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Advice for computer science major who wants to be nomad


by @jodebane | 5yr  | 3 comments

Hello. I am a high school senior in the Northeast USA who will soon be attending college. I have been traveling abroad solo since I was 16, and I have loved every second of it. I am going to major in Computer Science at American University, DC. Itโ€™s not a school thatโ€™s known for Computer Science but I loved the general culture and feel of the campus.

I want to be a digital nomad straight out of college if possible. I canโ€™t stand the thought of having 2 weeks of vacation a year. Iโ€™m most interested in freelance jobs that are web-design related, and where I can make good use of a CS degree.

Is this a good idea? How can I go about doing things in college in a way that will help me prepare for this digital nomad lifestyle? Should I prepare throughout my college life and do freelance jobs when Iโ€™m not doing schoolwork? Is there any good route for this that doesnโ€™t involve doing a regular job first?

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@tomhoward | 5yr

I did most of a CS degree at a University not really known for CS as well (Towson U north of Baltimore). Now I own a Digital Marketing agency, and am currently living on a tropical island in Thailand.

I think my biggest regret in life, which I have very few of, is sticking with the degree program for as long as I did. I eventually dropped out, but not before trying to keep at it and finish it for a long time, because I felt like I had to prove to the world that I could.

I racked up a lot of debt in the process, but more importantly, I lost a lot of time, which is what I wish I had back.

But first, here is what I liked about college:

  • Lots of fun times and parties. Totally worth staying for 1-2 years for this alone.
  • There were some interesting classes and people, from an intellectual perspective
  • I did learn some useful things in CS, that shaped my understanding of technology

That being said, I still think it was a waste of time. Part of that may be because I like to be interested in what Iโ€™m learning, and I like to learn by applying, not by theory.

Here is what I disliked:

  • Classes are highly dependent on the teacher. Interesting classes with bad teachers were a waste of time.
  • Classes are too varied, being forced to learn subjects Iโ€™m not interested in was a waste of my time.
  • CS programs are incredibly slow moving. I think their entire curriculum could be taught in 6 months.
  • CS programs are 98% theory, almost no practical applications or coding takes place.
  • The monetary and time costs are far larger than the value I got from the classes.

Personally, I would probably skip college if I was doing it again. Maybe I would do 1 year for the experience and the partying. Then again, backpacking is a great partying experience too.

I would learn the entire Computer Science curriculum online, for free or cheap, at a fraction of the time. I highly recommend Udacity, their instructors are a lot more effective teachers than the ones you will get at a school not known for their program.

To become a web developer, I would go work for a local web agency. Its not nearly as bad as a cubicle job. You will learn 1000x more about web development and internet business in 1 year at web company than you will in 4 years at a university.

Knowing what I know now, Iโ€™d only consider going to a university in order to build my personal network. I would only attend a top-tier school where I can be assured that most graduates would do the things I would want people in my network to be doing.

Also keep in mind that degrees are essentially worthless in the non-corporate tech industry. The only thing that matters is what you have done and what skills you have. Once you get some projects under your belt you will always be able to find work.

Take what I say with a grain of salt of course. Iโ€™ve tried to share my experiences rather than advice as much as possible, so you can decide if it applies to you.

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@wanderingdev | 5yr

What kind of job do you want to do when you graduate? Most CS jobs that I can think of would not be remote, particlarly not as entry level. You need to figure out a job that will let you be location independent. Software development is a good one and many nomads go this route, but you wonโ€™t learn to code while getting a CS degree unless you teach yourself on the side. You could start a business and see if you can get it generating enough income. You can figure out what skills you can offer remotely and start freelancing. There are lots of ways to be a nomad, you just have to be creative enough and want it enough. Biggest tip: donโ€™t get into any kind of debt (including school). Itโ€™s not worth it and itโ€™ll make it much harder to go nomading any time soon.

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@digital | 5yr

Hi Joseph,

Nice to meet you !

Actually, Iโ€™m not a digital nomad yet but Iโ€™m in the same situation as you are, studying in a French business school. And I will be entirely gratuated in 2017โ€ฆ

But, here is what I do and what you can do in order to wait until the great moment of your graduation:

  • if you have got a lot of time like me, you can set up a business with freelance work (on odesk.com for instance), create your own business (with niches websites and Adsense revenue). At the beginning, I was posting my work proposition on local website (something like craiglist I think in the US ?) and I had some people from my city who contacted me.
  • maybe your university allows you to do โ€œexchange semester abroadโ€ ? Apply for them and go visit other universities, I think you will learn how to be a freelancer remotely.

