What is a digital nomad?

The freedom of working from anywhere in the world, traveling to new and exciting destinations, working outside of an office environment – it all sounds great and probably too good to be true, right? Well, not necessarily. Working remotely with flexible hours is becoming a popular alternative to the typical 9-to-5. If you can find an employer and so-called digital nomad job that allows you to work remotely, then you are one step closer to becoming a digital nomad.

Whilst a ‘digital nomad’ may appear on Instagram as someone who spends their time on the beach, sipping ice-cold drinks, and ‘working away’ on their laptop, it is worth pointing out that this isn’t quite a true representation of the digital nomad lifestyle. Firstly, the mix of sand, sun, and laptops does not equate to a practical working environment, and secondly, beaches don’t tend to have the most reliable Wi-Fi connections – a must for working remotely.

To give a more realistic illustration of the digital nomad lifestyle, you should expect slightly less scenic spots such as hotels/hostels, cafes, co-working spaces or rented rooms as your day-to-day working environment. What makes the digital nomad life so attractive is that it allows you to travel whilst earning money – you can explore exciting places, meet new people and immerse yourself in new cultures in your spare time. In order to do this, however, it’s essential that you source a practical workspace that allows you to work productively.

What is TEFL?

But what sort of work do digital nomads do? Social media management, graphic design, web design, translation, and programming are common sources of income for nomads – but basically, any occupation that allows you to work freelance is suitable – TEFL being one of them!

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and the qualification opens up various job opportunities across the world. Teaching English online is a growing market and it’s well suited to someone who is constantly on the move. Teaching English online is relatively flexible in terms of hours but it’s important to consider time differences as this can affect your working hours.

Becoming TEFL qualified

So, how do you go about getting a TEFL qualification?

Firstly, in order to teach English online, you need to gain your TEFL qualification. To make you eligible for the widest range of job opportunities, we recommend a minimum of 120 hours of TEFL training. We’ve also developed an Advanced TEFL course specifically for teaching English online. This course will show you the different technologies for online teaching such as e-mail, live chat and video conferencing whilst also showing you how to promote your own online TEFL lessons, recruit students and set up your own website.

Budget

A benefit of living and working abroad can be that the living costs can be significantly lower than at home. It’s important to bear in mind that you will need money for accommodation and flights, so be sure to carefully budget with your traveling costs in mind – always keep some extra money aside for any additional costs, such as airport transfer fees etc. It’s also important that you take into consideration when you get paid and how long it will take for the money to arrive in your account.

As your paydays may not be consistent dates each month, it’s worth downloading some budgeting apps, so you can plan out your finances for the month. Popular apps like YNAB (You Need a Budget) and Mint are worth checking out as they allow you to track just how much money you spend on bills, groceries, eating out, shopping etc.

If you are looking to make extra money with TEFL, there is the option of sourcing tutoring work wherever you are and picking up short-term teaching contracts with companies, language camps or schools (make sure to be aware of the individual visa regulations of each country when it comes to in-country work).

Be Savvy When It Comes to Transfer Fees

There are a number of ways to save money when it comes to transfer and withdrawal fees abroad. TransferWise is a great digital banking service, which provides you with a borderless account. This means that you won’t be charged outrageous transaction fees and exchange rates. Another way of reducing exchange rate fees is by using pre-paid card services such as Revolut, which allows you to exchange currency at great rates and the card can be used all over the world – therefore, no hassle is involved when you move from country to country.

Prioritise Internet Access

When planning your travels, make sure that finding the reliable internet is a top priority! You can’t successfully make money as a digital nomad without a strong, dependable internet connection. Make sure to do your research on workspaces wherever you are based – online reviews of cafes, hotels, hostels etc. can be a trusty way of finding out the suitability of a workspace. If you want to teach English online, reliable internet is a must!


Interested in becoming a digital nomad through teaching English online? Head over to our site to find out more about TEFL and the courses available https://www.tefl.org.uk/