Traveling is an inexhaustible source of creativity. Meeting people from different cultures, discovering new territories and new destinations, and immersing yourself in unknown customs are all enriching experiences.
If you find that traveling around the world is one of your biggest dreams, why not turn to a job that’ll make it happen? Maybe it's time for you to become a digital nomad!
How can you change your life, travel, and become one of the many nomadic teleworkers? Here’s all our best advice to adopt this lifestyle, between telecommuting and vacations!
What does digital nomad mean?
A digital nomad is somebody who works either full or part time remotely while traveling.
This lifestyle defines digital workers who decide to live a new experience by transforming travel into office and vice versa. In fact, more and more companies are allowing their employees to go wherever they want, within the country or abroad, thanks to telecommuting.
Because this term designates several jobs, it includes several potential activities, freelance or salaried, and can allow you to travel to the four corners of the globe. Much more than a simple status, it’s the incarnation of a state of mind.
Definition of this movement
Being a digital nomad means not having a fixed workplace and engaging in remote working in the location of your choosing. Many professions allow this flexibility for remote workers. Freelance or employee: it all depends on your preference and the company that employs you. Most digital nomads are freelancers.
It’s about carrying out your professional activity via the internet, using easily transportable work tools and taking advantage of this flexible mode of operation to travel.
The only constraints are to fulfill your objectives and therefore to find a workspace, a temporary office, and also to prepare a budget large enough to enjoy these years of travel.
To become a digital nomad, you just need some computer skills, a laptop, and a good WiFi connection. To avail of this lifestyle, it’s simply a question of practicing one of the jobs that can be done anywhere on the planet, remotely, as long as you can simply access the web.
A trend that’s exploding
Because combining work and travel is a dream experience for many of us, the trend embodied by digital nomads is exploding!
With this status, it’s now possible to manage one’s professional activity, one’s company or companies, while changing location and living environment very frequently...
The trend has been growing steadily over the last few years, and the statistics are clear. Today, 5 million people are already digital nomads, and new coworking spaces are constantly appearing to welcome them all over the world.
By 2020, there were already 26,000 coworking spaces around the world, in hundreds of destinations! According to recent estimates, by 2035, there could well be more than one billion nomadic workers!
As borders become more open and the economy becomes more digitalized, traveling while working is becoming a reality. Even companies are starting to assimilate this trend for employees.
Many employees are changing their lives during their careers to become freelancers and enjoy working remotely a bit like being on vacation!
The advantages and disadvantages
Like any professional status, you’ll find that digital nomadism and remote work bring many lifestyle benefits, but also some drawbacks.
The main advantages are the following:
- Freedom: Digital nomads are free to go wherever they want, to choose the location they want, to live or the city they want, and to visit while keeping a job that they can do anywhere. With this status, your office moves according to your desires, whether you want to settle in a region of your home country or a foreign country for a week, a month, a year or several years, or just a few days.
- Flexibility: By being a digital nomad, you can choose to work whenever you want, especially if you’re a freelancer or if you manage your blog or your businesses. Many digital nomads only work in the morning so that they can do other things in the afternoon and give themselves the opportunity to explore the country they’re in.
- Constant learning: Being totally independent requires a certain versatility. By choosing this autonomy, you’ll be required to constantly develop your skills and learn new things. If you are curious and eager to learn new digital skills, this status is made for you!
- Enrichment: What could be more enriching than meeting new people, discovering a different culture and being inspired by an unknown world? The digital nomad’s mind is constantly nourished by what surrounds them. The world becomes a source of inspiration that can be felt even in your professional projects to bring even more strength to your job, while traveling!
Because nothing is ever perfect, digital nomadism also has some drawbacks. Money, office, workspace to manage your business, budget... Beyond the technical considerations that are inevitable, other issues can arise for future freelancers on the road:
- Discipline: To successfully complete this project, it’s best to be very disciplined. Since you won’t have a boss to dictate your tasks to you, you’ll have to impose your own rules. If your activity requires an 8:00 a.m. start, you’ll have to learn not to put off your alarm clock indefinitely. No colleague will be there to take care of an urgent file for you!
