Have you thought about making a career change? Perhaps you find yourself stuck to the 9 to 5 lifestyle, chained to a desk in an office cubicle. Maybe you’ve wondered if there’s a life outside of the office.
Did you know that many have embraced a location independent lifestyle — one that’s exciting, fresh and life-changing? Wouldn’t you like to travel the world while making enough money to enjoy each day? Welcome to the world of digital nomads. Like the gig economy, the digital nomad has risen in importance and popularity in recent years.
Who Are Digital Nomads?
Who are these individuals and what makes them different from regular office workers? Digital nomads are people who work in the digital realm. They are digital marketers, sales professionals, designers, entrepreneurs and SEO experts. Basically they can be anyone with a specific skill-set. The big difference between them and their conventional counterparts is that the digital nomad is location independent. They are free to travel the world while working on the road. All they need is a laptop and WiFi.
Some digital nomads may work from an RV that has been converted into a portable workspace. Others may make daily stops at cafes or public libraries. Some may choose to relocate to Southeast Asia and spend a month in an Airbnb apartment with a relatively low cost of living.
Whatever digital nomads do or wherever they choose to go, the focus is on being their own boss and being location independent.
Why Would Someone Choose This Lifestyle?
For some, the idea of being on the move constantly may seem lonely and scary. However, the lifestyle of a digital nomad is far from boredom and isolation. In fact, digital nomads are the most connected individuals in the world.
While traveling, digital nomads constantly meet other people and learn about their local cultures. They participate in online nomad forums and network with like-minded entrepreneurs in the real world. Since these individuals work online in the digital realm, they are always connected to people all around the world.
So why would someone choose this lifestyle? This is a life that embraces fun, excitement and adventure. It allows the nomad to experience the world from a different perspective. The truth is, many people are looking for a change or a way to escape their regular life. What better way to break free of life’s chains than to travel the world and work at the same time?
The answer? The digital nomad life.
The Benefits of Being a Digital Nomad
Becoming a digital nomad has its own benefits – the opportunity to experience a new life and gain new perspectives. Nevertheless, there is still the issue of money to consider. The question is, how sustainable is this lifestyle?
Freedom to Travel
Firstly, the digital nomad’s main goal is to travel the world. Whether it is relocating to Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia, it is about moving to new places and meeting new people. The location independent lifestyle—along with the lower cost of living—allows the digital nomad to do that and work at the same time.
All a digital nomad requires is a reliable internet connection and a laptop. With this, they can practically work from anywhere. Those photos you see of people with their Macbooks at the beach? That’s real. People are doing it every single day.
Meet New People
Secondly, it’s about developing new and exciting relationships. Traveling to new places forces a digital nomad to get out of his comfort zone, even if he or she doesn’t speak the local language. This change is what forges growth and networking.
Another benefit associated with the digital nomad lifestyle is the ever-changing workplace. People in regular office jobs tend to become complacent at work, which causes their performance to slip over time. This hinders their chance to climb the corporate ladder. It might lead to an early termination. Consider the meetings one has to attend every day, and the quarterly performance reviews in a regular job.
No More Office Politics
With the digital nomad lifestyle, there are no unproductive meetings to attend, no boss to watch over you, no pointless water-cooler talk. Everything a digital nomad does is with a purpose. The people they meet have no agenda – for the most part. It is a life that lets them be who they really are. Office politics? Throw that out of the window. For the digital nomad, it’s about being truly productive when they sit down at a cafe and turn on their laptop.
The Role Technology Plays
Plenty of people especially Millennials are becoming drawn to remote working. It would not be possible to be a digital nomad without technology. Computers and smartphones play the biggest roles in the lifestyle of a digital nomad. Believe it or not, most nomads work as freelancers, while others work as writers, designers or entrepreneurs. There are plenty of app developers who code and ship their product while traveling. All these is made possible by technology.
A digital nomad can email or upload a file to a client via dropbox, or collaborate with others using Google Docs. A meeting can be arranged over Skype, and payments can be processed via PayPal. There are plenty of online nomad communities, forums and Slack channels for a digital nomad to get advice or find freelance work.
The truth is, without technology, the concept of a digital nomad wouldn’t exist. That is why so many people have embraced the location independent lifestyle. It may not be a life for everyone, but for some people, it might just be the fresh start that they need.