Becoming a Digital Nomad: How to Live and Work from the Road

Guest Contributor | August 22, 2018

GUEST BLOG POST

Ah, life on the open road – traveling to new places, experiencing new things, meeting new people. A lifestyle most dream about, but can be realized while working full time.

Yes, we said full time.

We’re Justin and Ariele of Wild We Wander – two remote workers who have been living and working from the road full time in our 22’ Airstream Bambi Sport as digital nomads since February 2017. Want a glimpse into our lifestyle? Watch our documentary below.

Our journey started three years ago with our truck George. George is a 2009 Ford F250 Super Duty work truck. He may look like your average work truck, but looks can be deceiving – he’s so much more than that.

We love stretching the value out of things, so we decided to re purpose George into a storage unit that doubles as a camper.

George is our old faithful. He’s given us shelter when we needed it. He’s been a storage space when we had nowhere to store all of our belongings while we downsized. And he serves as our mobile office while we travel today.

Looking to hit the road, but need help setting up your mobile office? Below are some recommendations to help you get started.

Determine Your Power Setup

Primary source

If you plan on consistently working from the road, you need a reliable power source. For us, the sun is our primary power source.

We installed a flat, adhesive 60W PowerFilm solar panel to the top of our truck George. Additionally, we have a 60W foldable PowerFilm solar panel that we can daisy chain to the 60W panel when we’re stationary to increase our charge rate, giving us a total of 120W of solar power to charge our RIVER portable power station.

We love our portable power station for these reasons:

  • It’s lightweight at just 11 pounds.
  • It’s ductless, so it’s safe to use and charge while driving.
  • It’s plug-and-play with our PowerFilm setup.
  • It offers a 12V outlet to power needed mobile office supplies (which we’ll get into below).

Secondary source

It’s always important to have a backup power source. For us, we use the 12V outlet in George to power our BESTEK power inverter, which sits in the foldable drink tray near the dash. We use the power inverter while we’re driving so we can conserve power from our portable power station. In fact, we can trickle charge our portable power station if the sun’s taking a day off or it’s night time.

Get a Cell Phone Booster

The digital nomad who works in telecommunications needs a strong wireless connection to do their job well. Without a cell phone booster, you won’t be able to confidently work from the road, especially in areas that are more remote.

 We installed a weBoost Drive 4G-X on the roof of our truck.

We prefer the 12V cable that comes with the unit, but weBoost does offer an AC (alternating current) cable. However, we find that the 12V plug produces better connection results versus the AC cable. Plus, we wired our mobile office with multiple 12V outlets:

  • 12V outlet in the truck via the power inverter
  • 12V outlet via our portable power station

This cell phone booster is the reason we’re able to go adventuring and remaining connected and getting stuff done. We recently traveled through Southern Utah’s five national parks in a week and worked full time along the way.

Want to start your digital nomad transformation? Our guide, Becoming a Digital Nomad: A Step-by-Step Guide to Living and Working from the Road, contains more detailed content and practical homework assignments that will have you living the digital nomad life as soon as you can!

 

Ramble on!