How To Become a Digital Nomad: The Ultimate Travel Hack
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How To Become a Digital Nomad: The Ultimate Travel Hack

Leave the 9-5 and Join The Lifestyle Design Movement! No 'Travel Hacking', Credit Cards or Airline Points Required
3.7 (36 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
2,016 students enrolled
Created by Dan Johnston
Last updated 8/2017
Price: $195
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 4 hours on-demand video
  • 9 Articles
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Live Anywhere You Want While Earning a Great Income
  • Separate Your Income From Location For Total Freedom and 100% Location Independence
  • Ditch Your Desk For Cafes, Patios, Beaches or Co-Working Spaces Around The World
  • Actually Increase Your Income, While Travelling The World and Keeping Your Clients Happy
  • Find Short Term Housing Around The World at the Same Prices Locals Pay on Long Term Leases
  • Move Money How The Experts Do, Saving on Bank Fees and Currency Exchange Ripoffs
View Curriculum
  • A strong desire to learn, to travel, and to achieve your own personal freedom
  • An open mind to new ways of thinking, living, and doing business

*Updated Summer 2017*

Join this course and learn how you can travel the world full time, living anywhere your heart desires, all while earning a great income as a digital nomad.

Yes, if you read the Four Hour Work Week (4hww), then you'll love this course.

Inside you'll discover the mindsets, travel hacks and business strategies that have allowed me to become, and stay, location independent for over 3 years.

And I'm not talking about just moving to a third world country and living on the cheap.

For me, location independence means being able to live wherever you want.

I chose to start in Costa Rica, then move to New York and from there have lived in Germany, Italy, Barcelona and Prague. But that's just my choice, for you, well, the whole world is a possibility.

When you take this course you're going to learn from a real expert the dos and don'ts. You'll find out the right way to get started so you can begin your travels within 90 days of starting this course.

Imagine that...

Sitting on a beach, or in a Paris cafe, just a few months from now.

If I could do it, so can you.

And, as you'll hear in my story within the course, when I started out I was in a pretty bad situation. I was totally broke and had little consistent income.

But I took a risk and bought a plane ticket, and now I can happily say, 3 years later, that taking that first step was the best decision of my life.

Now it is your turn. Take the first step towards living the life of your dreams with this course.

Who is the target audience?
  • Travel Lovers
  • Burnt Out Entrepreneurs
  • Unhappy Freelancers
  • Digital Nomads
  • Employees Trapped in the 9-5
  • Anyone Wanting to be Location Independent
Compare to Other Digital Nomad Courses
Curriculum For This Course
49 Lectures
9 Lectures 23:15

I've ordered the lectures in the most logical way I could think of. We start with background information, definitions, and some initial mindsets and frameworks. Then it gets into the "meatier" sections. Please don't feel like you have to start with lessons one and go in order.

The first 10 lessons or so are fairly long, so you may prefer to watch one or two videos from the early sections, then bounce around to some of the more interesting videos filmed on location.

How To Go Through This Course

This isn't a common problem, but occasionally students have trouble with videos buffering due to file size. If you're on a slower connection, or experience this problem, just change the video quality to 360p instead of 720p. See the screenshot.
Troubleshooting: If Videos Are Loading Slowly / Buffering

My Story

Ever feel nervous before travelling? Of course you have.

But guess what...

It's totally normal.

Don't let this natural anxiety hold you back from travelling.

Travel Anxiety - It's Normal (Filmed in Berlin)

Is there a part of you that doubts your ability to be totally location independent and travel full time? Well, you're not alone. I think we all have those feelings from time to time. This video will be the motivational kick in the ass you're looking for and a great reminder for all of us.

You'll also learn a bit about a few of the psychological issues around location independence, and how they can actually be a great business benefit for those of us who crave excitement.

Preview 02:20

This course isn't travel's about action and starting off with the right expectations and mindset will mean more success for you.

Our Objectives + Expectations

This video introduces the 4 kinds of video formats you'll find in the course, and the reason behind the different formats and quality.

The formats are:

·Direct to Camera

·Screen Captures and Webinar Recordings

·On Location

·A Day In The Life (usually phone-camera quality)

Video Formats In This Course (Quick Watch)

The Freedom Zone and M5 Freedom Framework
6 Lectures 37:36

Open your mind and start dreaming of the possibilities:

  • Live Abroad
  • Travel
  • Grow Your Business
  • Peace Of Mind
  • Personal Growth + Learning
  • Timezone Tweaking

Preview 07:56

The Freedom Zone is our ultimate destination and helps define a life of joy, fulfillment, and yes, freedom. In this training you'll discover the five components of freedom.

The Freedom Zone

How To Interact and Provide Feedback In This Course

After you've watched the Freedom Zone training you'll want to watch this video to take a snapshot of where you're at and begin developing your plan for ultimate freedom!

