a lonely lifestyle since you’re not planting any roots.”

7. Preparedness

“Be prepared under any circumstances. Just assume you will lose all your electronics and papers at some point. Have a Plan B. For example, backup all necessary devices to the cloud (encrypt if possible). If your phone is gone – how will you reinstall your two-factor authentication?”

“Have copies of all documents where you are staying, along with a backup credit card and cash. Plan ahead. Make sure you chart destinations, thin out time commitments, and there will be plenty of extra room to deal with unexpected problems.”

8. Organization

“As much as I hate to admit it, the organization is key. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when contracts go awry, deals go south, or any other frustrating things happen before dealing with an uncertain internet connection, distractions, traveling between destinations, etc.,” one user noted.

9. Self-Defense

“Learn self-defense, whether taking local classes or learning an intensive martial art. It is perilous out in the world. Having all your valuables in one place is never a good idea,” suggested one.

“If you look like you have money, there is always a chance someone will take advantage of you. Learning some simple self-defense may save your life someday.”

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10. Securing Valuables

Finally, one argued, “Before any self-defense training, I would recommend learning to secure money, having friendly non-verbal communication, etc. If someone attempts to rob you, offer cash while keeping your card in your shoe or somewhere safe.”

“Even years of training high-level Muay Thai doesn’t do you any good against a reckless kid with a gun. In my opinion, not being the sort of person worth their while when it comes to violence is a much better survival tactic.”

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Amanda Kay, the founder of My Life, I Guess, provides valuable career advice and support for anyone striving to make a living and, more importantly, make a life. Whether it's navigating job searches, learning new skills, overcoming unemployment, or dealing with debt, My Life, I Guess has been a go-to resource for career guidance and financial stability since 2013. Amanda's expertise and relatable approach have been featured in trusted publications such as MSN, Credit.com, Yahoo! Finance, the Ladders and Fairygodboss.

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