Digital Nomads

Has is it ever crossed your mind on chasing the digital nomad lifestyle? I happened to settle for it early this year when I lost my first white collar job. I have always had passion for exploring the world a lot and digital nomadism seemed like the perfect idea for me. Well I had very many places in mind but India seemed to get most of my attention the most due to its diverse cultures, monuments and areas to explore ranging from exotic cities, ancient ruins, religious structures and a diverse land scape with a wide variety of tourist attractions.

Working remotely from India however was not a walk in the park like many of you perceive it to be. It sure had its fair share of challenges that include:

Paper Work Management in India

Registration at the (Foreigner Regional Registration Office) FRRO is one of the vital steps you will undergo. Despite having all the documents in place you are expected to go back at least twice before being certified with an FRRO certificate. The rules and requirements keep changing and sometimes you may be asked to bring documents that weren’t listed. The FRRO is surely not the best way to have as a first encounter in India but once you overcome it, you are good to go.

Banking and Compliance

Carrying cash has never been a safe option for me. While I was working remotely from India, I found using my home debit card to withdraw cash in the local currencies very expensive.  Mostly I use PayPal as my means of payment off which wasn’t a better option as their cross border fees happened to be very high. I got to learn that transfer Wise have made international transfers more affordable; and offer borderless accounts that can hold money up to 28 currencies making the digital nomad’s lifestyle easier.

The most appropriate way of running your business as a freelancer and a digital nomad is becoming an Estonian E-resident. After this you can create an Estonian limited company that you can manage from anywhere in the world. It enables you to connect to your business online directly. LeapIN helps you establish your company and take care of your accounting, taxation and any other legal compliance.

Internet Connection

Internet accessibility in India is not that good for a remote worker in India. I happened to settle in Goa where the internet really sucks. Many budget able guesthouses lacked Wi-Fi and online booking services were not offered. There is also frequent power shortage which implies that good connection might not be accessible all the time. Normally you can access good Wi-Fi at most coffee shops in major cities across India. If you are working remotely it becomes expensive taking countless cups of coffee just to utilize the free Wi-Fi. Getting an Indian sim card can be a great solution but then it involves intensive paper work and a bureaucratic process that takes some days to get connected.

Food

This was the greatest challenge I faced. Indian delicacies are spicier and very hot for most digital nomads. I found locally vended street foods too oily and spicy that may lead to digestion problems. There are luxurious restaurants with your desired type of food and international eateries like KFC and MC Donald’s that are pretty much expensive in the major Indian cities. I preferred the locally vended food as it saved my money a lot. On the other hand if you prefer cooking your own meal, getting your preferred ingredients used back at home may be quite a hassle due to miscommunication.

Local Transportation – Travelling While Working in India can be very cumbersome. The taxi cab drivers and auto rickshaw drivers are very cunning and always find a way to source extra money from you to cater for the transport cost. If you have no knowledge on the local fares you might end up spending more than what is expected. Some cheeky drivers even take a longer route than the usual to keep the meter running for a longer time, with this kind of dishonesty they can even get to an extra mile of robbing you if you are on your own. It is highly advisable to undertake a little research about the private cab drivers just to be safe.

Hygiene

Some of the Indian natives are not concerned with hygiene practices and maintaining their environment clean. I would put the blame it on the large population and illiteracy. The cities in India are crowded with shanties all over. You will face a very ugly scene especially on hygienic practices in public places like local transportation and trains, affordable hotels and the public toilets. Crowded places happen to be noisy and would not be an ideal place for a digital nomad who is strictly there for work purposes and requires silence.

Language Barrier

Despite English being one of the national languages here, remote workers in India face language barrier especially following the new accent from digital nomads and vice versa. This may lead to miscommunication especially if the parties involved have very strong accent associated problems.  Digital nomads face this especially when purchasing essentials in markets and with the taxi cab drivers of whom majority don’t understand English.

Medical Insurance

No matter where you are, a medical insurance is very important. In case of any emergencies a policy is highly needed. Digital nomads in India are required to have medical insurances which are charged monthly. This is dependent on your length of stay. Purchasing medical insurance relatively becomes cheaper if your vacation lasts for a longer period of time.

Digital Nomadism may sound to be a very promising career choice. Remote workers in India get a whole experience of being in a beautiful and diversified country, not forgetting their rich cultures and sight taking sceneries. But just like any other occupation you have to face the challenges associated with your work place. After all life is not always butter and bread.

