YES, it is very possible
and likely if you prepare. If you have a profession, job or skill that is
currently being performed on a computer or telephone, then you are a good
candidate for the life of a nu nomad. (But don't start packing your notebook
computer and toothbrush just yet.)
|In A Nutshell
Looking for specific mobile office travel gear and preparation information, www.NuNomad.com has everything you want to know about
working remotely: from job ideas to travel preparation.
Like any big step
in life, you have to prepare for it. There are three primary areas of
preparation for NuNo living:
Let's start with
the job thing. If you have a profession, job or skill that is currently being
performed on a computer, then you are close. You should have already established
a service or work record. If you are fresh out of school or have a dead-end job
that cannot be performed by computer, by phone/telephony, or taken with you,
then you have to (as my mentors have impressed upon me some time ago) “pay your
dues first.” (Read on. The medicine is not that bad.)
Your Established Source of Income
So, you have an
established source of income that can be taken mobile? How do you begin to make
your dream into a reality? Here are some preliminary tips to start having
adventures while you continue to support yourself:
the more time spent in preparation up front, the less time you will spend in
anxiety when your trip happens. Begin early - preferably more than 6 months
if you're planning for a long voyage - in planning as many details of your
mobile office as possible.
If you have never worked from the road before, do a couple practice trips
first. Take a 1/2 week vacation within your country of origin. Get a feel
for what equipment you need/don't need, how to find internet connections on
the road, etc. Also get a feel for how you need to prepare your clients for
Keep in mind
peripheral activities needed to maintain your income. For instance, you will
not only need to service your clients, but you will also need to be able to
bill them, pay your own bills, maintain any licensure requirements, etc. If
you are providing a professional service such as coaching or counseling by
phone or internet, consult your insurance provider to understand their
policies for practicing out of state.
If you intend
to stay out of the country for an extended period of time, learn about tax
requirements in your country of origin as well as in your hosting country
before you go. You are on the cutting edge of a new workforce trend.
Policies may be unclear.
travel alone or with others/family? If you intend to travel with others,
think about what they will be doing while you work. Do you need to set up
child care? What will your spouse do with their time? You wouldn't expect
your seven-year old to sit in your office while you work all day - it won't
be different on the road.
of your travel plans to clients will be important. Be sure to send a message of
reliability and consistency. Clients will want to know that you will be as
accessible to them as you have always been and that they will receive high
quality service. If you have already been serving them via the internet or
telephone then your own travel should have a minimal effect on their experience.
However, if you have been serving clients in person, the transition to
telephone/internet will be more difficult. Consider transitioning to these
methods first to establish your reliability for some time before you begin
What you will bring with you as a nu nomad is
a bit more involved than that of the average traveler. In addition to the usual
travel preparations and gear concerns (from immunizations to selecting the right
backpack) you have a mobile office to configure.
As with your other key travel gear, you will
want to select your mobile office equipment judiciously. Aside from the weight
and bulk factor involved (which is a primary concern), there are other concerns
such as functionality in certain climates (tropics and deserts can be a
challenge to some), availability of service and parts, and cost. Remember, your
notebook computer will be your office—respect the fact that it is going to be
your primary business partner while you are on the road.
Mobile Office Gear
There are several key items that you will
need to consider for your virtual office. Below is a partial list, followed by a
more complete check-list.
Notebook computer (preferably
Back-up medium (external drive or disks)
Multi-national power adapter.
Mobile/cell (tri-band) phone w/Bluetooth
External mouse or trackball
Headset (for telephony access)
Carrying case (preferably a hard-shell
Dial-up access (Access the Internet via
standard telephone line or mobile phone.)
VoIP /telephony account (Computer to
computer/land-line service, such as Skype.)
Hi-speed Internet access (Know where the
cyber cafes are, or order it for your flat. Also, G3 telephone service may
offer a speed comparable to that of Wi-Fi service.)
Your notebook’s original back-up program
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of
traveling as light as possible.
Yes, this is our mantra for packing your backpack, but it is equally true for
your mobile office. Consider the weight and size of the notebook and its
Which Notebook is Right for You?
The best way to choose your notebook computer
is to consult the experts. There are several well-established computer magazines
and websites that have already done the testing and reviewing (and do a great
job of advising you what you need or don't need in a machine). With that said,
here is what we look for:
Select the smallest and lightest, yet powerful (enough) machine you can find.
Machines built for power and speed are generally heavier, bulkier and require more power from your battery than the
Construction: Don’t choose your notebook just on looks and
speed. Your machine will have to be able to take some hits. Things to look for
include strong screen hinges—this will be one of the first things that breaks.
The lid should not be so soft as to not protect the screen from excess pressure.
Power Adapter: Few people think about the AC power adapter,
but it can add a lot of unnecessary weight to your bag.
Wireless: Needless to say, your machine must have
wireless capability. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.