What is a digital nomad?

If you’re anything like me, you’re a wanderlust. You seek greener pastures in far-off destinations. You live to travel. And your laptop and phone are your office. Thoughts of sugary-white-sanded beaches and shimmering turquoise waters beckon and call your name. Sure, it sounds alluring to become a digital nomad, doesn’t it? But, what does it take?

Well, if you’re looking to roam free as a bird, you’re not alone. A recent study by the New York Times found that most industries are embracing remote work. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to be self-employed. Far from the contrary. You can, in fact, become a digital nomad while working for another company.

Let’s start with the definition. A Digital Nomad uses online (or “digital”) tools to work from wherever they choose. This kind of work has also been referred to as “location independent.”

Digital nomads are individuals that leverage wireless digital technologies to perform their work duties, and more generally conduct their lifestyle in a nomadic manner. Such workers typically work remotely—from home, coffee shops, public libraries and even from recreational vehicles to accomplish tasks and goals that used to traditionally take place in a single stationary workplace. However, most digital nomads do work for themselves. They get to the call the shots. Often, they’re savvy internet marketers. They build sales funnels and run Facebook ads. They live and breathe to make money online. They’re constantly growing and expanding their skillset to bolster their nomadic lifestyles.

To many, it sounds an attractive but also frightening endeavor that requires they put far too much on the line. What if you can’t afford to pay your expenses? What if you run out of money while in some foreign country? What if your wallet or computer or phone is stolen? How do you avoid all the potential pitfalls associated with being a digital nomad?

The truth is that there will always be some risk associated with being a digital nomad. You can’t expect to get off risk free. But, if you’re one of those fly by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of guys or girls, then there’s nothing more exhilarating or more rewarding than traveling the world as a digital nomad.

You get to live among a diverse set of cultures around the world. To experience life in a new and exciting way. It’s for those who value adventure over certainty. There’s little boredom when traveling as a digital nomad. There truly is nothing better than this nomadic lifestyle.

Different Types of Digital Nomads

  • Freelancers who write, code, coach, run social media campaigns, etc. for their clients online
  • Professionals who provide online/remote services including things like legal help, accounting, or even counseling
  • Entrepreneurs who manage their team using online tools
  • Employees who work remotely within a more traditional company
  • People who create and sell digital products like e-books, guides, online subscription services, etc.
  • And sometime it’s a combination of the above

The benefits of digital nomads vary:

  • More freedom to follow our own life script, for life to look more and more the way we want it to
  • No more commuting in traffic and wearing uncomfortable work clothes
  • Typically there’s more freedom to create your own work schedule – no more 9 to 5
    Fewer bills and less need for material things, so we have more money to spend on experiences
  • Less opportunity to accumulate and get bogged down by tons of extra “stuff”
  • Experiencing new places – variety keeps life interesting
  • Ability to save money by living in places with lower cost of living

Convinced? Before you do and jump into the gig economy, check out my related post: Is the gig economy real?

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