For the moment, this is all I have but, if other things come to my mind, I will let you know by posting a message :wink:

And sorry for my non-native English :stuck_out_tongue:

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Read and participate in 13,918 discussions on Nomad List

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Anyone wants to learn to sail in the Mediterranean? (Sep or Oct)

 

by @viktor | 5d 5 days ago | 1 comment

I'm thinking about taking a sailing (yachting) course in the Mediterranean Sea this coming September or October. Thus far from my research, it seems that most courses are held in locations with not many digital nomads. My thinking is that it would be more fun to go to a place with like-minded people. Therefore, I'm wondering if anyone else is interested in taking a sailing course in the Mediterranean this fall? If not, do you know a location that offers good sailing courses, where there is also many digital nomads / nomad infrastructure?

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Any nomads working on startups?

 

by @mattlock | 3mo 2 months ago | 33 comments

Hoping to see all the cool stuff people are working on while they live an extraordinary life.

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Any Ph.D students dissertating while a digital nomad?


by @larsheather | 3mo 3 months ago | 5 comments

Anyone know of any groups or resources for Ph.D. students working on dissertation while living as a digital nomad? I know there are several virtual writing groups around, but wondered if there were any specifically for digital nomads, particularly those who are dissertating.

Thanks!

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Does international health insurance for digital nomads exist?

 

by @al_steffen | 3mo 3 months ago | 59 comments

Hey Nomads!

Iโ€™m looking for an international health insurance (no travel insurance) for my nomadic life. It should cover the basic services and at least be accepted in the EU (itโ€™s ok if itโ€™s not accepted in the US as Iโ€™m aware they rarely are). Nice to have: enter into a contract online. Anyone got a good experience or a recommendation?

Thanks in advance!

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What is the gender split on NomadList?


by @iamhopeless | 4mo 3 months ago | 1 comment

Just curious. What percentage of men vs women are on here.

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How do you invest internationally as a nomad?


by @mateuszwieloch | 4mo 4 months ago | 17 comments

I have finally saved enough money to start investing. What company gives good, diversified access to stock, ETFs and mutual funds? Does it make sense to use company like Vanguard or Fidelity for that? Iโ€™m a EU/Poland citizen, how would I transfer my money back and forth without incurring significant fees?

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I dream of being a digital nomad? How do I do it?


by @programmingmark | 5mo 4 months ago | 2 comments

Hello digital nomad!

I dream of being an independent digital nomad. But it feels very elusive & unattainable with my success rate. In full disclosure, whilst I have dreamed about making money online since high school; I have not earned a single cent making money online. $0, nada, zilch!! On the contrary, I have spent a lot of time & money on books, podcasts. Even though I have spent a lot of time reading/listening to others, I do not have anything to show for it!

I have made attempts in the past to start an online business, but these fizzle out quite quickly when I do not see traction especially when the goal I have set myself is too high.

Instead of reaching for the ultimate nomadic lifestyle goal, I want to start much smaller. Really small! I am simply looking to make $50 profit per month from a new online business. Thatโ€™s it.

I need some advice from you please!

  • Is $50 profit too low? How long did it take you to earn $50 profit per month?

  • What is a good way of achieving this goal?

Thanks
Mark
aka the $0 online business entrepreneur

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Are there any nomad meetups in Osaka?


in Osaka, Japan by @freddychanut | 5mo 5 months ago | 1 comment

Will be in Osaka this April/May and was curious to discover interesting groups/events.
I had a look at FB + Meetup but there doesnโ€™t seem to be much. Any advice on where to look?

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How do digital nomads pay tax?


by @rodriigovieira | 5mo 5 months ago | 19 comments

Hello everyone! Iโ€™m new here and probably this is a very newbie question, but it doesnโ€™t leave my head.

How do you, nomads, pay your taxes? I mean, if youโ€™re constantly traveling, how are you going to pay taxes for a certain country if you are going to stay there a short period of time?
Or do you return to your โ€œoriginal countryโ€ and then pay them?

By the way, this forum has very nice cool formatting features! :smile:

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Are there nomad families here and how do you choose your next destination?


by @martinratinaud | 5mo 5 months ago | 4 comments

All members of my family has different needs and hobbies so how do you pick the perfect places?

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My first time nomad-ing... Spain or Portugal?


in Portugal by @jasraj | 5mo 5 months ago | 6 comments

Hey everyone,

Iโ€™m a freelance + nomad newbie, off for my 1st proper trip in May. Iโ€™m wanting to spend a month somewhere and go from there.

I just came back from Slovenia/Ljubljana and loved it there (just a week). I donโ€™t mind โ€œsleepierโ€ places par-say, as long as theyโ€™re close to a beach or nature of some kind. In fact, I kinda like places less-busy and a bit smaller/cosier.

Iโ€™m been swaying towards Porto, but have been impressed by the rave reviews Iโ€™ve seen for Valencia.

