Black Woman Digital Nomad - DGSpeaks
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Top 5 Overlooked Things You Need For Stress-Free Nomad Living

As an International Development Consultant, I’ve spent a lot of years on the move. This experience gave me a head start on the life I have now as a digital nomad. It gave me the opportunity to think about the things that would make my life easier if I were traveling nonstop.

Sure being a master at traveling light and knowing how to score great deals on flights and hotels are nice, but there are many other things you must consider if you want to be a digital nomad without complications.

Here are some of the things I’ve discovered that are vital but too often people don’t think about until a problem arises.

Passive Income

It should go without saying that you need to fund your dreams. However, often people don’t take enough time to think through the vital piece of the equation. Yes, you can work your way along the journey (and you probably should), but you don’t want to be on the move and be dependent on a paycheck if you can avoid it. Being a nomad is in essence about freedom and nothing gives you more freedom than making money while you’re sleeping.

What Stories Can You Tell?

Are you creative? Might you be the next budding Alice Walker or Terry McMillan? Got any juicy family drama, survived any toxic relationships, know any urban legends, spin them into a nice short story or novel, and there you go. Publish your story and you have a revenue stream that has the potential to change your life. Just be sure to change the names of any real people and locations so that it’s a “fictional” story unless you want to make it an autobiography or you might be in for even more drama.

Not the creative sort but have some serious expertise in an area that you can talk about for hours? Put it in a book! You’d be surprised how many people want to know what you know. Nonfiction books are also a great way to generate passive income. 

What Can You Teach?

The information you put into that nonfiction book can be put into an online course. The great thing about this option is that it can be done in a variety of ways. You can break up your content into a video series and post it on YouTube. You could consider uploading it to an online course platform like Udemy or Coursera. You can also offer the course for sale on your own website.

woman with headphones giving online guitar classes
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Share Your Journey With Others

Many people are curious about people with live a nomadic lifestyle. You can share your journey with others through social media, through a blog, on a podcast, or write a book. You can also create affiliate marketing contracts with brands you love and share what you’re using to make your life easier as a nomad with your audience. All of these things will give you ongoing income either as a percentage of ad or sales revenue.

The thing that makes passive income passive is that once you create it, it continues to make money for you without continued effort. If it’s good, you can literally set it and forget it.

Diversified Investments

Of course, you want to stretch your passive income as much as possible, especially if you’re not always producing active income. The best way to do this is to invest with a diversified investment portfolio. I like a mix of REIT, Stocks, Startups, and Crypto.

Coinbase

I’m old enough to remember when Bitcoin first hit the scene and everyone said it will never go anywhere. No one thought anyone would ever adopt this thing. At the time Bitcoin was trading at fractions of a dollar. Last year it was trading at over $60,000 a coin. Why oh why did I not get in when in the early days. I actually wanted to but I listened to the naysayers. I don’t do that anymore. I’m trying to not let fear guide my investment decisions because I don’t want to miss out on the next ship.

That being said, Crypto is unstable AF and I don’t have money to blow. I’m sticking to the coins that are like how Bitcoin was back in the day cheap LOL. Hopefully, they will blow up and I’ll cash in. To invest in Crypto I use Coinbase.

Coinbase is super easy and it has two great ways that you can get coins without using any of your own money. One is that you can get several Cryptos by completing their 1-minute tutorials. This is also a great way to learn more about the different coins and figure out which ones you like best.

The other is is to get the Coinbase debit card which will give you coins in whatever crypto you choose. I’d recommend one that gives you rewards for staking (keeping) them. If you sign up for Coinbase using my link and we can each get $10 in Bitcoin when you trade $100 in cryptos. Pro-tip, Coinbase recommends that you buy Bitcoin and Ethereum to start since they are the most stable and diversify from there.

Stash

Although I do have a brokerage account Chase, I also have an account with Stash. I like to use Stash for my riskier investments like stocks under $1 or for when I’m swing trading. You know when everyone was raking in the dough with the meme stocks during the pandemic. I caught that wave and I used Stash to get in and out of AMC and GameStop just in time to make a pretty penny. Now, I’m not a financial advisor and I don’t play one on the internet so nothing written in this article should be taken as financial advice. This is just me sharing my story.

