Living a nomadic lifestyle is no longer the stuff of dreams. Today, millions of people travel around the world while working from wherever they call home at a given moment.
Statistics show that, since the coronavirus, the number of digital nomads in the US has risen by nearly 50%, with more than 10 million people across America exploring the nomad life alongside their dream careers.
However, digital nomads aren’t just a trend in America alone. There are currently about 35 million digital nomads worldwide, working and expanding their horizons in the world’s remotest parts.
The figure will continue to rise as more companies embrace remote work. What used to be mere fantasy is now the reality for a growing number of people.
To become a digital nomad, it’s essential to understand nomadic life and how to make the best out of the experience. Here are some of Remote Year’s tips and tricks to help you make your nomad lifestyle dreams your reality.
The number of digital nomads in the world is increasing, and there are more opportunities for digital nomadism than ever.
Being a digital nomad allows you to work and fulfill your adventure dreams while living on your terms.
The kind of nomadic living that suits you depends on your personality and life goals.
You can adapt your mindset to that of a digital nomad, no matter where you are.
Remote Year programs help you try the lifestyle out by setting you up with a place to stay, work and local experiences plus a community to tap into.
What Is a Nomadic Lifestyle?
A nomadic lifestyle generally describes working remotely while traveling from place to place. However, living as a nomad can be whatever you want it to be. No one gets to define how to become a digital nomad or how to live as a digital nomad for you. Meaning, you get to work where you want, when you want, and how you want, giving you sufficient time and freedom to pursue your passions.
You could explore the world full-time as a nomad or travel a few times a year while retaining a home base; it’s all up to you. At Remote Year, we’ve seen firsthand how thousands of digital nomads have personalized their digital nomad lifestyles on our work and travel programs.
Besides the freedom to work and travel as they please, some people also choose nomadic living because of its budget-friendly benefits. For example, the cost of living varies across different countries. And the rising costs of rent, groceries, and other basic amenities in many cities make it challenging to live on a relatively low budget.
On the other hand, other countries may offer a better quality of life at lower costs. Because of that, it makes sense for some people to swap their current residence for a more affordable life elsewhere.
The best part? As remote jobs increase in number and more people consider working from anywhere, a laptop and an internet connection are the primary digital nomad tools needed for this new way of life. If you’re considering becoming a digital nomad, here are three indications this lifestyle might be for you.
1. You Like the Idea of Working Remotely
An essential feature of nomadic life is the ability to go wherever you want, whenever you want. In other words, you can’t work and travel if you have a 9-5 career and your boss wants you in the office.
If you like the idea of working remotely or already have a remote job, you’ve ticked off the first box in your journey to being a digital nomad.
If you don’t have a remote job yet, you’re probably wondering how you can make the switch from your current in-office career to working virtually.
You should try to find out whether you can continue your current job remotely by asking your current employer. If not, there are thousands of remote job opportunities available to get you started. Of course, you shouldn’t quit your current job immediately to pursue a life of travel without a plan.
Take time to discover what works for you based on your current skills and interests, and draft out a strategy within the next few months to determine how you’ll begin the adventurous transition to becoming a virtual nomad.
2. You Want to Live Life on Your Terms
Society has an idea of how people should live, and most people aren’t brave enough to break away from set norms. If you’re not satisfied with the status quo and want something more out of life, nomad living may be perfect for you.
Digital nomads are often drawn to new experiences, mindsets, and belief systems. If you’re comfortable and adaptable to new ways of seeing and doing things, it may be time to start packing your bags.
3. You Don’t Mind Minimalist Living
When living a nomadic lifestyle you will probably only stay in one place for a few months at a time, meaning that you’ll be living out of a suitcase or backpack for the most part. Digital nomads are often satisfied with a few possessions and don’t easily get attached to stuff. If this kind of living suits your personality, you’ll love being a digital nomad.
