Digital nomad is a term given to those who choose to wirelessly work while travelling around their country and even the world. They rely on telecommunications and the internet to make a living, and find work in different locations. For some this provides an opportunity to continue working for a company that encourages you to see parts of the world, and for others they take the risk and become self-employed freelancers aiming to earn enough to simply get by.
A digital nomads destination of choice is usually driven by low-cost living while still maintaining a connection. They are generally attracted to parts of Southeast Asia and the less-expensive side of Europe where cost of living and travel is not above their means. As such, digital nomads may not be able to live and work anywhere in the world, but the goal is always to become location independent.
Most of the benefits of a nomadic lifestyle are obvious. Digital nomads are offered the opportunity to take on an extensive list of experiences while earning a living. They are given the luxury of freedom that those working 9-5 may never know. They are continually learning and developing their skill set, and expanding their network of travelling companions and career contacts. The main benefit however is simplifying your life and minimising your possessions so you can carry everything you need in a suitcase.
There are always drawbacks to anything, even to something as enviable as a never-ending work-cation (working vacation). Several successful digital nomads that love their lifestyle have admitted this way of life has its shortcomings.
Balancing life, travel and work can become difficult and often results in a lack of routine. This can take a large toll on the body and increase stress levels, hindering its efficiency and health. The act of moving place to place also impacts the ability to develop meaningful connections with people and changes how you manage these existing relationships. Finally, always being connected means your work and life are never truly separate. You are always working when you carry your workplace with you.
The majority of digital nomads are in tech, media, online sales, consultancy and life coaching, and all have a passion and love for what they do. Whether they write, develop websites, design, or plan events, having the skill to sell your passion and produce quality work is the most important skill you can have.
Click here to see how seven digital nomads live and work around the world.