The Stash app makes investing super easy and if you sign up with my link and add $20 cash, we both get $20 of bonus stock.

Rent Out Your Property

Do you have land, a house, or even a car that’s just sitting somewhere unused while you are exploring? You can rent all those things out on platforms like Airbnb. I’m an Airbnb Superhost and I’ve been renting my home out while I travel for several years. I love it so much that I became an Airbnb Ambassador in 2021. Now, I coach others online and help them get started hosting and help them become Superhosts like me. Being an Airbnb Ambassador is another one of my income streams, and the best thing is I can do it from anywhere.

Being an Airbnb host is also a great way that many people have found it easy for them to break into home ownership and real estate investing. They simply use the money earned from their guests to pay their mortgages. If you are living a nomad life, you can even outsource the onsite tasks like cleaning to a third party and with Airbnb’s streamlined platform you can easily mange your Airbnb business from your phone or computer while on the go. I can’t say enough about how Airbnb has changed my life.

airbnb-hosting-dgspeaks
Thinking of hosting with Airbnb?

Coverage (Insurance)

Remember when your grandma said you betta get some coverage? Well, she ain’t neva lied. If you are not working a full-time job it is absolutely essential that you have your own insurance because if something happens to you, you’re going to be on your own. Medical insurance, travelers’ insurance, life insurance, and short-term disability insurance are the ones I think are the most important. 

You must take an assessment of your own financial situation and figure out what’s best for you. I highly recommend seeking out a financial advisor for this. I have a son and the last thing I want is to leave him financially burdened because I did not have proper insurance. I also don’t want to get sick and find myself unable to meet my health needs. I want to live this beautiful life as long as possible and that requires coverage for care!

An Account With An International Bank

Cashapp, Venmo, PayPal, and things ain’t gonna cut it if you’re in Timbuktu. You will absolutely need a bank that has global coverage if you expect to leave the borders of the United States. Ideally, you want to have a bank account where you can easily accept payments from employers through direct deposit, where you can withdraw funds from ATMs globally, and where you can receive and send wire transfers if needed. 

My bank of choice is Chase, primarily because it doesn’t have tons of fees and is one of the largest banks in the world. Plus, I like that Chase has great brokerage account options I can manage from my Chase app. I have both a regular self-directed investment account and a self-directed Roth IRA. I can manage them both from my Chase app along with my checking and savings account, and the account that I have set up for my son.

Storage Unit

Although, I am a minimalist I do have a few items that I simply can’t part with. I have a magnificent tapestry that was given to me by my school when I taught in China. I have a gorgeous Tree of Life hemp art piece that I bought in Vermont 20 years ago. I have a few keepsakes from mine and my child’s younger years, and I have my scrapbooks. I also have a spectacular Kitana that will absolutely be mounted in my final home. Lastly, I have a few collectibles.

All in all, my things don’t even take up a corner of my storage unit but for less than $75 a month, it’s worth keeping them. These items are irreplaceable and as I travel and have new experiences there may be other meaningful items that I might pick up that I might want to hold on to, especially if I take an extended overseas work assignment. To make my life easier, my storage unit is in Washington, DC which is the major city where I spend the most time in and the city I fly in and out of most frequently. 

Although you can usually find someone to store things for you, a storage unit is ideal because your items are stored in a secure, temperature-controlled environment. You can purchase insurance on your items, which costs me $15 a month, and you can access your items anytime you want without having to interfere with anyone else’s schedule. For a nomad with an unpredictable life, this is golden.

Passport

You would think this is the most obvious thing, but I find many people don’t think about getting their passport until the last minute. Getting your passport can take a really long time if you have never had one and it can cost a pretty penny. Don’t put it off. Even if you’re not sure that you will go abroad, it’s better to have it than not. Being a nomad is all about options. 

You could be writing your next novel in Costa Rica overlooking the sea while drinking craft beer at Whale Tail Hotel or making YouTube videos about the breathtaking views of Fayoum Dessert while taking a tour with EcoEgy. The last thing you want is to have an opportunity to go somewhere awesome and not have your passport in time.

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