For a digital nomad, often home is wherever you are at the moment. However, there is a certain comfort in having a home base. When you are traveling for extended periods, though, how do you create a space that is yours to call home?
It is possible. The most difficult thing is often deciding where to call home and what exactly that looks like. Can you really make a home base as a digital nomad? The answer is yes. It will take some planning though, and there are some questions you will want to ask yourself and things to consider.
Here are some tips and tricks.
Location, Location, Location
The first key is to decide where home is. Is your home in your country of origin, or have you found somewhere else in the world that feels more like home? Where do you keep going back to, and where do you feel the most comfortable?
This may take you some time to narrow down. First you can determine what country that home is in, and then what city. The location of your home base will often relate to your family if they are still a part of your life, or where you have the most friends and social connections.
This is a critical decision, and one not to be made lightly. Even if you will not return there more than a few times a year, you want this location to be one that you love. It should be a place you could see yourself living if you stop traveling as much. When you find that place, you have determined the location for your home base.
What do you actually need? As a digital nomad, you have probably narrowed those things down to what you can carry with you, but if you establish a home base, those things will probably expand a little bit. You will need some furniture, some kitchenware, and a bed, futon, or other sleeping apparatus.
Likely the space you choose will be small. If there are things of sentimental value to you or items you collect from your travels, keep this space in mind. Gather only those things you absolutely need to cook, survive, sleep, and enjoy your home base. To keep from going overboard, limit the size and type of items you purchase, and make sure you have a place for them.
Develop a new in, out with the old policy. If you purchase something new, get rid of something old you are no longer using. This will keep the “things” you surround yourself with to a minimum.
What’s Inside Counts
Yes, you want to be as minimal as possible. Most things you will not use often and limiting things to what you need does matter. However, seating options, sleeping, and other comforts are important. You should also allow yourself “treats” from time to time, so that your home base really feels like home.
This can be anything from a special piece of furniture or an elegant area rug to a special kitchen gadget or a piece of technology that makes your life richer and more pleasant when you are “home.” What is inside the place that you call home does matter, and you will not only want to be comfortable, but you will want your space to look good and invoke feelings of comfort.
Furnish your home minimally yes, but don’t ignore style and fashion in favor of pure utility. This will make your home base more welcoming for you and for others.
Rent it Out
Speaking of others, what is happening with your space when you are not there? If you are gone for extended periods of time, especially if your home base is in a popular destination location, you can rent it out. This can be done either on a month to month basis so you can schedule visits home, or you can use a service like Airbnb.
Either way, you will want to have someone you trust, either a friend or a company, keep an eye on the place and manage it for you. This might cost you a little bit, but if you are renting out regularly, your profits should pay for that and give you some extra cash as well.
You’re also helping others who are traveling and need a place to stay. Increasingly, people are looking for alternatives to traditional hotels and resorts, and your place can provide them with a unique option while you are away.
The sharing economy is alive and well, and you as a digital nomad should take as much advantage of it as you can.
Clean it Up
The one thing that can make coming home stressful and less desirable is clutter and dirt. If every time you come home you spend the first day cleaning, you’ll be inclined to stay away longer. The neatness of your home affects your attitude and mood, so be sure to keep things tidy.
This means some of the money you make from Airbnb or rentals should be used to clean the place often, and especially right before you arrive home after a trip. The relief you feel from being in your own space will be magnified by comfort and cleanliness.
As a digital nomad, you can establish ad home and home base if you want to. Choosing a location, being minimalist but practical, and setting up the inside to be welcoming are all critical. Renting your place out to make extra cash and keeping it clean will make it feel even more like home, and for a digital nomad, that can be a game changer.