It’s perfectly understandable not to be able to become a full-blown digital nomad right from the start. There are lots of variables in place to make the transition both a risky and unstable move. However, there are practical ways to travel and work remotely without wiping out your entire life’s savings for it. One of the best solutions I’ve discovered is to get one of those travel work programs that are becoming so popular among freelancers these days.
I wish I could say I personally got a boost from one of these programs back when I first decided to go full freelance. That would have been a remarkable transition! But I went straight from being a downsized employee into accepting remote employment via a friend’s referral. I didn’t mind, though. After that, I was able to map out a plan of being a digital nomad through and through – and here I am sharing my experiences with you!
Now I can finally endorse some programs that allow freelancers to travel and work remotely without worrying about paying astronomical fees for it. These five programs are designed to help give digital nomad careers a boost by providing the professional equivalent of an academic scholarship or grant (though there are fees still involved). I am recommending them based on personal experience and those of my peers who swear by them. I hope they can be of help to you in launching your freelance career. Good luck!
Though relatively new to the game, Wanderboss deserves a place in this list because its program aims to achieve the perfect work-life balance for remote workers, digital nomads, freelancers, and startups. I find it promising because one of their “key benefits” is to enable travel and make a difference without negatively affecting one’s career. The people behind Wanderboss also believe that coworking encourages even better productivity.
There are currently two packages for applicants of the Wanderboss program to choose from. One is spaced within a six-month duration that includes travels to Brisbane, Chiang Mai, and Ho Chi Minh. Along with this package are accommodations, coworking spaces, flights, travel and medical insurance, and more. The other is a four-month package to Chiang Mai and Ho Chi Minh with the same benefits mentioned. There are also six-month scholarship programs for freelance creatives such as artists, photographers and videographers, actors and models, social media “gurus,” and those who can inspire fitness and health transformation among others!
If you want to be a full digital nomad and travel to exotic and mysterious places in Asia, Africa, Europe, or South and Central America, then this work and travel program is for you!
I love WiFi Tribe because their “tribe” gets to travel to a new location every month! That’s right. They are all about adventure and welcome all manner of remote professionals to apply to what they refer to as their coworking expedition. From startup entrepreneurs to writers, through to marketing people, photographers and developers, anyone with a remote career can sign up and choose a four-week “chapter” which includes practically any place in the world you want to visit, how many people you are willing to travel and cowork with, and if you want a shared or private room. The prices depend on the tier-country levels, and there is a $300 fee for signing up to be a member, which is valid for 365 days.
Though it’s strictly for entrepreneurs, CoworkParadise works because it packages itself as a relaxing retreat among digital professionals.
Well, maybe not as relaxing because the site describes the experience as “a place to face your inner dragon.” What it aims to do is to provide a platform where around a dozen business visionaries can interact with and inspire each other while embarking on exciting adventures.
As of this writing, the current accommodations are in a villa in Cape Town, South Africa, though past retreats have been held in other inspiring places like Bali, Indonesia. The program offers convenience and amenities such as airport pick up and drop off, group adventure trips, speedy Internet connection, breakfast and dinner, coworking spaces, and other luxury accommodations (including beach trips, swimming pools, 24/7 staff assistance, king-sized beds, etc.).
Calling itself a “not-for-profit” initiative, Project Getaway offers a month-long digital nomad adventure in the gorgeous island of Mauritius with a breathtaking view of the Indian Ocean. The program combines business and networking events with adventurous and social gatherings for its participants (including snorkeling in a pristine lagoon, a BBQ party on board a catamaran, and even a safari!).
Unfortunately, I am still waiting for confirmation if this particular program is still ongoing, as the website was last updated a couple of years ago. I’m crossing my fingers that it still is because it sounds like a fun learning experience!
The Remote Experience
Now, who can resist a no-nonsense program name like “The Remote Experience”? What the site offers is a hassle-free experience of monthly “workations” (cool term – I think I’m going to use this from now on!). The Remote Experience curates trips for digital nomads who have a wanderlust for unfamiliar yet exciting places all over the world. Past travels via this program include Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Santiago (Chile), Medellin (Colombia), and Buenos Aires (Argentina).
The site states that applicants only need their laptop and a spot in their Travel & Learn program. There are choices for anywhere between three to 14-month programs, with office space, ambassadors, accommodations, cultural tours and excursions, team and skill-building events, and a host of other benefits thrown in the mix.
As you can see, remote work programs offer the kind of travel adventures one could only dream of, combined with the practical learning experience of interacting with fellow digital nomads. Of course, these programs still come with a price tag (because nothing ever comes free in this day and age). However, I think the kind of convenience, accommodations, and opportunities for both professional and personal growth being offered by these programs is worth not fumbling around aimlessly, just because you don’t know where to start with your freelance career.