Making the Decision to Become a Digital Nomad
If you’re thinking about making the decision to become a digital nomad, you’re in good company. Many others in a variety of fields are making the exodus from the traditional way of life and business, and they’re hitting the road in greater numbers than ever before. Digital nomads discover that traveling while working – and earning an income – opens doors for adventures that are not always available in the usual travel model because, as a nomad, you’re still earning money while you have fun.
Some of the primary benefits of a digital nomad’s lifestyle include:
- Departing from a routine
- Experiencing new things
- Fostering a sense of adventure
- Staying intellectually engaged
- Improving adaptability skills
A commonly-asked question is: Where do digital nomads live? Believe it or not, as a nomad your options are pretty wide open. In a port city, for example, you might live on a sailboat in a designated live-aboard slip at a marina or tied to a mooring ball. A van lifer with a few tools to help enhance internet signals might camp in a national forest for weeks at a time. If urban living is desired, there are companies like Zeus Living that provide furnished rentals in major cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. A nomad with lots of friends could conceivably couch surf while globe-trotting, and nomads who love to ski could rent mountaintop cabins. You’re only limited by your imagination and a few practical and logistical considerations.
Another commonly-asked question is: What age is ideal for digital nomads? While the popular image of a digital nomad on social media favors youth, the truth is that there are nomads of all ages. The qualifying factor in taking up this lifestyle is the ability to support oneself remotely. Generally, a nomad has completed several years of work in the industry from a traditional on-site job before earning the trust of an employer to work remotely; however, this is not always the case. Some people have worked independently of the traditional career model for some time, whether freelancing or launching their own business. The step from there to becoming a nomad is simply to incorporate travel into the day-to-day operations.
A fear that many aspiring nomads have is that it will be difficult to return to the safety and comfort of a 9 to 5 job once they’ve left. The answer to this concern is not quite so simple. For one thing, it depends on what you mean by “difficult.” For some, the difficulty might come from having to give up the newfound freedom they’ve achieved by leaving an office or cubicle behind. For others, the difficulty may come from finding a job. For the latter, a way to combat this is to continuously perform high-quality work, and to network non-stop. In other words, the digital nomad may want to work harder than ever to make up for the fact that they’re not getting endless face-time at the office. But if your concern is that you’ll have a hard time re-acclimating to office life after you’ve become a nomad, the question might be: why bother? If being a nomad works for you, there’s no reason to stop.
Perhaps all of this sounds good; you’re itching to start life as a digital nomad but you don’t know where to begin. There are a number of books available to help you begin your journey. Some of the best-selling books on the subject include “The Digital Nomad Survival Guide: How to Successfully Travel the World While Working Remotely,” and “The Suitcase Entrepreneur: Create Freedom in Business and Adventure in Life.” Beyond books, there are blogs and YouTube videos (such as this short documentary) that provide all kinds of information on the subject.
The digital nomad lifestyle can be rewarding. We wish you the best of success on your journey!