A Digital Nomad Lifestyle means someone who works remotely primarily while traveling to various places such as coffee shops, hotels, co-working spaces, or libraries anywhere in the world. There are numerous types of digital nomads.
For someone who’s been a digital nomad myself, I know the journey can be interesting, but along the way, I’ve always been asked the question, how do you live this life? now it may come off as a shock to some, but this was never part of the plan.
Some people use a campervan or RV to explore their own nation. Some people work from various ports of call while living on sailboats.
Others travel by plane from one country to another and stay in hostels or Airbnb flats.
The general concept of working online is complete mobility.
Reports claimed that over the past three years, there has been a steady rise in the number of digital nomads in the United States, which is more than double the number in 2019 at 15.5 million in 2021.
In a recent Qualtrics report, 80 percent of job seekers stated that having the option to reside anywhere would be vital in their new endeavors.
Why Do People Choose To Be Digital Nomads?
Working while traveling is basically what dreams are made of for many people like me. You get to enjoy so much of the world that is outside the walls and windows of your homes and offices.
Here is a list of benefits that I found while living like a digital nomad:
1. You Get The Best Of Both Worlds
If you have a soul of a wanderer and traveling is your passion, working a normal corporate job may make you feel shackled with no escape in sight because how often can an employee take a travel leave without much work stress? Trust me, I know what corporate slavery feels like.
Once-a-year vacations are luxuries that only a few can afford, and they are 7-14 days long and can not replenish your exhausted mental health from the other 300 days of tireless work.
Being a digital nomad would mean that you get to follow your passion, work, and earn, all at the same time, without making you feel like you are trapped in a toxic cycle of continuous hustling at work.
To be productive, you no longer need to be chained to your desk for eight hours a day, five days a week. Instead, you can travel the world, interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds, and choose where and when you want to work.
You are more likely to feel inspired and motivated to work, which means your work quality can also improve.
2. The Family’s Choice
We have often come across families complaining about how jobs result in time constraints for parents. Mostly children and spouses witness the breadwinner of the family entirely consumed by their office work, even on days off. This leaves them with very little time to make memories and bond with their family.
But as an answer to this problem, many people choose to become digital nomads because they get to travel guilt free with their families while simultaneously earning money.
A new kind of digital nomad wishing to travel the world and make lifelong memories with their family has emerged as a result of flexible job arrangements and homeschooling.
Initially, a digital nomad was someone in their 20’s who didn’t have much responsibility on their shoulder, but recently it has been found that around 70% of the digital nomads are parents who travel with their families.
3. Readily Available Information
The evolution of technology and the internet has made almost everyone at ease. You no longer have to skim through a newspaper to find yourself a suitable job, nor do you have to be physically present to work for an employer.
With the help of authentic online job sites and information, you could easily find yourself a job, apply for it, and start working without much of a hassle.
Finding work has become simpler for digital nomads as a result of the expansion of remote job sites and online talent marketplaces.
There are websites that offer a variety of helpful information. For almost 1,200 places worldwide, Nomad List, for instance, offers data on the cost of living, internet speeds, taxes, visas, and a range of other topics.
So working while traveling may not be as difficult after all.
Being a Digital Nomad Isn’t Everyone’s Cup of Tea
We have discussed the pros of being a digital nomad, but it has its fair share of cons that aren’t often discussed.
Choosing to be a digital nomad means turning your life upside down and adapting to an entirely different lifestyle, which may sound appealing at first but can catch up soon enough to make you regret your decision.
The idea of traveling is always appealing, but the constant packing and unpacking are where I had to draw the line. This is why I soon fell into the habit of packing light.
1. Initial Financial Constraints
It isn’t easy to completely uproot your life and become a digital nomad. The first indication of the change in your life will come in the form of expenses. It will no longer be about only your house’s utility bills or your car’s fuel charges, you will rather have to fret over food delivery bills, plane tickets, Airbnb costs, etc.
