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If you have social media of any kind, you must have undoubtedly seen the footage of people traveling all across the United States, and even the world, in their converted camper vans. They are earning a living on the road while posting the most insane scenes on social media. Don’t they look comfortable and extremely happy about ditching their 9 to 5 office jobs and making a living while traveling full time as a digital nomad?
Have you ever considered dropping everything and becoming a digital nomad yourself? If you have, this is the article for you, where we will discuss our tips on becoming a digital nomad while overlanding.
Safety on the Road
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Partially due to social media, it’s not hard for bad people to figure out that a good camper van these days has an excellent chance to harbor work equipment, which could make you a potential target for break-ins.
Just as van life and living as a digital nomad has become increasingly popular, van break-ins have too. As you can easily guess, having a good set of locks like these always helps. It’s common sense to take your valuables from your car, but when living in a van, that is not very realistic, and not everyone can afford an expensive security system for their van.
If you enjoy bouncing off the mountains on your mountain bike, you don’t want to be carrying your laptop on your back. Always have proper locks on all doors, and remember to check them every time you lock them to make sure they will prevent the doors from being opened. You can also think about investing in steering wheel locks so no one other than you can move your van.
Being a Digital Nomad Requires That You Stay Connected
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To work from a van, you will always need access to the internet. Some camping sites will offer Wi-Fi, but they will often have low speeds or lousy coverage. A Wi-Fi booster could help you out there, and if you need to find a place with Wi-Fi to beat your 4G speeds, it can come in handy to keep a Wi-Fi booster/repeater in your van as a part of your work equipment.
While you are on the road or camping in a remote area, you will need a mobile subscription to cover your internet needs. But due to an unforeseen increase in zoom calls, for instance, you could run out of data prematurely.
The best backup tip we can give you is to find a Starbucks. Besides providing a lovely space to work in during opening hours, you are still allowed to use their Wi-Fi in the parking lot while sitting in your van, even when they are closed. So if you do happen to run out of data, this can come in handy as a valuable backup plan.
Another tip for staying connected as a digital nomad is don’t use your phone as a hotspot. Besides quickly draining your power, doing this regularly drastically shortens the lifespan of your phone’s battery. Instead, using a mobile router that uses a sim card for connection is a phone-safe alternative for a steady connection while you work.
Three Easy Softwares to Make Working on the Road Easier
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A few tools make working on the road more manageable and practical for you and your client, boss or audience. For digital communication, we want to cover three tools with you in this article.
Zoom is a video conferencing software that is popular among digital nomads. It’s an excellent tool to arrange and join online meetings while working from a van. It is integrated seamlessly with google allowing you to schedule an online meeting directly from your Google Calendar; it requires no extra installations for you or your clients, making it an ideal tool.
Trello is a great project management tool to create and keep order in the chaos of having different assignments open. All tasks are available as a thumbnail on a single page. This means you no longer have to sift through your inbox to find that client’s documents. Trello also allows you to respond to messages and comes with both a desktop app and an in-browser environment. You simply check it off when it’s complete, moving it from one pile to another.
Loom is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to easily and quickly record a video right from your screen. You can make unlimited screen recordings while sharing your message or knowledge. This also makes it ideal for webinars which are becoming increasingly popular for digital nomads and other entrepreneurs. The videos are stored in the cloud on a personal account. Other than webinars, this tool is also very useful to explain reports to a client.
The Camper Van Itself is Crucial for Living as a Digital Nomad
So we have discussed van safety and what tools you can use to make working on the road easier. Now it’s time to discuss the camper van itself.
First of all, you will need to create a designated workspace that won’t kill your back during the longer trips, so working with your laptop on your bed is out of the question. You need a desk.
The Vision X from Truevan is an excellent example of a versatile camper van packed with all the necessities to be a digital nomad.
Their vans include office space in the back of the van with a four-foot table and fold-up bench that provides more than enough room for you to get your work done. And if you want to switch things up, Truevan vehicles come with 180degree swivel seats in the front that allow you to create a second seating space for up to four people in the front. The maple-top lagun table behind the driver’s seat can then be used as a secondary workspace or dining area.
Another fantastic feature Truevan incorporates into their vans is a solar power system with dual 100-watt solar panels on the roof connected to a battery that provides you with more than enough power to have lighting and a fully charged laptop and phone. A single charge lasts several days, so you don’t have to worry about your next location’s weather conditions and whether or not you can charge your batteries.
Truevan also has a fully equipped bathroom with a shower and a toilet in a single space to save room. In addition, this bathroom comes with a nifty feature that allows you to expand it from 5 to 7 inches, so you will always have enough room to have a good shower and feel clean and recharged for that zoom call.
There’s even local Wi-Fi, loads of 20-amp and USB receptacles, tons of LED lighting, and screens on the doors so you can work while getting some fresh air, too. The list of features goes on and on!
Living as a digital nomad doesn’t have to be difficult or uncomfortable, and the TrueVan Vision X is certainly a testament to that!