As you scroll through Instagram, you see a few certain people constantly traveling, posting pics of exotic places living a carefree lifestyle. You can’t help but wonder how they can afford to live like this? Don’t they have an office to go to? How much vacation time do they get?
It sounds like they’re probably a digital nomad.
You’ve heard the term thrown around before, but haven’t quite grasped the concept of it.
What is a digital nomad?
I’m here to tell you exactly what a digital nomad is and why it’s the secret behind all of those people who are constantly traveling around the world.
What is a Digital Nomad?
Plain and simple, a digital nomad is someone who works remotely while traveling the world. They don’t have a home base and are constantly on the move, whether it be every couple of weeks or every few months.
The term “digital nomad” was first coined in 1997 by authors Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners in their book, Digital Nomad.
As technology advanced and people found that they could either work their current jobs or run a business remotely, they decided to uproot their lives, sell their possessions, and travel the world.
A digital nomad can be employed by a company, a freelancer, or have their own online business. No matter what type of job they have, as long as they can, and choose, to do it anywhere in the world, they’re considered a digital nomad.
As of 2018, 4.8 million people identified as digital nomads… and that number is expected to keep increasing!
Benefits of Being a Digital Nomad
Why would someone want to become a digital nomad? There are quite a few great reasons why someone would pack up their life and live out of a suitcase.
- Flexible hours
- See the world
- Meet new people
- Ultimate freedom
- Amazing experiences
Downfalls of Being a Digital Nomad
As with everything, there are some downfalls to the digital nomad lifestyle. It isn’t always sandy beaches and coconuts filled with rum. There are some unique problems that digital nomads tend to run into.
- Little to no stability
- Exhausting at times
- More difficult than expected
- Sense of loneliness
Types of Jobs for Digital Nomads
Now that you know the definitive explanation of what a digital nomad is, you’re probably wondering what types of jobs they have that give them the freedom to travel the world and work flexible hours.
These are just a few of the most popular jobs amongst the digital nomad community:
- App Developer
- Web Developer and Designer
- Graphic Designer
- E-Commerce Manager
- Freelance Writer
The list is endless, though! If you can make money from your computer then you have the potential to be a digital nomad.
Where to Digital Nomads Live?
The world is big. So how do digital nomads decide where to go?
Most digital nomads choose to live in countries with a low cost of living. While they are making a comfortable salary, they can get much more for their dollar. Whether they wish to live luxuriously or are trying to build up their savings, this is typical for nomads.
Several hubs have popped up around the world where nomads flock and find themselves surrounded by like-minded people. These locations range from islands with beautiful beaches to metropolitan cities.
As a digital nomad, though, you can choose to go wherever you want!
Packing the Essentials
If you live out of your suitcase, what are some items you just have to have? Well, there are a few essential items digital nomads must carry with them.
First – and the most important – is their laptop. This is the beating heart of a digital nomad’s lifestyle. Everything, and I mean everything, is on it! This is how all of their work is done!
Imagine showing up to your place of work and finding it burned down one day. You’re out of a job and a lot of work has been lost. That’s what it’s like when a nomad’s laptop breaks, lost, or – god forbid – stolen.
The second most important item a digital nomad must carry is a passport. You can’t travel without it. What is a digital nomad who doesn’t travel? Answer: a remote worker.
As long as a digital nomad has these items, they can do whatever they want! The rest (clothing, shoes, soap, etc.) is negligible.
Want to Learn More About Digital Nomads?
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When I’m not writing and teaching people how to achieve a location-independent lifestyle, you can find me globetrotting, experiencing new cultures, and working on my amateur photography skills.