There’s no gain in saying that a large percentage of workers wish they could give it all up and enjoy a life of remote work and travel. But who can blame them? It’s not like the daily commute to and from work is any fun or the stress of having to deal with coworkers, team leaders, and sometimes horrible bosses.
If we are at least honest with ourselves, most of us have had the idyllic idea of being on an island far away and getting work done from anywhere in the world. While many dream about it, some are already living the dream.
A digital nomad! The very thought of it sends chills down the spine. With the post-pandemic corporate world coming to terms with this new work style and social media being awash with pictures of people traveling while working remotely, it makes sense to want to join the bandwagon.
There’s much more to it than requesting to work remotely or quitting your job, grabbing your laptop, and booking a flight halfway around the world. Like with all things important, there are better, more informed ways to pull it off successfully. You do not want to be that person who has lots of regrets but is too ashamed to admit it.
Why You Should Learn How to Work Remotely and Travel
There’s more to remote work travel than traveling and visiting places all around the world. Without proper planning and understanding of what it entails, it’s easy to get lost in these remote work trips. However, there are countless reasons why you should consider the remote work travel life.
The whole idea of working is being able to make enough money to spend and save. Salary arbitrage is a smart way to achieve both while enjoying the travel lifestyle.
As a remote worker, even if you’re living in a country with a cheaper cost of living, it’s easy to find work in countries with higher minimum wages. A good example is securing a remote job from an employer in the US while living in the beautiful city of Bali, Indonesia.
The federal minimum wage in the US is currently $7.25 per hour. Indonesia’s income statistics put the minimum wage at about $1.2 per hour. Since minimum wages are, to a far extent, a reflection of the cost of living, a remote worker living in Bali would be receiving almost 7 times the minimum wage of Indonesia. A month’s salary puts them well above the middle-class monthly earnings in this developing nation.
Remote workers take advantage of salary arbitrage since it’s a win-win for both employer and worker. The US employer is more than gracious enough to pay the minimum wage and get quality service. On the other hand, the remote worker feels adequately paid (or sometimes overpaid) for their service.
For remote workers looking to explore the world, remote work and travel remain viable options to win at both ends.
Not everyone works in a toxic environment, but most people would admit they sometimes need a break from colleagues and the office environment. Working remotely gives the option of being able to work outside the office space. In addition, traveling while working remotely brings more location options to the table.
It all becomes a matter of preference with proper planning. If you have the winter months so badly, you can choose to chase the sun all around the whole and have a never-ending summer experience!
Zero commute stress
A major characteristic of the world’s cities is their ever annoying and growing traffic. If you factor in having to deal with the daily commute of catching a bus or a train or getting stuck in traffic, remote work travel becomes a viable solution to that life.
This doesn’t mean you’ll never be stuck in traffic in another city, but it’ll be on your terms. With a life of several options, you can decide to live on an isolated island or in the heart of a new city. What is certain is that you’ll never have to count down to weekends to get a day off from the stress of commuting to work.
Better work-life balance
Certain remote jobs offer flexible schedules that allow workers to choose their preferred start and close time. This offers them a chance to have a quality work-life balance. It becomes an opportunity to have a life many workers dream of and long for at your reach. Combining remote work and travel means there is an opportunity to have a better work-life balance.
With a proper understanding of the benefits of remote work and travel, it’s time to delve into the seriousness of drawing out a plan. The better prepared you are, mentally, physically, and financially, the easier it’ll be to transition into a digital nomad.
Prepare Yourself to Work Remotely and Travel
Solo or group travel
three people resting during their travel
As strange as this may seem, there are others like yourself who have chosen the life of remote work and travel. They, like you, are about to step into the unknown world of remote work trips. There’s always an option to take this journey alone, or look for like-minded people and travel as a group.
There’s no better option as both have their benefits and maybe some drawbacks. Traveling alone not only opens you to explore the world, but it also opens up a chance for self-discovery. An amazing thing about experiencing other cultures and traditions is that it helps consolidate or scatter your beliefs. Also, with improved productivity with work, you get a lot of time to work on and improve yourself.