Freedom Zone Exercise

The M5 Freedom Framework is a core component of this course. Simplified, it is:






The M5 Framework

As you go through this exercise, feel free to share your answers in the discussion section.

Wondering how much money you need before you can start your travels? Well then you should jump into this training.

P.S. I bet you need a lot less than you think you do :)

The M5 Framework Exercise
Your Path To Location Independence - Business, Job, Freelancing?
2 Lectures 09:55
How To Get Started - The Best Income Route For Beginners

M1 - Mindset
1 Lecture 01:31
Good Karma
M2 - Money
3 Lectures 22:05

When you travel, and especially when you live abroad for 3 or more months, how you access your money will have a significant impact on your finances. With this training you'll learn how to save at least $1,000 each year you're travelling.

Banking and Moving Money (Save $1000+ in your first year)

Update Sept 2015 - Moving Money + Banking

Budgeting: How Much Do You Need?
M3 - Mobility
5 Lectures 36:51

Communications can be one of people's biggest concerns but it really shouldn't be. In fact, it's possible to stay connected with family and clients around the world for less than $10, and appear to be an International Fortune 500 company for less than $100. This video will shed some light on my set up.

Phone Systems, Communication and Staying in Touch

You can buy most anything you need after you reach your destination. Yes, some things cost more than others, but almost everything is available almost everywhere.

In this clip from a past training I cover what isn't included in "almost everything". In other words, the things you should handle at home before you take off for your first exotic location.

Travel Prep: Pre-Flight Checklist

Also from a past training, this lessons covers some important topics such as setting realistic expectations for where you will enjoy living because it isn't always like on the travel brochure covers.

You'll also start to think about the kind of trip you want to have and the iPhone indicator for determining which countries will suit your comfort level for both travel and long term living.

Last, you'll learn about some safety precautions you can take and tools you can buy to make your travels as safe as they can be.

Travel Prep: Safety and Security Considerations and Preparations

In this short text lesson you'll my approach for getting the best flights when you're flexible on your dates (and even destination!).

I've also included a link to a new site which offers some great deals on flights using a new approach, but I have not tested it myself yet.

Getting The Best Flight Prices and Finding Inspiring (and cheap) Flights
M4 - Marketing
1 Lecture 05:56

For freelancers one of the biggest fears around location independence is losing clients...and losing income.

In this training you'll find 3 insights into keeping your clients happy, loyal, and paying the bills while you travel.

The lessons in this video are based on my work as a freelance copywriter during my first two years of full time travel.

Oh yes, this video is shot in Berlin as well...and the article isn't currently available, so sorry about that :)

How To Keep Your Clients Happy While You Travel
M5 - Mastery
2 Lectures 12:38
Developing a Social Life + Meeting People Abroad

I'm someone who has always struggled with language learning. Despite being forced to take 10 years of French in school, today I would struggle to order dinner in France.

So, take everything I say here with a grain of salt as I discuss the two language learning methods I've enjoyed the most. They've also the approaches that work well for those always on the move.

Language Learning - Duolingo and Audio Courses
Bonus Videos: Inspiring Videos Shot On Location (Excuse The Quality)
6 Lectures 19:52

Many of the videos in this and the next section aren't meant to be specific lessons. They were all shot with the sole purpose of sharing with friends. Upon re-watching them, I decided to include them in this course as a lens into the early months living abroad as it was happening, rather than me telling you about it a few years later.

Read First

Fear can be our #1 enemy. How can you fight fear? Have faith in yourself and your ability to succeed at whatever you take on.

How do you build this faith? Well, you can start by watching this video.

Preview 05:28

My great grandfather boarded a ship from this small Croatian town into the unknown. All he had fuelling him was a drive for a better life.

What are you willing to sacrifice to create the life you want?

What Are You Willing To Sacrifice? (Croatian Coast)

Filmed in an abandoned, possibly diseased or haunted, town in Croatia. The residents fled a plague and left for another town.

It seemed like a suitable location to discuss quitting. How do you know when you should quit and move to to somewhere, or something, else?

Your Path, The Dip, and Becoming The Best (Abandoned Ghost Town, Croatia)

When you tell people you're going to travel long term or move abroad they are guaranteed to bring up at least 3 things...Taxes, health insurance, and speaking the local language.

We will deal with the other two another time (hint: there's nothing to worry about). In this video we cover the realities of travelling in countries where English isn't native.

P.S. Excuse the big head, I couldn't find a place for my tripod that could capture the view behind me so I went with the trusted selfie set up.

Must You Speak The Local Language? (Filmed in Malaga, Spain)

This is a mash-up of two videos I filmed in Kotar, Montenegro.

The focus is on action. So often we get stuck in our heads over complicating things instead of just getting started and building momentum.

Montenegro is beautiful by the way, and definitely worth a visit. The drive from Croatia was incredible.

