Bryan and Jen Danger run Zenbox, a multi-disciplinary design studio in Portland specializing in small spaces, with an emphasis on ADU’s (accessory dwelling units), i.e. tiny homes. They share tips on how to live and work on the road. Follow their adventures on TheDangerz.com, Instagram, and Facebook.
1. Open yourself to new ways of living
We fell into the digital nomad life by accident as we hadn’t planned on starting a business, much less making it function remotely. For us it was more about setting up a lifestyle of traveling and being mostly nomadic and then simply finding a way to do work we loved and were doing naturally anyway.
2. Connectivity is key
Don’t start out by traveling to remote locations, but start in cities and towns where connectivity is consistently available. Once you’ve gotten more used to working remotely and timing your client needs, then working in a long backpacking trip, off-grid adventure to a remote beach, or visiting a third world country seems a lot more stress free.
3. Enjoy the journey
Give yourself a few days to immerse in work, catch up, and be productive so that you can then take a few days to remove yourself completely. If you are always working from the road there’s less value in being away. The whole point is to find a life/work balance… and if you’re always working, you probably aren’t really experiencing whatever place it is you’ve just worked so hard to get away to.
4. Generate multiple income streams/Reduce bills
I think if we had to rely wholly on zenbox for our financial freedom then it would be just as stressful as any other full-time job. For us, the real value in working remotely has been the combination of downsizing to lower our bills, having someone else pay our mortgage while away, and working to create various small streams of income to take the pressure off having to be constantly on the clock or digging up clients and jobs. For us, the goal was never defined as trying to work remotely so much as trying to work less and find more balance. Oddly, that frees us up to only take projects we are passionate about, which also make work less “work”.
5. Surround yourself with like-minded people
The entire idea of nomadic living, working remotely or even of chasing your dreams seems very, very outside the box when all of society tells you it’s not okay. Surround yourself with a group of people with common goals, those looking for lifestyle change and/or those already successfully doing so… and the idea starts to seem more within reach.