Best Advice You Would Give to a New Digital Nomad (Survey)

I think that we all have things that we wish we could go back and tell ourselves. I wish that I could tell myself to pay more attention in my French classes in college because I would really need it in about a year when I would move to Paris.

This rings especially true for people who choose the nomadic lifestyle, which in itself can be a huge learning curve. The responses below are from a digital survey where nomads were asked what advice they would give their younger selves before starting their journey as nomadic entrepreneurs.

Just start now.

“Get on with now. No planning needed.”

“Do it sooner.”

“Absolutely agree! I knew it was my path, yet I took forever to take the full leap too.”

“Don’t wait until someday. The people who will do something someday, they’ve already started today.”

“Start earlier. On everything.”

“Just go!”

“Just start!”

Travel advice.

“Don’t fall in love with places that getting a visa for is torture.”

“Don’t book that ticket 4 months in advance”

“Go somewhere where you like the food. You’re going to have to eat it a lot.”

“Get comfortable with minimalism and living out of a suitcase. The only souvenirs you need are photos. Book a hotel for a week first, then do your longer-term apartment searching when you can visit in person. Been burned twice with Airbnb. And lastly, don’t be afraid to just do it.”

“Slow down. It’s not a vacation. Spend more time in places. Don’t rush to the next place.”

“To learn the languages of countries that are either a home base or where I’m doing business. Just learning the basics often opens doors not open to others. It’s a sign of mutual respect. Otherwise, foreigners doing business are often scammed, or paying the hidden “foreigner tax.”

“Cheap is sometimes expensive. Don’t book a flight with GoToGate.”

“Don’t live somewhere where their normal process for handling trash is to throw it on the street.”

“Check accommodations and flights before booking anything. Book the flight first, then accommodation and only book 3-5 days after you get there and see if you actually like the place where you are staying and the city, then book longer if you want to stay. Also, you may be overly excited when you get somewhere, but wait until you book more time. For example, in 2009 when I got to Capri in Italy, I was amazed by it. I booked 13 days, which was way too long for a small island. I was bored out of my mind after a while.”

Work advice.

Quit that corporate office job with the 2-hour commute and shitty manager. They’re gonna fire your ass anyway.”

“Focus on lead generation and sales and doing things that move the needle forward sooner.”

“Be more selective with clients and projects. Don’t accept everything especially if the rate is low. And pack 1/4 of what you think you need.”

“To never use the word entrepreneur.”

“Quit drinking. When working in an office, I started at 6 pm, after becoming a digital nomad I started at 6 am.”

“Put work aside for at least one day a week and enjoy where you are. I’ve been to some amazing parts of the world but have seen little due to work obligations. Definitely going to improve on this – 2 days a week to explore.”

“I would tell myself to look for things to do online that let you work four hours or less a week in a remote location. It sounds like something only rich people can get. But it’s not… found a Business that lets me work Whenever I Want. And Relax and Enjoy the day Whenever I want to Without dealing with long boring hours or stuffy clothes. If you want I could toss over a video to you explaining how to become that awesome nomad entrepreneur. Regardless keep on asking great questions and you’ll find your way.”

Bitcoin.

“Buy bitcoins, a lot of them.”

“Buy bitcoin.”

“Put your inheritance of $8000 into Bitcoin back in 2013 because I would be a millionaire now.”

“Buy bitcoin.”

Family and marriage.

“Don’t get married.”

“Don’t marry the first local girl who tries to insert herself in your life. I’m not saying that with any bitterness, it’s more that it held things up a bit!”

“Go back home and spend some time with your family before they all die while you’re on the road.”

General life advice.

“Trust your first thought.”

“Follow your passion.”

“Life’s short enough, don’t hesitate, and moving forward at any pace is still moving forward.”

“You are on the right way.”

“It’s going to be a lot simpler, but a lot harder.”

Final Thoughts:

Although time travel isn’t available (as far as we know), there is a lot of great advice that these digital nomads gave to help you on your journey. Whether it’s just starting now or booking that flight in advance, take their word for it so you won’t make the same mistakes.

Madison Schulz
Madison Schulz is an American freelance writer living in Paris, France.