Adventures in Freelance Land: How to Become a Temporary Digital Nomad


A digital nomad is someone who does freelance work remotely via the Internet while traveling the world. It's a lifestyle that offers freedom and adventures that are impossible in most full-time positions. You get to set your own schedule and work any time of day or night that you please. More importantly, whenever you get bored of your surroundings, you can simply pack up and move to a new locale.

However, it's not all fun and games. As a freelancer, you have to be a master of your trade while simultaneously balancing the financial and marketing responsibilities of a small business owner. That can make the freelance life quite stressful, especially when you're living on the road. So before you permanently set off for adventure, it's best to take a trial run as a digital nomad to see if the lifestyle is truly for you.

Taking Care of Your Things at Home

To figure out whether this lifestyle is for you, it's best to spend at least a few months traveling around so you can check out a few different cities and get a feel for the lifestyle. Obviously you can't take all of your possessions with you, but you don't want to sell off everything either; if you decide to return home, you'll waste a lot of money replacing your things.

Before you leave, move all of your things into a storage facility. Storage units are much cheaper than apartments, so you won't be throwing money away renting an place that you're not even living in. Even if you know you'll only be gone temporarily, renting a storage unit can save you several hundred dollars a month.

Plus, reputable storage facilities offer features such as 24-hour security and climate control, so you can put your mind at ease knowing that your possessions are safe and sound back home. That's one less thing you'll have to worry about, which will make your foray into digital nomadism all the more enjoyable.

Choosing a Method of Transportation

The quickest way to travel the country is by air. The problem is that plane tickets are quite expensive, so you'll be blowing through a lot of your budget just getting from city to city. Though slower, trains are a comfortable and convenient alternative for interstate travel. Amtrak has passenger routes that connect virtually every major city, so as long as you're not traveling too far off the beaten path, you can ride the rails like a traditional nomad. However, while they're generally far cheaper than plane tickets, Amtrak tickets can be quite pricey as well.

Busses are a much more cost-effective mode of travel. Greyhound has routes all around the country, but even Greyhound tickets can quickly add up if you're trying to travel as frugally as possible. Your best bet is to look up discount bus services such as Megabus and BoltBus. They have lines that connect most neighboring major cities, and sometimes you can find tickets for as little as a dollar.

Finding Temporary Homes

You don't want to sign any long-term leases when you have no idea how long you'll be hanging around. One option is to stay in hostels. Hostels are usually much cheaper than hotels, and many of them offer 30-day rental options. However, keep in mind that most hostels offer dormitory-style accommodations, so they're not the best option if you value privacy more than money.

If you want more peaceful and private accommodations, you can temporarily rent private rooms and apartments. Another option is to find short-term apartment sublets on classified sites like Craigslist. If you decide to go with a sublet, your best bet is to search in neighborhoods around college campuses. A large number of college students have to temporarily travel to other cities for co-op job opportunities, so you'll be more likely to find short-term sublets near campuses. Whichever method you end up using, make sure you plan ahead and have a place to stay before you arrive in your destination city. Otherwise, you may end up having to book an expensive last-minute hotel to avoid sleeping in the bus terminal.


31 August 2015

Storage Units Are a Wonderful Thing

What do you do when you have belongings you don’t want to get rid of, but have no room for? Store them is what you do! My name is Marcy. I never thought having a storage unit would be something I’d be excited about, but I am. This may sound rather odd, but I actually enjoy puttering around in my storage unit. I like to go look at some of my old books, move things around, rearrange stuff, and even visit the people who work there. I was at a loss when I first made the decision to rent a storage unit for my “overflow” stuff. I didn't know anything about the unit sizes, how to pack things, or how to arrange them in the unit. The storage facility helped me with brochures and advice, they are wonderful. I’m going to share some of the tips I’ve learned with you.