- Loneliness: Although traveling around the world is very rewarding, it also implies facing a certain form of loneliness. Whether you decide to travel to the United States, South America, Europe, Australia, or Japan, you may be thousands of miles away from your loved ones when working remotely. While this may be nice for a few weeks of vacation, it can sometimes become overwhelming when it extends over several months or a year.
- Uncertainty: This way of life also generates a certain amount of uncertainty. Job, budget, money... Unlike salaried employees, digital nomads must continuously prove themselves to still have work. With this lifestyle, routine has no place, which is as exciting as it is scary.
How do you become a digital nomad?
Now that you’re aware of all the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a digital nomad, maybe you’re thinking that you could make this part of your daily life... In that case, let me put you on the right track for this new journey with some tips!
The digital nomad mindset
Let’s face it: not everyone can choose to become a digital nomad overnight. It requires a certain mindset. If you love discovery and nature, this is already a good starting point!
Then, in order not to suffer too much from loneliness, it’s better to be open to others. Moreover, the discovery of new people is a real way to enrich your life.
Autonomy, organization, and the need for freedom must be your daily concerns. Without a boss or colleagues, you’ll need to be able to organize yourself to generate enough business while traveling.
Since digital nomadism implies being totally independent, it’s better to have the spirit of an entrepreneur.
Finally, because you’ll inevitably be confronted with some unexpected events at some point, this status is more suitable for people with an optimistic nature. Don’t let yourself be defeated—know how to bounce back and continue on your way!
Become a freelancer!
The freelance status is preferred by many digital nomads. It allows you to start a business quickly and enjoy being your own boss. To do so, create your business and approach your first clients!
A freelancer is a professional who carries out missions for different clients. It can be writing articles for a blog, creating websites, developing a mobile application, or creating a graphic charter.
All skills are good to have! The missions are then paid by the hour or by the project.
The most compatible jobs
As seen previously, being a digital nomad is not a job. It’s a way of life that consists of practicing certain professional activities while moving around the world. In this respect, some professions are more favorable to nomadism and remote work than others:
- Writing: Web writers are responsible for writing articles for different employers for media or blogs, according to topics defined beforehand. To work, they only need a computer and an internet connection.
- Graphic design: Managing a company’s communication or its visual identity is an activity that can be performed from absolutely anywhere in the world. The objective: to create logos, websites, visuals, or posters. To do this, all you need is a computer equipped with various specific software.
- Ecommerce: Depending on the types of products you sell and your business model, ecommerce may be an excellent fit to help you try the digital nomad life, especially if you have a team that can assist you. With WiziShop, create your online store, sell items, and enjoy running your own business.
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- Affiliation: From anywhere in the world, promote certain products or services and receive money for your recommendations. At WiziShop we also have an affiliate program.
- Online training: If you have skills in certain areas, there’s nothing to stop you from training others directly online, either through texts or by creating video tutorials. Again, all you need is a computer, a camera to film yourself, and a Wi-Fi connection!
Web development, translation, community management, personal development coaching... Digital nomad jobs are numerous, and this list is far from exhaustive!
Meet other digital nomads
If you’re still with me and you’re still tempted by the adventure, you should know that it’s also possible to find other digital nomads through some platforms and meet or talk with them.
Some sites will allow you to chat with other nomadic professionals. Don’t hesitate to ask them all your questions and learn from their previous experiences. They can also help you find coworking spaces in different countries.
Check out this video from Peyton from the Peyton Travels the World YouTube channel, detailing how she manages her budget as a digital nomad!
Because every digital nomad has had at least one good reason not to leave before taking the plunge, stop making excuses and go for it! Make your dreams come true; live, have fun, and enjoy the experience; but most of all... stay connected!