Traveler on his laptop working remotely

How to Get a Remote Job and Explore the World

If you’ve ever looked around your office and thought, “I could do this from anywhere,” you might be onto something.

Times have changed. Since the pandemic forced companies to rethink the traditional work model, many brands have incorporated work-home-from policies for good. There’s never been a better time to get a remote job and travel the world.

If you’re willing to do a little digging and expand your skill set, there are plenty of jobs you can do remotely. Chances are that some of the core competencies required of your office job are transferable to the online space.

You could be an English tutor, digital marketer, virtual assistant, social media manager, customer service rep, graphic designer, travel agent, web developer, video editor, or bookkeeper, to name a few. The sky’s the limit—and your dream destination is waiting.

Remote job boards

Remote tech jobs

Remote media jobs

Remote teaching jobs

Job boards with remote options

Subscription-based job boards

Gig opportunities

Pros and cons of remote work

Woman with laptop at cafe

Remote life impacts everyone differently. The key is to know what your needs are and develop a routine to help you thrive.

For example, people who relish quiet, solo time may have no problem working in a foreign locale with a language barrier (hello, fellow introverts).

On the other hand, extroverts may end up feeling unmotivated to get work done unless they have regular in-person interactions at cafes and co-working spaces.

Tips for working remotely

As much as possible, try to focus on balance.

As a remote worker, it’s all too tempting to stay plugged in 24/7. You may check your emails first thing in the morning, even before you get out of bed. And later, without a physical place to leave at 5 o’clock, you may not know how to shut down “work mode.”

The truth is, there’s always going to be more emails to answer and tasks to check off your list. Meanwhile, life is happening. In order to be successful, avoid burnout, and stay sane, a good routine is everything.

Practical suggestions

  • spend the first hour of your day tech-free
  • schedule breaks every 3 hours with your phone alarm
  • disconnect your work email from your phone
  • stay connected to others with Slack and Zoom
  • work from co-working spaces and cafes with high-speed WiFi
  • block off one day a week just for admin and billing
  • create boundaries for yourself around work hours—and actually stick to them

Is W2 or 1099 better?

A W2 contract may be a good fit if you plan to stay in your home country for at least 6 months (183 days) in a calendar year.

Otherwise, request a 1099 contract, so your company doesn’t have to worry about visa regulations and tax issues while you’re abroad.

It will be your responsibility to find out how much you owe to other countries and how often you need to file taxes. In general, it’s a good idea to set aside between 20-30% of your income and work with an accountant in your intended destination.

Country-specific Reddit threads and Facebook groups can be a great resource for lawyer and accountant recommendations. If there’s not already a post with a list of resources, ask the group for guidance.

Pros and cons of W2 work

Pros and cons of 1099 work

Should you disclose your plans?

Many remote contracts are limited to employees who are based in the states, only.

If it’s a W2 opportunity, your travel plans could still work, as long as you plan to be at home in America for 183 days of the year (there are tax implications, otherwise). If you’re hoping to travel for longer, ask if your employer is willing to do a 1099 contract.

Many digital nomads choose to hide their location. While this is a personal choice, keep in mind that you could encounter challenges with the timezone or WiFi connectivity, taxes could get complicated, and a work laptop will show your IP address.

To be upfront, you could share your plans and your strategy to make it work. Like, “I am planning to work from Spain for a year. I will be in the UK timezone, so I will work later in the day in order to collaborate with employees on the East Coast.”

Quick summary

Working remotely can be a great way to earn money, see more of the world, and meet like-minded people.

The key to making it work is understanding how you work best and building a routine that supports your workflow. Just like any work situation, there are going to be pros and cons, good days and bad days.

On those days when it gets hard, take a breather and remember everything that you love about the remote lifestyle. For me, it’s that 30,000-foot view and some good airplane WiFi. To each their own.

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