-> Have you every nomad-ed in a Spanish/Portuguese city? Iโ€™d love to know where and what you liked/disliked :slight_smile:

Thanks! :slight_smile:

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How to save filter settings on Nomad List?


by @krzemian | 6mo 6 months ago | 3 comments

Hey, is there currently a way to save filter settings? I feel like it would be helpful for planning the trip as I have several ideas on what to target and would like to cycle between them

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Anyone know an accountant for Canadian nomads/expats?


by @noam_lightstone | 6mo 6 months ago | 16 comments

Hey guys, this was my first year as a Canadian nomad.

As far as I know of, Canadians donโ€™t pay taxes if they do not live in the country for 6 months.

But Iโ€™d like to talk to an accountant or someone who does Canadian taxes specifically for expats and nomads to get clear on the rules and for help on my return coming up.

Does anyone know someone who specializes in Canada who can help? Iโ€™ve seen plenty of US recommendations but none for us canucks.

Thanks guys!

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Best place for Digital Nomad in Latin America?


by @rose_davis | 7mo 7 months ago | 7 comments

Hi!

I am planning to move to Latin America for 3-4 months (Oct-January). Iโ€™ve narrowed down 6 different places that I want to visit before committing to settling down, but Iโ€™d love to get some community input.

Here are the cities Iโ€™m considering:

  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Medellin, Columbia
  • Cartagena, Columbia
  • Antigua, Guatemala
  • San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala

The most important things Iโ€™m looking for:

  • Fast/easily accessible internet
  • Easy to meet other nomads/make friends in general
  • Safe for women
  • Some sort of spiritual community (Iโ€™m also a yoga teacher)
  • Easily walkable city

Anyone have any experience with these places and can give some insight? Iโ€™m also completely open to other recommendations.

Thanks!
Rose

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Where are the nomads in Mexico City?


in Mexico City, Mexico by @shellyfish | 8mo 7 months ago | 9 comments

I just landed as a n00b digital nomad in Mexico City, and I am wonderingโ€ฆ Where are all the international digital nomads hiding around here? I have been to several coworking spaces (Selina etc.) only to find A LOT of local Mexican workers and businesses. Donโ€™t get me wrong, that is all fine, but I was hoping to meet some international nomads! Any advice?

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How do we solve housing for digital nomads?

 

by @levelsio | 8mo 7 months ago | 61 comments

Thereโ€™s been a lot of discussion on this recently.

Nomads usually stay in hostels, hotels and short-term apartments. But itโ€™s all not very optimal.

Iโ€™ve heard people suggest getting funding and building a network of houses you can stay at for a subscription price (e.g. Bruno Haid is working on that).

I donโ€™t want do physical stuff, so Iโ€™m thinking of building a platform around making housing better for nomads.

What are the housing problems nomads face? And how can we solve them with products/services?

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App/tool/service for nomads to bring things from another country?


by @brmolin | 9mo 8 months ago | 4 comments

I vaguely remember hearing about such a service before, but Iโ€™m drawing a blank on the name. Basically I left my tablet on a connecting flight in Europe, right before my main flight to Thailand. They have my tablet and are willing to ship it out for me, but people have warned me thereโ€™s a big risk of it getting โ€œlost in the mailโ€ if I ship something expensive like that to Thailand.

Iโ€™m wondering if thereโ€™s a service or community, where I can find a nomad whoโ€™s in Europe/heading to Thailand soon, so I can have it shipped to them in Europe and pay them to ferry it down here for me? I met someone in Budapest a ways back who had built something for this type of use-case, but I canโ€™t remember the name of it. Any help would be appreciated!

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Are there any nomads from India?

 

in India by @ankitdas123 | 9mo 9 months ago | 56 comments

I have seen a lot of posts from different people across the world, but not even a single post from someone in India, who has been a nomad, either living within the country or traveling to another one.

Would definitely love to hear stories from such people. We are a couple traveling as social nomads who are trying to bridge the gap between the rural and urban societies in India. We have started out very humble and do not have much resources, so looking out for help from the community.

Ankit & Rishika
Around Love and Life

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How is Sicily for digital nomads?


by @gaelm | 9mo 9 months ago | 15 comments

Hi all, I was looking for a cool spot in Southern Europe for winter and Iโ€™m considering Sicilyโ€ฆ Have you ever been there? If yes, how was your experience? If not, why?
thanks!

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How is Bari, Italy for digital nomads?


in Bari, Italy by @mitch_dina | 9mo 9 months ago | 7 comments

Greetings!
Does anyone have experience in Bari, Italy please? We are thinking of going from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Bari by boat in mid-March. Has anyone taken a boat across? Is it nice or can it be choppy? (We are trying to avoid planes, to reduce our carbon footprint, so adding more surface travel.) Also, any info you might be able to offer about Bari and the surrounds? Next step will likely be trains up Italy as the Spring progresses.

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