There’s no shortage of people out there today who are yearning to live the “Digital Nomad” lifestyle, and who are doing absolutely everything in their power to follow in the footsteps of Tim Ferriss, and work from the road for the better part of the year.
Of course, living as a Digital Nomad can be an amazing experience, and comes with all kinds of potential perks and upsides – not least of all the fact that adventure always waits just around the next corner.
At the same time, though, there are all sorts of challenges associated with this lifestyle – and issues of security are certainly included in that.
If you run a more conventional and “stationary” business, it’s generally pretty straightforward to hire a security company to keep things in line. But when it’s just you and your backpack on the open road, things can get hairy pretty quickly.
Here are a few personal security tips for working and living on the go.
Be mindful of your surroundings at all times – try to avoid deserted areas, and densely packed crowds alike
If you’re wondering whether or not you look like a tourist or a foreigner while travelling around, the odds are that you do – even if you are ethnically identical to the people in the country you are exploring.
Tourists just tend to have a “way” about them when walking around – something about smiling a lot and being bright-eyed and curious, instead of getting their heads down and going to work, maybe.
The massive rucksacks are probably a dead giveaway, too.
Just be aware that pickpockets, gangs, and other predatory sorts will be watching you. Avoid deserted areas where you can be jumped easily – and also try to avoid squeezing through densely packed crowds where pickpocketing is almost certain.
Research locations in advance, and avoid making potentially important decisions in the heat of the moment
When you’re in a new place for the first time, you are at several big security disadvantages compared to the average local. For one thing, you’re unlikely to know whether or not you’re about to wander into a bad neighbourhood, or violate a sensitive cultural taboo.
The only real solution to this is to research your location in advance, search up the right questions online, communicate, and get a clear sense of what’s what before you arrive.
Also, avoid making potentially important decisions in the heat of the moment. If you think some “bank teller” looks suspicious, don’t be too quick to hand over your debit card.
Be discreet – don’t flash your money or valuables around too freely while in a public setting
Back home, it may not be a big deal to pull your iPhone out of your pocket and send a text while walking around town. But there’s no reason to assume it won’t make you a magnet for the wrong kind of attention when you’re travelling.
In many countries in the world, people just do not flash their money or valuables around in public – because doing so would be a big security risk.
Always opt to be discreet, rather than showy. It’s generally better to look like an ordinary guy or gal in a T-shirt and jeans, than a wealthy foreign celebrity striding down the metaphorical red carpet.