However, things can get lonely as a solo traveler. The human body can take so much excitement and fun before it yearns for the next best thing. If you always keep an open mind, there are a lot of incredible people scattered all over the world with whom you can connect.
Group travels allow you to share ideas and experiences with people like yourself. It makes the transition and experience a bit easier to adapt. When work time is over, sightseeing schedules or other activities can help keep minds busy. However, without self-discipline, the work-life scale will soon begin to tilt more towards the right.
Weigh both options and figure out which suits you best.
Visas, passports, and immigration laws
Moving to another country is much more than just jumping on the next available flight. As a remote work traveler, it’s crucial to acquaint yourself with the immigration and general laws of the country you intend to visit or live in.
A passport identifies you as a citizen of your home country, but immigration laws mandate foreigners to get appropriate visas before or on entering a country. Unfortunately, a lot can go wrong when immigration laws are broken and mess up remote work and travel plans.
When in doubt, speak to a licensed immigration officer or agent who understands the country’s laws. Even when passports allow for a visa-free entry, have at least a basic understanding of the laws and how it differs from what you’re accustomed to.
Health and travel insurance
Traveling and remote working is all fun and good until you’re stranded in a foreign country with no way to pay your way out. International health insurance is available to help protect you wherever you are in the world. Accidents and mishaps can happen at any time. You’ll be safer to know you have financial coverage if you ever need it.
As a remote work traveler, the possibility of having missed flights and stolen or broken luggage increases. Stay protected by international travel insurance in any airport in the world.
Living in a foreign country means you’re required, by law, to pay taxes. Since taxes are calculated off incomes, it’s good to know what you’re liable to pay. Some countries act as tax havens to attract foreign workers like yourself, but rather than assume which is or is not, know what you’ll be required to pay for the country’s development.
As a remote worker in a poorer country working for a high-paying employee, you should not be liable to pay taxes in a foreign nation. However, ensure you clarify things with your employer.
Productivity Tips for Remote Work While Traveling
As a digital nomad, a significant amount of time will be spent trying to get work done. Remote working can be relaxing and refreshing, but it’s always best not to compromise on being productive. Here are tools that can help improve remote work productively.
To effectively work remotely, internet connection and speed are a necessity. Besides your laptop and phone, you have to stay connected to the internet to get work done from any location. Whether as a remote worker living in a developing nation or a remote worker looking to move to one of the best places to live while working remotely, you have to ensure there is good working internet connectivity.
Do your research on the speed of the country’s internet options. You wouldn’t want to spend all that budget getting to a location where you can get work done. Sometimes it would mean paying an extra for a faster connection, but it’s always worth it in the end.
Remote work means you get to work with employers anywhere in the world. Having an employer in a different timezone from your location would mean rescheduling your working hours. Sometimes, this could have you working odd hours at night and having lots of free time during the day.
To ensure improved productivity, be intentional about creating better work schedules that coincide with the employer’s time zone and availability.
Living in a new country can be exciting and distracting as well. It’s easy to get carried away thinking you’re on vacation. This would ultimately affect your productivity in the long run. Creating working and fun schedules is one thing, but sticking to them is another.
There’s always that tendency to want to take all of the sightseeing experience all at once. This would have you out of the house for too long hours. Over time, this creates fatigue and affects productivity. Take things slowly and set daily work goals. Whatever you do, ensure you stay disciplined at your work. You’re there to make money and not on vacation.
The same applies if you’re working for a foreign employer. Remote jobs can sometimes cause you to lose the concept of time. There are free days and days when the workload may be more than normal. Try not to overcompensate for the heavy workload days by losing track of your schedules.
Always remember that a remote worker is only as valuable as his level of productivity.
As a remote worker, there are lots of financial opportunities that come with the job. It gives you the chance to travel and work at the same time while earning an income. However, as a remote worker in a foreign country or looking to move to one, there are certain things you should take into consideration before doing so.
This includes your internet connectivity, time zones, and self-discipline. All of these factors play a role in ensuring your productivity as a remote worker. With the right tools and mindset, you can be assured of a successful stint as a remote worker in any country. What’s most important is that you get to enjoy the experience while being productive.
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