Digital Nomads: Have Computer and PayPal Account – Will Travel

640px-Sea_Coastline_and_Beach,_Central_region,_South_GhanaJon Morrow, a successful blogger and Internet entrepreneur, once wrote a blog entitled, “How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World.” You see, Jon was a full-time blogger and one day he realized that he could ply his trade from anywhere he could connect to the Internet.

He move to Mazatlan, Mexico and penned that blog from his balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He had joined the global army of digital nomads.

I’ve taken you through this scenario because when you hear “the rest of the story” you’ll get a sense for how desperately people want to become digital nomads themselves and you’ll learn how Jon did it.

The post I mentioned in the opening went very viral, so viral in fact that it has earned him well over $33,000. It has enabled Jon to teach many others how to do what he does. There are a lot of folks who want that knowledge and are willing to pay for it to the tune of $33K-plus.

As freelancing, fully web-based businesses and telecommuting become more popular, the number of digital nomads traveling the globe and working from interesting and sometimes exotic locations is increasing.


Sites such as Elance, oDesk, Freelancer and Guru have made transitioning to full nomad status fairly simple. Through them, finding and bidding on jobs is much easier and they facilitate the payment process.

Professionals from a wide range of industries can find work on these sites. Some of the more in-demand skills are

  • Writing,
  • Web development,
  • IT and programming,
  • Design and Graphics,
  • Administration,
  • Sales and marketing,
  • Legal, and
  • Finance and management.


Teachers can sometimes establish themselves in the digital nomad world. As colleges and universities add more online courses, the professors who teach these courses can sometimes be located anywhere. They pick up assignments and communicate with students over the internet.

Further, there is a growing number of musicians offering private lessons over the Internet. They communicate with their students using Skype and usually advertise on Craig’s list or through their own websites for new students.


Some ecommerce businesses don’t require any physical presence, those that sell digital downloads, for example. In these cases, the owner can generally be located anywhere. Additionally, with fulfillment houses and drop shipping, even if you’re selling a traditional product, it may be possible to travel and still have the means to successfully manage your business.


There are a number of professional travel bloggers who are always exploring new places. However, making enough money through blogs alone is very difficult. Anyone who has started a blog and loaded it up with Adsense ads, knows that the path to profits is long and difficult.

As Jon Morrow found, selling something that is promoted by your blog is the real way to “monetize” it. If you are good at something, write about that and build your following. When you have some authority, then start teaching others what you know.

Find the right employer

Some digital nomads evolve from their day jobs. If you essentially have a job that adapts itself to telecommuting, you’re just one step away from living the nomad life—all you need is clout and an employer who can see the big picture.

The key is to make yourself virtually indispensable and then put your proposition on the line: “I’d love to stay with XYZ inc, but I’d like to do some traveling and work online.”

The down side

Of course, paradise always looks great on postcards, but sometimes the reality – especially when you’re living there 24/7 for weeks or months on end – isn’t quite so idyllic. Some considerations are practical, such as health care, and others are personal, such as missing out on important times with family and friends.

However, for a season in a person’s life, it certainly seems like an option worth exploring.

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Image: “Sea Coastline and Beach, Central region, South Ghana” by Stig Nygaard – Flickr: Heading back…. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.