On paper, being a digital nomad is a career everyone wants. You get to travel to exotic destinations around the world, meet new people and exciting cultures, have tons of fun, all the while earning a decent living on your handy little laptop. And sure, for those who have made it in the digital nomad game, their life might be just that. But if you’re just starting out as a working nomad, or if you plan on making Oz your new place of residence for the time being, or even if you’re a local Aussie that wants to explore the country – you need to come prepared.
Australia might seem like it’s all sunshine and rainbows, and it is; but there’s also the hard work, the vast distances between cities, the hefty price of living in popular metropolises the likes of Sydney or Melbourne, and of course, the constant struggle to balance work and travel as you explore the map. Before you start panicking though, understand that it’s not as difficult as it may seem – you just need a kick-ass battle plan. Here’s what you need to know.
Research the best cities to work
Let’s talk about the most important thing every digital nomad should keep in mind when building a career in this field – money. Now, no matter if you’re the descendant of an Arab king, or if you’re a typical backpacker adventuring the world on a shoestring budget, you need to appreciate the fact that living in Australia can be quite challenging, money-wise. Okay, if you’re an Arab prince then you can do whatever you want, but for everyone else, you need to manage your finances wisely.
Start by tending to some meticulous research. It’s important that you research the most traveler and nomad-friendly cities in Australia, so that you can go there first, and spend some time there until you solidify your financial position. Once you do, you can start touring the country. Perhaps the best option if you’re a bit strapped for cash is Wollongong or even Gold Coast, where the average living costs are around AU $1,900 a month.
Explore the country in the process
Once you find your bearings, recover financially from the relocation, and start making a decent profit again, you can start exploring the wonderful, and utterly breathtaking Land Down Under. Now, some key considerations before you set out on your grand adventure. Firstly, understand that Australia is big, really big. You can lose a lot of money trying to reach faraway places right away, so you not only need to research the best ways to get around the country, but you should also take a slow and methodical approach to traveling.
For example, say you’re currently stationed in Gold Coast. Sure, you’ve been dreaming of going to Sydney all your life, but just stop for a second to consider some options that are more affordable and closer. Until you’re fully stable money-wise, stay in Brisbane for a while, then backpack your way to Newcastle, recover financially for a bit, and then move to Sydney in style. Use this mindset no matter where you are on the map.
Don’t forget to balance your work and travel while being a Digital Nomad!
Get adequate health insurance
Healthcare might be free in Australia, but only for Australian citizens. Needless to say, you absolutely need to have adequate health insurance if you’re going to live and work here, because you won’t be able to hop on a plane back home if you get sick. We’re pretty far away from the rest of the world.
This is why private health insurance is a must, especially if you’ve already studied in Australia and want to apply for the 485 visa, then you need proper 485 visa health insurance to make you eligible. Whether you’re living and working in Oz on a visa program, or if you’re traveling without a visa and are working as a digital nomad exclusively, you need private health insurance to stay safe and avoid the astronomical healthcare fees.
Meet new people and grow your brand
Australia loves the digital nomad culture, and it shows. All major cities have become true havens for digital nomads in recent years, with Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane becoming global business hubs that attract leaders from around the world. So naturally, this is your opportunity to meet some truly extraordinary people and change your life for good.
And the best way to do that is to take advantage of the many coworking spaces that dot the map of every major city. Be sure to compare the membership prices before signing up, and ask the management if their regular clients suit your networking needs.
Stay organised and maintain client satisfaction
And finally, understand that working and traveling across Australia at the same time could present some organisational and logistical challenges. Mainly, you might find it difficult to keep your international clients satisfied due to the time difference and the lack of internet reliability in certain areas.
This is why you have to create a detailed schedule, notify your clients when you might not be available, and organise your work ahead of time. It would be best to get the bulk of your work done while you’re in a major city, send it all out, and then go offline safely when you’re exploring the outback.
Australia is one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads on the planet, and for a number of compelling reasons. But before you set sail for the Land Down Under, be sure to take these considerations to heart in order to stay safe, productive, and most importantly, have the time of your life.
Author: Fiona is a lifestyle blogger based in Melbourne, Australia. She’s in love with good coffee, croissants and fashion magazines. In her spare time, she plays tennis and travels around the world. You can read more from her on her blog High Style Life.