The Ultimate Digital Nomad Survival Guide

I’ve been a software engineer for 8 years and for the last year I have been completely remote. I gave up my flat, my car and I left London, living out of a suitcase with no home! It was honestly the best thing I have done, my life is full of new and wonderful experiences, everyday is a marvel and everyday I am grateful for my lifestyle.

This is a guide on some of the things I have learned over the last year.

Find a good place to work

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This is the first thing I do before I book a flight, I find where the best co working spaces are in that country. 

This is super important for me as I need a good working environment, fast and reliable internet - this is what you are paying for, the reliability, working from islands is cool but when the internet cuts out, chances are your hotel or apartment won't have a backup generator, most co-working spaces do.

Another thing that I value from joining co-working spaces is the community, they often hold social events making it super easy to meet people on the same journey as you. 

Get a local sim card

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Find out the most popular network in the country and get a sim card, most countries have tourist sims, avoid them, they’re okay but you can get better deals. 

Having a sim card means you are always connected, if you are traveling solo you need to make sure you can contact someone in case of an emergency, don’t be cheap when it comes to your safety! You won’t always be able to connect to WiFi.

Sim cards are also great for back up data, when traveling on a coach or train you can use your phone as a hotspot and continue to work, this has saved me a few times.

Practice self discipline

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This is by far one of the hardest things to do, you are in a new country with so many fun and new things do, new friends, good food, sun, sea, all the best things and all you want to do is explore and have fun, I get it I do! But you gotta make that money to support the life! 

Be disciplined, set a routine for yourself and stick to it, stay at places for a while to give yourself-time to explore, join co-working spaces to ensure you have a productive work environment, write weekly and daily to-do lists (I use a bullet journal).

Socialize with like minded people

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There are so many different types of travelers, backpackers, expats, nomads, holiday-ers. They all have there own motives when travelling and if they do not align with yours its super hard to maintain friendships and discipline. 

I tend to look for the nomad and expat communities, they are working just like you will be, they understand that you have to work and you’ll often work together and do fun things on the weekend, they also tend to be in one place longer than those on holiday or backpackers, backpackers are often only in a place for a few days and chances are you will be working while they are exploring. 

Stay in touch with home

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You meet loads of people when you travel but sometimes it's really really nice to see a familiar face. I call home every couple of weeks and I’m always really glad I have. I keep in contact with friends via Whatsapp and Instagram and make sure I check in with them often. 

You don’t need your kitchen sink

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I am a girl, like many girls, who likes to have lots of nice things, shoes and coats for days! When your travelling it’s impossible to maintain that and in reality you just don’t need it, pick your favourites and take them, I took so much stuff with me but found I was wearing the same things, things I felt super comfortable in, things I liked the most, when I went home for a couple of weeks I got rid of half my stuff and feel so much better for it, I have only what I really need and my suitcase is so much lighter! 

Before I went travelling I spoke to so many people who said the same thing to me and I was like, nah, I need my stuff! So chances are this is one you will ignore but remember this when you have that moment when you realize you have too much stuff!!

Enjoy and explore

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I saved the most important one for last, enjoy the country you are in! Eat local dishes, find out what there is to do in that area and do it! There is so much to see and do, working is just a means to get you to do these things not your life.


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Alica Collymore enjoys travelling and learning as much as she can about anything, she has a healthy obsession with working out enjoys cooking. When at home Alicia spends time with friends and family, in particular, her nieces and nephews.