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What is a Digital Nomad? The Movement that’s Reshaping the Working World

More and more people are leaving traditional employment to become “digital nomads.” If you have a skill that can be done from anywhere in the world, and you don’t enjoy commuting or sitting at the same desk each day, well… there may be a drastic alternative for you to consider.

Digital nomad

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who works remotely and takes full advantage of this privilege by traveling and working wherever they choose to. With a growing number of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and companies looking to cut the costs of office space, it’s a great opportunity to see the world if all you need is a laptop and Internet connection to do your job.

When did this become so popular?

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly, but this lifestyle has been gaining popularity over the past decade. Some companies aren’t too comfortable letting their employees work from home, as they fear they’ll slack off and won’t be as productive; however, many employees have proved to their bosses that they actually become more productive with the freedom that comes from working remotely. And with the rise of technology, it’s easier than ever for freelancers and entrepreneurs to get a website up, one that markets their services and enables them to secure new clients.

Location independent

What are some of the most popular job roles for digital nomads?

Web developer, web designer, freelance writer, graphic designer, drop shipping specialist, and SEO analyst are some of the most common professions for digital nomads. Many have used a combination of their talents to create their own unique positions, which are difficult to sum up in a brief job description.

You can find a list of digital nomads’ jobs here, here and here.

What are some of the popular destinations for digital nomads?

In the early days, while people get their business up and running, it’s common to spend a few months in a country with a lower cost of living (usually accompanied with great weather): Bali, Indonesia; Bangkok, Thailand; and Prague, Czech Republic are renowned for being great hotspots for nomads. Starting a business or finding your own clients is usually the most difficult part, but many claim to make more money than they did in their previous roles, giving them the freedom to live absolutely anywhere they want.

What are the pros and cons of this lifestyle?

While this is an incredible lifestyle enjoyed by thousands, it isn’t a miracle cure to enjoy a problem-free life. So, what are some of the pros and cons of being a digital nomad?

Pros:

  • you get to work wherever you like, giving you the chance to travel the world and meet new people
  • no more commuting (unless you count flying to a country of your choice a commute)
  • if you jump between countries with a lower cost of living than you are used to, it can be a great way to save money
  • the comfort of working remotely is likely to bring out the best in your work.

Kayaking

Cons:

  • unreliable internet connections
  • missing your friends and family
  • the insecurity of losing clients or your remote privileges from your employer
  • the stress that comes from taking on too much work, in fear of losing clients
  • it can be difficult to settle into a “regular job,” should you choose to return to one.

There’s a lot to consider before deciding whether this lifestyle is for you or not. It’s all too easy to picture yourself sitting on a beach sipping on a piña colada, but this neglects the reality that there’s lots of work to be done with little room for error.

That being said, the nomad community is a very friendly one that sticks together to help combat the list of cons. With a number of groups and meetups across the world, you can connect with other digital nomads to help each other out, and enjoy traveling the world together as you earn a living.

Want to learn more about ways to adopt digital nomad lifestyle? With a 15-day trial of our Joosr, you can start looking for them by having an access to a library of non-fiction summaries. In just 20  minutes, you can begin to improve your work, home, and social life from the convenience of your iOS device.

About author

Darren Boyd-Annells
Darren Boyd-Annells 2 posts

Darren Boyd-Annells is the CEO and co-founder at Joosr, a digital publisher helping busy people find the time to read with 20-minute summaries of leading non-fiction books.

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  • Thanks, Hannah – love your content!

  • Hannah Finch

    Great post! Love the pros and cons at the end… It definitely helps you to put things into perspective and make a more informed decision about whether the digital nomad lifestyle is for you or not. Thanks for mentioning my post about digital nomad jobs. I’m on a mission to help more and more people to follow their dreams and live, work and travel around the world!