Your budget will become an entirely different concept, and you will take time to learn the basics of this business. There is a greater chance of your expenses increasing initially, but the more you get accustomed to being a digital nomad, the easier life will be for you.
Another important thing to remember is that every country has a different ratio of expenses; some may be cheaper while others won’t.
For example, Central or South American cities are cheaper than New York or San Francisco. So choosing your country or city of stay will also have a huge impact on your wallet.
2. Burn Outs and Homesickness
No matter how much you love traveling, there will come a day when you crave the peace of being home. And that’s a reality, especially when you are constantly packing and traveling there will come a time when you feel exhausted and lost.
If you are traveling solo, things are likelier to be worse for you, given that you won’t have that sense of familiarity with anyone, and you might want to run back home to your friends and family. But it gets better with time.
You will get the hang of feeling at home with the help of video calls and by finding peace in your surroundings eventually. So your job is to persevere instead of panicking.
3. Not So Productive Afterall
A constant change in location and surroundings can take a toll on your productivity. There will be times when you will not have the heart to work if you are in a beautiful location; you will be easily convinced to give up work to not miss out on the moment and thrill of adventure.
Eventually, you will learn to fight these distractions and maintain your work-life balance. And if you still do continue to struggle, you could always look up various online resources to keep your productivity intact such as searching for tips on productivity for digital nomads.
Thus the digital nomad life does have its dark side because you will be constantly on the move, and there will be times when you haven’t seen your family for a year or more. You will be working with people you have or may never see in real life, taking away from that personal aspect of a working relationship.
Bonus! A Digital Nomad’s Go-To Apps
To make your life easier and your work more productive and exciting, you can always rely on the following apps:
Among the many other websites for flight search, I highly recommend Google from personal experience as it provides you with the freedom to locate the best deal. It is the best solution for cost-effective traveling.
With the help of this website, you have a significant advantage because it makes it simple to include local airports in the search.
This app makes work easier for you by helping you create quality content on the go without much hassle. Canva goes above and beyond by helping you publish dynamic posts with a variety of eye-catching designs. What’s better is that it offers templates for logos, infographics, Youtube thumbnails, business cards, and even flyers.
So irrespective of your field, you could always use Canva’s assistance to make your life easier.
If you are looking to transfer money back home to your family or anyone else, Transferwise should be the website to go to. They provide swift transfers for a minimal price and support a variety of currencies. Additionally, IBAN and Swift Codes are not required. Transferwise handles the rest after the money is moved to a local account!
A hassle-free transfer? Count me in!
Most digital nomads are freelancers like me. And my go-to app for work was Freelancer, as it offers two forms of jobs for freelancers.
Some popular freelance websites to hunt projects are:
Clients initially post a project, to which independent contractors offer a proposal. The client assesses each freelancer’s profile before selecting one to work with.
Both the client and the freelancer are not charged for account creation. Only 8 jobs may be applied for by the freelancer for free each month.
Employers are required to pay 3% of the project’s total cost. The platforms took 10% of any assignment’s overall cost, whether fixed-price or hourly, before paying any freelancers.
There is also the option to buy a membership, which grants you several benefits over the free account. But the free version of the app isn’t too bad an option itself.
Health insurance is one of my major concerns while traveling because what if you fall sick and the treatment costs a lot? In that case, having insurance in the form of Safety Wing will save you from worrying about that. You have to pay the insurance monthly and have the freedom to cancel your subscription whenever you want.
Life tip – Even if you don’t find this app to your liking, ensure your health insurance is covered!
Living the life of a digital nomad isn’t easy, believe me. But if you took an informed decision to live this way, trust me, you will love it! Like every journey in life, it will have a fair share of downs, but you will have to trust the process and find happiness in the little things.
To excel at the digital nomad lifestyle, you need to have the perfect mix of patience, passion, and perseverance. And once you have them under your belt, you’ll learn to learn your lifestyle no matter what.
Don’t forget to keep balance in your life and keep my advice in mind!