Types of Nomadic Living
A nomadic lifestyle is what you make out of it. There are many ways of becoming a digital nomad; the flexibility this way of living affords allows you to break out of societal norms and create the life of your dreams.
Here are some ways to live as a digital nomad:
A world traveler is the traditional digital nomad. You get to travel around across countries and time zones while you work.
These types of nomads often visit countries with lower living costs so they can maximize their budget. They do not have a set itinerary and often travel with tourist visas without overstaying the stipulated period. That said, a world traveler lifestyle can quickly become exhausting as you try to navigate cultural hurdles in your daily routine.
At Remote Year, our 1-month, 4-month, and 12-month work and travel programs are designed to make working remotely while traveling simpler. We take care of the logistics so you can focus on your career and adventures, and our community is here to support you every step of the way.
Not comfortable with traveling and navigating complex cultures on your own? Tapping into our network of like-minded professionals and adventure buddies is the perfect way to make new places feel like home. Our local staff is also here to help you navigate new cultures and explore the city like a local.
In the words of our CEO Shaun Prime, we’re all about being the “most trusted, community-based travel platform for remote working.”
The Slow Traveler
While the world traveler spends relatively short periods in a region before hopping on to the next one, the slow traveler likes to spend time in a place, immersing themselves in the local environment before moving on. Being a slow traveler gives you a sense of routine and normalcy as you continue on your adventures. Slow travelers might need to apply for digital nomad visas to allow them to spend longer periods in a country.
The Hostel Hopper
Hostel hoppers travel the world while staying in hostels. It’s a cheap way to travel and meet like-minded enthusiasts. Hostel hoppers can choose to stay in a place for a long time or move to the next destination quickly. If you don’t mind sharing your space with total strangers and need to stretch your budget as much as possible, then hostel-hopping might be the perfect option for you.
House-sitting is another way to save money on your trips. You’ll basically need to look for homeowners that want people to look after their homes or watch their pets while they’re away on vacations or business trips. There’s usually no payment for house-sitting, but you get to enjoy free and comfortable accommodation. You can find hundreds of house-sitting opportunities on sites like housesitmatch.com and houseitsearch.com.
Some remote jobs require working within a fixed timeframe in a specific time zone. For professionals in this situation, a nomadic lifestyle is possible with an RV or camper you can work in and drive around. This option is as good as being a nomad in your home; it allows you to pack more belongings and offers you a comfortable, familiar place to sleep each night.
If your itinerary means you’ll be driving through places with poor internet connectivity, you can get a backup router with a different carrier or leave the heavy downloads till you’re in a place with good Wi-Fi coverage. You can also opt for satellite internet dishes that provide coverage even in the remotest areas. However, Starlink has only just introduced portable satellite dishes that you can keep in your van and set up when you want to work.
The Visa Enthusiast
The rise in the number of countries offering digital nomad visas has introduced a new type of digital nomad. A nomad visa allows visitors to stay and work in a country remotely.
It is usually valid for one year and can be extended depending on the country. After spending a year or two in a location, the visa enthusiast applies for another country’s nomad visa and moves on to new adventures.
The Pros of Living a Nomadic Life
You get to Choose Your Own Office
Choosing your office is a small luxury most employees never get. As a digital nomad, where you work is solely up to you, and your office could be a tropical beach, a rooftop terrace, or a coffee shop.
Many digital nomads enjoy logging on from coworking spaces – collaboration hubs where workers from different industries meet to share insights and explore new ideas. For many remote workers, being able to interact with like-minded professionals is motivating and enhances their productivity.
Work When You Want
Independence is amazing, and one of the primary reasons people choose to work remotely is to escape the tedium of a 9-to-5 job. As a digital nomad, depending on your line of work, you usually get to choose your work hours and if you don’t it’s all about creating a schedule that works with your job so you can explore and do your favorite activities.
Whether you want to go surfing in the morning and start work at midday or sleep through the afternoon and work in the evenings, it’s all up to you.
