By now you have probably decided that a nomadic lifestyle is the right thing for you and that you have enough skills to be successful with your choice. But what’s next? Quit your job and take the next flight? You could most certainly do that, but sooner or later you might face a few problems. To make the transition from your current normal life to your new long-term-traveling life as smooth as possible, check out the following list and learn, how to start a nomad lifestyle.
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7 Things to Do Before Starting a Nomad Lifestyle
1. Save Up Enough Money
Especially, when you start a nomad lifestyle, you are most likely going to spend more money, than you earn. Everything is new and exciting. You want to travel more, see many places, and might find it hard to get a job along the way. You still have to figure out what works best for you. Make sure you have enough funds before you leave to survive for a while, even without a proper income.
Now you will probably ask: “How much is ENOUGH?” The problem is, I can’t tell you. That depends on where you want to go first: Expensive countries, like Europe or Australia? Or cheaper ones, like Southeast Asia or Latin America? And where do you want to stay: Fancy hotels or hostel dorms? Do rough research on how much accommodation and food in your destination will be approximate. Make sure you can survive for at least two months without income.
Don’t forget to add to that budget any expenses, you need before you leave, e.g. flight ticket, travel insurance (SafetyWing is my top recommendation), and maybe a new laptop or backpack. Make a list early enough so you still have time to save some money.
If you still want to have a rough idea, of how much money you will need, check out this post that gives you an example of how much you should save before starting a digital nomad life.
2. Quit your job
What is the period of notice to quit your job? Make sure you can leave on the day you want to and don’t have to stay longer because you didn’t read your contract properly. Also, say goodbye in a nice manner. You never know, maybe you need some contacts you made at work in your future life again. Networking, especially when you want to work as a freelancer, can be very important.
Or maybe you find out, that the globetrotting life isn’t the right thing for you and you want to go back to your old job. If you don’t hate your job entirely, you might want to keep some options for the future. Only because you start a nomad lifestyle, doesn’t mean that you will do this for the rest of your life.
3. Housing situation
Do you own a house or an apartment? If so, decide if you want to sell it or rent it out. Selling is, of course, a great way to generate money for your new life. You can happily and freely start a nomad lifestyle without having to worry about your house.
If you decide to rent it out, you might want to get some help from property managers. Something might break and you as a landlord are responsible for the replacement. Or the tenants move out earlier than expected and you need to find new ones. It would be so hard to organize that from the other end of the world. So make sure someone takes care of it.
If you rent a place at the moment, you only need to check your tenancy agreement for the period of notice. Also, plan a budget for things like end-of-lease cleaning or small repairs. You don’t want to spend a couple of hundred dollars of your travel budget even before you have started your trip.
4. Quit other contracts
A “normal” life seems to be full of obligations: gym memberships, insurance, phone and internet plans, Netflix, magazines or newspaper subscriptions, etc. Before you start a nomad life, go through your bank account statements and check what you have to cancel and if there are notice periods, too.
Maybe you should also start a list a few months before you leave and write down, what you spend your cash on. There might be even more regular obligations that you need to cancel.
5. Sell what you don’t need
So you are about to move out of your home and travel the world. You obviously can’t take all of your furniture with you. Do you want to keep it? If so, find a place to store it for a while (For months? Years? Forever?) and find someone to help you transport it to that place.
The option I would prefer is: Sell it! Storing it somewhere is much effort and can cost you money. If you sell it, you can at least get some extra money for the start of a nomad lifestyle.
Do you own a car or a motorbike? Unless it means a lot to you for any reason, sell it, too! It’s good money and if it stands in a garage for months or years without being used, it might need some expensive renewals once you get back.
6. End Dependencies
When you plan to drive around Canada and the USA in a van for the next 2 years you can probably take your dog with you. But bringing your pony on a Southeast Asia trip, won’t be that easy. Make sure you start looking for a proper place for your pets when you have to leave them behind. Do you have a family member who can watch them?
How about family members or friends who depend on you for any reason? Maybe you take care of an elderly person or support someone financially? Start early to look into solutions so they can get along without you being constantly around.
7. Take Care Of Health Issues
Have your wisdom tooth has been causing you problems for a while or you always wanted someone to check your painful back? Do it now! Although some treatments might be cheaper abroad, you never know if you get the same kind of quality. There could also be language or cultural barriers. It’s in most cases better to get it out of the way before you start a nomad lifestyle. Again, go and see a doctor as soon as possible so there is plenty of time for potential treatments and aftercare.
Time To Say Goodbye To Your Old Lifestyle
As you can see, there are quite a few things you need to do well in advance before you can hit the road. Leaving your old life behind can be much work and is not always that easy. Especially, when we are emotionally attached to people, material things, or even routines. But this is part of the transition, too. Read my next post to find out what you should organize and plan to finally start a nomad lifestyle.