1. Technology is Everywhere, and it’s Basically Free to Learn
Tips to travel the world and freelance are scattered everywhere, but usually unclear or unrealistic. In order to travel and freelance to fund your lifestyle it is critical to look at the importance of technology in 2018. This is one of the number one areas of work (there are others like teaching English or waiting etc.) that pays by far the best and allows you to be completely location independent with the only restrictions being your passport and language skills. Here are some tips.
2. It’s Not as Expensive as You Think
You need some money to get started but it doesn’t have to be that much depending on your level of flexibility. If you want to start in Sweden, I hope you’ve got a trust fund or big savings account. Plenty of people do it, especially if they have an EU passport and a savings account, but there are much cheaper options out there for you. One of my personal favorites is southern Spain, and there are many others like Portugal, Italy, SE Asia, that cost much less than say a Startup job in Berlin. You can freelance anywhere obviously.
3. Focus on One Area (This is critical to get started)
4. You MUST build a Portfolio (and work on your LinkedIn and Social Media)
You don’t have to be a wizard, just build a up to maybe dozen different projects or contribute through writing for others to build a presence, and MAKE SURE TO USE Git and Github if you doing programming. If you’re just blogging, contribute to large platforms. Learn as much as necessary about all different areas of tech that interest you including design. If you can design well, look strongly at how to build UX/UI projects etc. The point is it’s a journey, so you can start somewhere and learn later that SEO is your interest and forté.
5. You Have to Promote Yourself
Like or not, that’s just the way to get work. Don’t spam, don’t be a douche, and be persistent and you will eventually get clients, maybe faster than you even think you can handle. Don’t let that scare you.
6. You aren’t Going to Know Everything. Not Even Close.
Don’t let this one scare you. It’s completely normal to feel absolutely overwhelmed at times, even after years of experience. It happens to basically everyone, start building a skillset and understand it’s one long continuous process of learning.
7. Be Professional, This Still is Your Job…Not Just a Vacation. Set Goals.
Setting goals for yourself, 3 month, 6 month, yearly, etc. is a great way to kick off this process but in reality you don’t know where this will take you, which country, a startup that fails, a marketing gig in Asia, etc. Work as professionally as you are able to while defining places and work goals that you want to achieve, don’t just take on every project either as this is a route to failure fast. You want to create some coherence because after all, you are creating a career path for yourself so set goals.
8. Make Sure This is For You (It’s Not For Everyone)
Don’t let this discourage you, just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself in to. The younger you are the more chance for failure you can afford (not to discourage anyone to make a career change), but it is important to understand that is you are the kind of person who really wants to just hang around a circle of friends, have responsibilities, and you enjoy seeing your family every week, there isn’t anything wrong with realizing this might not be. There is a reason few people are successful at this lifestyle. Study CS at your home university. Take a vacation. You have to have a certain level of risk-taking to be happy doing this.
9. The Payoff is Amazing if This is For You
Being able to set your own hours (even if they are long), travel and immerse yourself in other cultures, make new friends all over the world, have to swap out your passport because it’s full, eat ethnic foods in there home countries, meet exotic partners, making very good money and living in low cost areas, these are all just some things you can experience freelancing digitally and traveling. It can be amazing and you can build a career around it, so if you think it might be for you and technology actually interests you, give it a shot, especially if you’re really young and can afford a few mistakes. They are certainly worth it in the end.