There is a segment of our society that is simply not programmed to work a traditional job. These individuals ‘go against the grain’ and avoid the 9 to 5 routine. They do whatever it takes to refrain from adopting the social norms of being employed in a structured work setting and living in the typical suburban or urban ‘norm’.
The good news is that what was once considered normal is becoming blurred and more people are choosing to create a lifestyle that works for them. For some that means they will become entrepreneurs while others become freelancers.
The majority of these passion driven folks also choose to live their lives abroad. They can choose to pursue their talents and skills remotely, and simultaneously have money to cover their basic needs (food, shelter and clothing).
Although this type of lifestyle is possible, it takes a lot of preplanning and careful execution in order to become a successful expat.
Before you book that one way ticket to your little corner of paradise, you will need to do some considerable advanced planning. Without applying this step to your overall plan, your future endeavors could be in jeopardy before you set foot on the plane.
One of the first things that you will need to consider is your skill set. Do you have skills that are marketable? Are the skills in demand by others? You cannot be certain unless you test the marketability of your skills before you leave the country. You do not want to start packing your bags for your new life abroad before knowing if you can make a living with your skills or not.
It takes patience, study and persistence to be a successful freelancer. You can go online and view global reports to see how freelancers are making money around the world. The majority of freelancers spend years building their businesses and establishing clientele before they make this type of move.
The next thing that you will need to decide is if you are going to live your life as a nomad or if you are going to live in one location. This is another part of the planning process that needs to be researched ahead of time. You may have a particular region that you are interested in, but you may not be aware of the challenges that are associated with living there.
Consider a test run of your plan. Visit the location for a period of time and live in the area as a long term resident, not a tourist. There are online expat sites where you can communicate with other expats who are living in the area you are considering.
Another consideration will be your taxes and your healthcare. There are many countries around the world that offer affordable or free healthcare, but it may not be the same quality of care that you are accustomed to.
You will also need to ensure that the country you are considering has tax agreements with your home country. However, if you do not intend on returning to your home country, you may have other options available.
Finally, you will need to consider your work ethic. If you are only dreaming of lazy days on the beach sipping cool beverages and lying around in your plus size tankini, you are in for a surprise. Even though living abroad offers individuals freedom and amazing experiences, you will still need to be able to support yourself financially.
Freelance Work Options
A major concern for many freelancers is how they can actually find work while living abroad. The answer is the same no matter where you live. You will have to network, market yourself and your skills and get referrals. The good news is that all of these things can be conducted online. Even interviews can be conducted through online instant messaging systems like Skype.
There are several choices for freelance work including:
- Graphic Design
- Combinations of freelance skills
Working as a freelancer has truly been a life saving opportunity for those who could not see themselves working a traditional job. In fact, there have been cases where the thought of having to deal with insane work schedules, overbearing employers, societal pressures and rush hour commutes have been enough to cause many to suffer with depression, anxiety attacks and other types of emotional illnesses. There are an increasing number of freelancers who have attributed their new lifestyle of living abroad to restoring their mental and emotional health.