Digital nomadism also allows you to choose how you want to work. If you’re not cut out for a freelance/contract work career, you can earn passive income through a business with automated processes to fund your adventurous lifestyle.
A freelancing business, for example, allows you to outsource services to your contract workers, while virtual assistants and automation software can handle the business’ administrative sides (customer service, client contact, etc.). This way, your input is as minimal as possible.
The modern nomadic lifestyle is all about variety. From location to your dress code, working remotely allows you to constantly change things up in new and exciting ways.
When living a nomadic lifestyle, you get to enjoy a variety of experiences that will make your travels unforgettable and exciting. The endless selection of cities, and countries, all around the world are yours to explore!
It Makes You Feel Like You’re In Charge of Your Work-life Balance
For many workers, their job takes most of their time. They spend their time at work, commuting, and preparing for the next big project. This routine can leave you feeling like you exist to pay bills.
If you feel this way, adopting a nomadic lifestyle can improve the quality of your life and leave you with a sense that your life is much more than a 9-5.
Through travel, you can find joy in diverse experiences and activities across different cultures rather than dealing with the monotony of the traditional office setting.
Personal and Professional Development
Being in charge of your work hours gives you more opportunities to become a well-rounded person. The nomadic way of life teaches you to be more self-reliant and comfortable in your own company. You also develop the ability to confront challenges and make choices without others affecting your judgment.
Another big plus of living a nomadic lifestyle besides personal growth is your professional growth! Networking opportunities to meet other digital nomads who can provide access to specific skill sets that might be exactly what you need.
Explore the World
Adventure is at the core of digital nomadic lifestyles. Whether it’s trading their usual morning commute for the cobblestone streets of Valencia, grabbing street food for lunch in Mexico City, or hitting happy hour after work with new friends in Hanoi, there’s always an opportunity for adventure.
Form Lasting Relationships
One great reason to consider digital nomadism is the opportunity to meet people from around the world and experience different cultures and forge lasting relationships.
The digital nomad community includes people from all corners of the globe and walks of life, brought together by shared dreams and aspirations.
At Remote Year, one of the things our travelers love most about the digital nomad lifestyle is the ability to connect with people they wouldn’t have otherwise met. We’ve seen members start companies, partnerships, and even marriages with one another – all thanks to their decision to take their jobs on the road!
The Cons of Living a Nomadic Life
Challenging to Maintain Work-life Balance
While the ability to work from any location at any time you want is fantastic, it might be difficult to maintain a work-life balance. Life as a digital nomad means that you are always on the go, and it may not be easy to structure your life for work and play.
It’s also easy to procrastinate when living a nomadic life. Without stability, it can be more difficult to set long-term goals, plan for the future, or create a daily routine.
Although it may be tempting to do and see everything, don’t hesitate to step back when you need to regain focus. On the road, keep a routine, don’t be afraid to miss out on activities, make to-do lists, and use the same strategies you would at home to manage tasks.
Feelings of Loneliness
Being away from your loved ones for a significant length of time can leave you feeling lonely. You can also grow apart if you don’t find ways to keep in touch.
While exploring the world can leave you isolated, mentally drained, and struggling to keep up with the demands of work, a like-minded work-and-travel community can provide the encouragement and reassuring comfort to get you back on your feet.
Unreliable Internet Connectivity
Stable Wi-Fi is still a luxury in many places. This can negatively affect your work as a digital nomad, especially if you have to meet deadlines or make important business calls. You may need to purchase backup internet plans or have a personal router to ensure you always have a broadband connection whenever you need it.
Variable Income and Expenses
Moving from place to place as a remote worker can be financially unpredictable if an unexpected situation happens. Your expenses can change, and remote jobs may be unstable.
Having a financial plan that factors in surprises or a business that provides passive income in addition to your remote career can help you navigate these situations if they ever happen.
For example, you can set aside an emergency fund/savings for unplanned situations while on your travels. A side hustle also gives you a career to bounce back to when you’re struggling to find virtual gigs.