Business Opportunities + Getting Started (Kotor Montenegró)
Videos From The Road - A Sneak Peek At Life Living Abroad (Personal Videos)
8 Lectures 43:12

These videos are not good quality! I decided to include them because they give a more authentic perspective on the first year of being a digital nomad, or being location independent. You can see what I was thinking, and my advice, in the "heat of the moment".

*Read First*

I think this is the first video I filmed upon beginning my location independence. It was filmed on the roof of the hotel I was staying at in Costa Rica, about a month after I left Canada.

Random bits of advice include topics like:

  • Apartment Finding
  • Expectations and Packing
  • Shopping
  • Travelling versus Living Abroad and Adjusting
  • Your First Week Somewhere New
  • Taking Time To Be A Tourist
  • Weather
  • Lizards, Geckos and Bugs
First Few Weeks In Costa Rica

Some lessons on lifestyle design, filmed during my first few months of location independence. I share a few insights I had about how I do things differently than most people, and how this has enabled me to usually live the life I want despite other financial factors or other kinds barriers.

Topics include:

  • Take big action
  • Choosing how you want to live
  • Burning your ships
  • Calling out my friend Mike :)
  • Writing it down

P.S.I'm happy to say Mike did start living his location independent dreams and even came to visit me for a month in Barcelona about 18 months after this video was filmed!

Lifestyle Design Insights on Courage and Big Decisions

Yup, you can't see me in this video and there is some wind noise. But the info is good, and it's only 3 minutes. Two years later and I couldn't say it better today.

Funny enough, I ended up living in Berlin for a Summer two years after this video was filmed, and it really wasn't the right fit for me...although I do appreciate it as a great city and a good hub for digital nomads.

Picking The Right City For You (Berlin Rooftop)

A video filmed in Costa Rica about the trial and error approach to life, and what your 20s should be about.

What Should Your 20s Be About...and More Random Life Thoughts and Advice

A very casual video touring my new apartment in Costa Rica for friends and family. Perhaps interesting if you're wondering about housing in Costa Rica or my initial packing list and set up when I first started travelling.

If you're curious, I was living in a place called Avalon in Santa Ana, a suburb of the capital San Jose, located in the Central Valley.

Apartment Tour in Costa Rica (Part One)

Not the sexiest video quality, but some interesting thoughts on cost of living and quality of life based on where you live. It continues where the Apartment Tour video cut out.

Apartment Tour Continued, plus Cost of Living + Quality of Life

Get some insights into what it is like arriving somewhere new, when it isn't always what you expected

One of the things I learnt early is that I am keen to jump to negativity sometimes. You get happy in one place and when you move sometimes the instinct is to compare. This video touches on that.

I've combined two videos, the second one is filmed a bit after the first and shares a different perspective.

One my big lessons in Italy was to take time before deciding on a place, and to never listen to what people tell you beforehand or buy into stereotypes because whether or not they are true, they will almost always close you off to new experiences and have a negative impact.

First Impressions Living In Bologna Italy, and Adjusting To A New Place
3 More Sections
About the Instructor
Dan Johnston
4.3 Average rating
701 Reviews
19,042 Students
8 Courses
Location Independent Coach, Author, and Business Trainer

I'm Dan Johnston. I'm a full-time writer, business trainer, and coach.

“That is seriously your life? You are literally living my dream. That’s insane. How can I do it?”

I’ve grown to expect hearing this every time I tell someone about my fairy-tale of a life. But trust me, it wasn’t always this way.

In 2010 I owned my own business and I worked like a dog with the dream of one day “making it”. I sacrificed friendships, health, family and travel opportunities all because I had to work harder for “just a little while longer.”

I just needed to “make it” and then I could I finally start enjoying life.

That was until my business imploded and left me completely, and I mean completely, broke.

At this point I could have taken a job, but it just didn't feel right. I had spent so much time trying to live my dreams, was now the time to quit?

So I decided to take one more risk, and in 2011 I started as a freelance writer.

The journey wasn't easy, but it sure paid off.

Using the same strategies I teach in my courses, I was able to generate a full time income writing within my first few months.

Then in early 2012 I decided to take another risk and see if I could continue freelance writing while travelling the world.

And it worked. It worked really, really, well.

Since 2012 I’ve lived in 7 places including Costa Rica, Manhattan, Barcelona, Italy, Germany and Prague. Each year I try to visit at least 6 new countries.

I’ve also crossed countless items from my bucket list including driving a Lamborghini on my birthday, learning Spanish, and driving a Hank Moody inspired Porsche 911 up Highway 101 in California.

When I was starting out and things got hard I had plenty of opportunities to raise the white flag and turn my back on the life I really wanted.

I’m sure you’ll have the same opportunities. Ignore them.

Don’t ever, ever think going for it, going after what you really want, will be easy.

But it will always, always be worth it.

And I'm here to help in any way I can.