What is a Digital Nomad? (And How to Become One)

What is a Digital Nomad? (And How to Become One)

One of the many benefits of freelancing is being able to work from anywhere. Some people take this a step further by becoming digital nomads: freelancers who travel while they work.

Read on to learn more about the digital nomad lifestyle and how you can become one yourself.

What Is a Digital Nomad?

If you’ve ever wished you could travel more, then the life of a digital nomad might be the one for you. 

Digital nomads are people who perform online jobs without being tied to a fixed location. They instead work remotely, traveling wherever they choose. 

With the help of smartphones and Wi-Fi hotspots, digital nomads can work anywhere from a hotel in Tokyo, to a cafe in Florence, to an RV near the Grand Canyon. 

Some digital nomads travel constantly, while others prefer to take shorter trips to explore particular locations. Either way, it’s a great way to satisfy your taste for adventure!

Digital Nomad Pros and Cons

Of course, as with any lifestyle, being a digital nomad has its pros and cons.

On the plus side:

Changing surroundings and experiences mean your brain is less likely to get bored or burnt out.

You can spend more time doing the things you love, like exploring your surroundings or trying out new activities.

You won’t be limited to living in expensive cities and can benefit from currency exchange rates and lower living costs.

You’ll get to meet people from diverse places and backgrounds.

You won’t have to deal with the same daily commute.

But the challenges of being a digital nomad include:

Difficulty navigating complex international laws and obtaining a work visa.

Time zone differences between employees and customers.

Dependence on technology and a stable internet connection.

Loneliness and isolation.

A lack of work boundaries.

It’s important to consider all these things and how they might affect you before becoming a digital nomad.

Popular Careers for Digital Nomads

Digital nomads can have just about any career, provided they can work online and remotely.

Some of the most popular flexible careers for digital nomads include:

  • Customer service
  • Accounting and finance
  • Recruitment
  • Graphic design
  • IT services and software development
  • Marketing
  • Teaching
  • Writing
  • Proofreading and editing

Tips for Becoming a Digital Nomad

While there’s no set route to follow to become a digital nomad, there are some steps you can take to start your journey.

1. Prepare a Financial Safety Net

Working freelance can result in an irregular income and living life on the road means you might have to deal with potential financial emergencies.

Luckily, part of the appeal of the digital nomad lifestyle is that you’ll have fewer expenses to worry about, so you can put more money towards an emergency fund.

Before you set off on your travels, consider the following suggestions:

  • Selling belongings you can’t take with you.
  • Renting out your home while you’re away.
  • Setting up a savings account just for emergencies.
  • Purchasing working abroad travel insurance.
  • Working out a budget.

You should also apply for an international credit card, so you aren’t charged for making payments or withdrawing cash while abroad.

2. Research Your Destinations

If you’ve got a list of places you’d like to visit as a digital nomad, it’s important to research them first to make sure you know what to expect.

Read up on:

  • The language and phrases you’ll need to know (don’t assume everyone will speak English!)
  • What affordable accommodation is available for the period you plan to stay.
  • Local laws regarding employment and taxes.
  • Any particular locations you want to visit or work from, and how accessible they are.
  • What facilities and services, such as hospitals, are nearby.

The more prepared you are for your travels, the more you’ll get out of being a digital nomad.

3. Get Your Tools Ready

One of the appeals of the digital nomad lifestyle is its minimalist approach. However, there are a few essential tools you’ll need to bring on your journey, including:

  • A mobile hotspot to ensure a stable internet connection.
  • A lightweight laptop with a long battery life.
  • A smartphone.
  • A way to back up your files, such as an external hard drive.

Before you set off, remember to ensure all your tools are working and that you know how to use them!

4. Reach Out to Other Digital Nomads

Connecting with other digital nomads will provide you with a sense of community, plus tips and advice on navigating the nomadic lifestyle. 

Some communities will even help you find jobs, accommodation, and co-working spaces.

Check out some of these sites for digital nomads:

  • Couchsurfing – a tool for connecting with locals willing to host travelers.
  • Nomad List – information and stats about what it’s like to live and work in thousands of different locations.
  • Outsite – a way to find accommodation and workspaces designed for freelancers.

With an estimated 35 million digital nomads worldwide, you’re sure to find people to connect with and friends for life!

Becoming A Proofreader or Editor

If you’re itching to start a life as a digital nomad, your first port of call should be our courses. Designed to teach you everything you need to know to become a freelance proofreader or editor, they also come with guaranteed work for successful learners.

Try them out for free, and if you like what you see, you can save 15% by buying both courses as a bundle.

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Join the Conversation

Mary Schmidbauer says:
January 27, 2023 at 10:55PM
I am looking forward to starting a proofreading business. However, how many times do I get to pass the last exam. I get so much anxiety. Any suggestions?
    Knowadays says:
    February 1, 2023 at 5:06PM
    Hi Mary! You'll get one attempt at the final assignment as part of the price of the course. However, you can purchase additional attempts if you would like. Hope that helps! If you'd like to talk it through further, our customer support team will be happy to help (you can email them at [email protected]).

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