Is a Nomadic Lifestyle Right for You?
Digital nomads typically crave freedom, working remotely, and do not mind living a minimalist life. They are often curious, flexible, and confident in their ability to handle whatever comes their way. You certainly would love digital nomadism if you fit this description.
The Big Mindset Shift You Need to Make a Nomadic Life
There is an adventurer in everyone; you only need to let it loose. If you long for the nomadic life, you can make it your reality no matter where you are at the moment. Here are some mindset shifts you need to make to bring your nomadic dream to pass:
1. Believe It’s Possible to Live a Nomadic Life
Many people love the idea of digital nomadism but wonder whether they can make it their reality. The first step to achieving anything is to believe that it’s possible. It takes courage to forgo a regular routine and adjust to life on the go.
You may want to first write down your aspirations, visualize them and begin to take intentional steps toward their accomplishment.
Adjusting to a new way of living comes with challenges, but our community experiences help you navigate these teething hurdles.
2. Money Is a Tool for Freedom
For many people, money is the sole reason they haven’t begun their quest for digital nomadism. You can overcome this obstacle when you start to view money as a means to freedom rather than a tool for material acquisitions.
A nomad lives a minimalist lifestyle, and there’s only so much money you need to make this happen. Digital nomadism may be more cost-effective for you especially if you live in a city with a high cost of living. Check out our digital nomad packing list to give you an idea of the important stuff you’ll need on your travels.
A Lifestyle of Gratitude
It’s easy to dwell on the things you don’t have while ignoring those you already do. Gratitude is said to multiply everything and attract opportunities. A grateful mindset leaves you in a good mood, keeps you grounded, and prepares you for opportunities.
You Are in Charge of Your Happiness
It’s important to ensure your happiness is independent of external factors like money or the perception of others. Also, going on the road isn’t the key to happiness! Wherever you are, you’re still yourself.
Understand that you should be the only one responsible for how you feel. Learn to focus on those things you can control; that way, it’s easier to take deliberate steps toward accomplishing your goals.
If you crave adventure, becoming a digital nomad is one of the most rewarding paths you can take. Being a digital nomad takes some planning, but you can make your adventure a breeze by following some of our tips in this guide.
So, get started and create unforgettable experiences and forge lifelong bonds.
Can You Live a Semi-nomadic Lifestyle?
For many people, a semi-nomadic lifestyle is ideal. It involves traveling for a few months in the year and returning to a base. Some people prefer to stay home during the summer months and leave during the winter.
However, remember that if you are paying rent or servicing a mortgage, you’ll be spending money on a home you don’t live in all the time. A semi-nomadic lifestyle is excellent if your budget allows it.
How Much Money Do You Need to Be a Nomad?
How much money you need to be a digital nomad depends on your destination and the standard of living you want. High-cost-of-living cities like Berlin, New York, Paris, and London would generally cost more than cities with a lower cost of living like Bali, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, or Medellin.
A fair estimate for monthly living as a digital nomad will be anything from $500 to $2,000, depending on your destination and lifestyle habits.
What Is a Modern Nomad?
A modern nomad is a person who is passionate about traveling and spends most of their time moving from one destination to the next while working remotely. They live for adventure and want to explore the world’s nooks and crannies.
Do Nomads Pay Taxes?
Yes. Nomads pay taxes depending on where they work, live, and the time they spend in a country. In many countries, a digital nomad must begin to pay taxes after six months.
Other countries, like South Africa, demand income taxes from nomads after three months, while Switzerland will require you to spend a month within its shores before your nomad taxes become due.
American digital nomads must file an income tax return regardless of where they live if they earn above the minimum filing requirement.
How Do You Make Money As a Nomad?
You make money as a nomad by working remotely as an employee of a company or a freelancer. You can make money online as a nomad by being an online tutor, working as a virtual assistant, being a social media influencer, or blogging.
This content was originally published here.