The life of a Digital Nomad

Digital nomad life ? What is it like..Being a digital nomad is becoming ever more popular, as remote working increases and global travel begins to open up again. But what exactly is a digital nomad?

According to Wikipedia a digital nomad is someone who is location independent and uses technology to perform their job, living a nomadic lifestyle. They work remotely, telecommuting rather than being physically present at a company’s headquarters or office.

Digital Nomad life is not being a backpacker

Digital nomads are partly evolved from backpacking. As far back as the 1960’s people would independently travel the world in search of themselves or wanting to see exciting, far off places. This continued through the next few decades where post university students would head off on a year out. However, this was often time and budget limited as it needed to be paid for. So people worked at home for a period of time and then travelled on a budget or they travelled to countries like Australia, New Zealand or Canada and worked for the vast majority of their stay before spending their savings seeing some of the country they’d just worked in.
With the onset of the internet and remote working the last decade has seen many more people be able to work time and location independent and from this was born the industry of the digital nomad. People can work for many years and in multiple destinations from their lap top or smart phone while living a truly nomadic lifestyle. Cool isn’t it ..?

In the early days travellers used to use internet cafes and coffee shops that had internet access but in recent times serviced offices and hot desking have become popular as more and more people have taken up remote working. Today you can spend a week working and living in London and then the following week be based working and living in Hua Hin Thailand

Location independent communities

A whole industry has grown around this trend with rented office space, hot desks and even small rented studios appearing all over the world so there is no limit to the ability to live and work anywhere in the world. Specialist areas pop up in various parts of the world where certain specialities congregate. For example Chiang Mai in Thailand has a large SEO community and hosts large international SEO conferences there annually.

The life of a digital nomad appears glamorous and care free but there are pitfalls and risks. While remote working is gaining in popularity due to the pandemic, this doesn’t really qualify as being a digital nomad. To qualify as a digital nomad you generally have to have a remote lifestyle in a foreign country and also be on the move, if not constantly then certainly every now and again.

digital nomad accommodation

Some digital nomads work for a company or have a “job” while others freelance or work the “gig” economy. The job option obviously offers the safety net of a regular income but a freelance role offers the ultimate in flexibility. So the choice is very much down to individual circumstances.

Most digital nomads recommend having some savings before you depart, having at least some reliable work before you go and planning your trip in advance so you know where you’ll be heading in the first few months of your travels.

There are plenty of books on digital nomading along with online groups and forums which can be very helpful if you’re thinking about embarking on the lifestyle of a digital nomad. The lifestyle of digital working is gaining in popularity and as the world opens up again to travel more and more opportunities will present themselves to truly work anywhere in the world.

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