In an age where pretty much everything can be done online, becoming a digital nomad is no longer a wild, unattainable dream.
If you don’t know, a digital nomad is someone who can work from anywhere in the world because the type of work they do allows it.
No matter if you’re a fashion blogger who works solely from Instagram or a full-stack developer working for a tech company, a modern nomad is completely doable for your lifestyle, career goals, and personal budget— as long as you plan for it.
And why would you plan for it? Well, who doesn’t want to make money on a flexible schedule while living wherever they want—however they want— and enjoy an adventurous and cultured life in the process.
That sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me!
Interested in the digital nomad lifestyle? Here’s a quick, 3 step black girl-friendly guide to starting your journey as a traveling professional.
First, let’s figure out your career path.
Being a digital nomad doesn’t mean you’re jobless and traveling!
It’s quite the contrary, actually.
The whole point of this lifestyle is to find a job that allows you to work directly from your laptop with the flexibility to move wherever you want to, whenever you want.
So your primary task is to find a career path that aligns you with that goal. There isn’t one particular industry you have to find a job in, either.
You can work in essentially any industry you please as long as they have virtual opportunities. Some ideas:
- Customer Service
- Tutoring or Online Teaching
- Project Management
- Digital Arts, like Graphic Design
- Software Development
- Virtual Assistant
- Influencer or Social Media Personality
- Data Analyst
- Travel Blogger
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you can comfortably do from any location and affords you an exceptionally flexible schedule and place of residence.
Now, let’s take a look at the legalities of it all.
When it comes to the legal portion of being a digital nomad, there are four major things to consider: taxes, insurance, and passports and visas.
Let’s start with taxes.
If you’re an American traveling to another country, you’ll still have to pay American taxes.
The only exception to this is if you make under $100k in a foreign country and decide to pay according to their tax laws while you’re there.
In this instance, you can claim Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and avoid paying US taxes altogether. However, if you only plan on moving states, the most that’ll change is how you deal with your state taxes— if at all.
On the other hand, we have insurance. Now, this in itself isn’t a legal concern but accidents do happen, and those can surely cause some legal troubles in the long run.
You absolutely need to do your research about medical and travel insurance that’ll cover you both inside and outside of the US.
Also, make sure to look into insurance, especially for digital nomads! I know what you’re thinking and the answer is yes, they do have that!
Additionally, you already know that traveling outside the country will require a passport and, in this case, a visa that permits an extended stay in foreign land.
Like we always say, do your research and figure out what you’ll need for your unique situation.
Finally, let’s decide where to travel to!
Being a digital nomad is easier when you’re only looking to move within your state, country, or providence because there aren’t any passports or international legal boundaries involved in the process of doing so.
So if you want to move from, let’s say, California to Texas, you should be good to go relatively fast and easily.
As far as going out of the country is concerned, it’s a bit more complicated. You’ll have to do your research on what countries will allow you to visit for an extended period of time, and if tourist or work visas are required.
In countries like Brazil, Barbados, and Australia, they also offer remote work visas for 3 to 12 months as long as you have proof of employment and meet all their requirements.
In either case, there are a few countries that are fan favorites among people who are currently digital nomads:
As long as the place you choose has a solid Wifi connection, consistent cell reception, and easy access to communication with the US Embassy, you should be good to go.
Additionally, make sure you do some extra research about which places are black women-friendly.
Being a woman traveling solo is already one thing, but being a black woman doing so is a whole new ballgame. Stay informed and stay safe.