So, who is a telecommuter or a remote worker? It’s a person who can work from anywhere as long as they have a stable internet connection and a laptop with them. Our generation is sick and tired. Tired of the current horrible job market, working under supervision over all the years, a thousand-and-one job regulations to adhere to, rising super early to go to work yet get pea-nut payment by the end of the month. Thanks to the digital nomadism lifestytle which has come to the rescue of many fed up employees. Digital nomads in India make money through various ways including blogging, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, e-books, online coaching and other ingenious ways.

If you are serious and passionate about traveling while working online, I will share with you easy real-life steps on how to get started in the digital nomadism career:

  • Join Digital Nomad Communities

Before I joined any digital nomad community, I hardly thought it was necessary at all. I always relied on advice from a few friends who have been remote workers in India and reading blogs of successful digital nomads online which was quite limiting. Interacting with other nomads in digital nomad communities gave me a great exposure on how to find new clients, the best software to use for time tracking, ways of finding talented graphic designers and many other business tips that have contributed to my success story today. 

  • Find a way to generate steady income

Being a digital nomad does not exempt you from expenses; if anything you only pocket the profit after catering for all expenses including accommodation, flight charges, food, co-sharing space fee and so on. Before you can even make your trip arrangements, ensure that you are earning regular income that is capable of sustain you in any foreign country without experiencing financial set-backs. This means you have to increase your money-making avenues like say Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Homework market and any other platforms that will help you generate income. 

  • Rent your Home/ sell your home

Becoming a digital nomad sometimes means staying without a permanent place you can call home. If you’re serious about being a digital nomad, you need to be a person who can comfortably embrace this state. Incase you can get tenants to live in your house while you are away,  hire a person they can count on in case any issues arise. Property management agencies are a good option if you want to go the professional way. Alternatively, you can consider selling off your home. But this is a difficult decision to make especially because of the uncertainty of digital nomadism.

  • Get a storage unit to put all your belongings

I was done living a life crowded in all corners especially during weekends and all I wanted was to become a digital nomad in a far away country. But how exactly was I supposed to detangle myself from the script and be a telecommuter? Am I supposed to sell off everything I own including Precious, my pet? These are some of the questions that kept lingering in my mind and they can certainly bother anyone. After you are certain about starting the digital nomadism lifestyle, get a garage sale for all belongings you may not need. There is always that one thing you find really find difficult to part with; yet you cannot travel with everything you own to foreign lands. For such, you may need to get a storage unit and start paying for it a year prior so that you avoid any anxiety while you start your journey.

  • Get someone to take care of your pets while you are away

At first, I had thought I would carry Precious with me throughout my travels. This was definitely not a good idea considering climate change factors and a whole slew of laws and regulations in different states. Hence, do not even consider carrying your pets along as you embark on your trips. You may also have to add extra responsibilities like dealing with immunizations, quarantines. Let your pets remain at home with a person whom you can trust for their long-term care while you’re away.

  • Get a credit Card without International fees

Most of the credit cards have an extra cost for any ATM withdrawals and purchases. You need to avoid any unnecessary charges when you can. Hence, consider a card such as an American Express Card that lacks those extra costs. It is important for you to access your cash at low or no cost at all.

  • Find good Travel Insurance In case of emergencies

Problems are unpredictable and may arise anytime while you’re traveling, so getting good travel insurance is a must-have.  Ensure your insurance is valid throughout the time you’ll be away so as to cater for any emergencies or other health-related incidents that may arise. Always bear in mind that healthcare is a prerequisite need and different states have different healthcare systems.

  • Join a credit monitoring site

It’s crucial that you get a service provider to monitor your credit anytime while you’re away. They should be able to send you message alerts whenever an unusual activity is detected. Issues with credit can arise at anytime and you may only realize 6 Months later that your identity was stolen when you do not have much to do then. The other option would be to get a security freeze for your credit throughout your time away.

  • Book your Housing Prior to arriving

It is always advisable that you find your accommodation before arriving to the actual destination. Whether you will book some cottages or decide to reside in a hostel, do intense research on how to make booking arrangements before arrival. Through my personal experience, I’d advice anyone to look for a temporary accommodation first. On arriving to the desired destination; look for a long-term accommodation.

It took me about 3 Months to get my feet in digital nomad life in India, full-time travel lifestyle. It would take around the same time for any digital nomad in India to find out what’s working best for them. But throughout your lifestyle as a digital nomad, you will have totally different encounters in almost every new place.

Quick Reads

Made By Webricots