The digital nomad lifestyle has exploded in recent years. Young professionals are discovering the freedom that comes with working for themselves through online businesses. This kind of work requires nothing but an internet connection. It allows digital nomads, also known as location-independent entrepreneurs, to work from anywhere—well, almost anywhere, as long as a high-speed internet connection is available.
Digital nomads have several things to think about as winter sets in. Aside from weather, you need to make sure your records are in order for the end of the year (if your fiscal year ends on December 31).
Luckily, preparing yourself (and your business) for the New Year is easier than you might think. Read on!
Take care of yourself
Winter weather can be tough, especially if you’re in a cold climate. As a location-independent entrepreneur, you need to take care of yourself first and foremost. That means preparing for winter weather.
Option 1: Leave for a warmer location
If your current belongings don’t include winter clothes, it may be simpler (and just plain more adventurous) to head somewhere new for the winter. If you’ve been staying in a northern Russian city, why not move south to India or Nepal? You can enjoy a new location, new culture, new people—and, depending on where you go, you may not have to deal with snow and ice.
If you want to avoid the snow in a northern location, check the weather ahead of time and get a sense for when the really bad weather will hit. Give yourself plenty of time to plan your relocation.
If you’re a US-based digital nomad, avoiding snow is especially easy. You don’t have to cross any borders to reach warmer climates—just head south! If you’re living and working out of an RV, driving south is a great idea. You’ll avoid dealing with freezing temperatures in your RV, which can be difficult.
Option 2: Settle down for the winter
Though it may sound like the antithesis of the digital nomad lifestyle, many nomads find that winter is a great time to settle in and rest—whether in a cold climate or a warm one. If you’re traveling in an RV, and you plan to settle down for a while in a hotel, Airbnb, or other lodging, you MUST winterize your RV properly. If you don’t, your RV plumbing could explode when it freezes with water in it.
If you plan to keep living out of your RV in freezing temperatures, you will need to take special precautions, such as flushing your toilet with RV antifreeze rather than water. Here are more tips on RV camping in winter from Reserve America.
Settling down is especially easy in a warm climate. You can park your RV and live out of it, or park your RV and live somewhere else—no worries about pipes bursting, and no special precautions necessary either way.
Whichever route you choose, make sure you have plenty of high-speed wifi all around you!
Take care of your business
If your fiscal year ends December 31, then it’s time to make sure you have all your records ready for tax season. There’s nothing worse than going to file your taxes and realizing that your paperwork isn’t in order. If you prepare now, you’ll be ready to go when tax season hits.
Every digital nomad’s situation is different. You need to educate yourself on the tax laws that apply to you. You may owe taxes in more than one country. Andrew Henderson has some advice on digital nomad taxes over at Nomad Capitalist.
If you run an ecommerce business, it’s worth remembering that sales will likely plummet after Christmas. As you’re enjoying the holiday rush boosting your sales, remember that you need to budget intelligently for the lean months ahead. Your sales will probably be down for at least a month after Christmas.
Take care of friends and family
I’ll tell you a secret: this tip is actually the same as the first one! When you make time to check in on friends and family, especially for the holidays, you’ll actually be taking care of yourself, too. Remember to balance your time well.
You could even surprise friends and family with a sudden trip home for the holidays—or plan it now if they aren’t the surprise type.
The digital nomad lifestyle is fantastic, but it does tend to isolate us. Make sure you take time to spend the holidays with friends and family, wherever and whoever they are.
The Bottom Line
The holidays can be crazy, even for digital nomads. With these three tips, though, you’ll be ready to take care of your business and yourself. Common sense is often your best guide. Now get out there and enjoy the holidays!
Featured photo credit: Photo courtesy of Steven Zwerink. Licensed under Creative Commons. via creativecommons.org