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What It Takes to Become a Digital Nomad

Digital Nomad

“Happiness is the new rich.”

–Syed Balkhi

Okay, I know the phrase “digital nomad” has you thinking about living out of your backpack with no real possessions besides a laptop to your name…Well, that’s one huge misconception.

That said, if you’d love to earn money in the comfort of your home or while on a train in Greece…or even on a plane crossing the globe, then the nomadic lifestyle should be your go-to standard of living.

But, what does it really take to make this lifestyle work? Here are some basics:

  • Flexibility,
  • A good laptop,
  • Planning
  • and the spirit of adventure

The fact is, there is no easy way to do it—being a digital nomad comes with risk, but it mostly involves putting your technical skills to work.

What Is a Digital Nomad?

In current times, the digitally nomadic lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular. I mean, it makes sense right? Everyone wants to travel the world and make money at the same time.

The truth is, though, that digital nomads work extremely hard. Whether its in a coffee shop in Bangladesh or searching for an outlet along the beaches in Thailand, digital nomads are hustling to make ends meet.

The advent of technology made the nomadic lifestyle a bit different from what it used to be.

Here is the definition most would agree on today: The term “digital nomad” is used to describe a remote worker, constantly on the move, earning an income from freelance or contract employment.

And, guess what? Major companies are becoming more supportive of putting digital nomads on the payroll. A recent study by the New York Times shows that most companies are embracing remote work, majorly due to the recent pandemic.

How to Make It Happen

However, one thing that you should have at the back of your mind, if you are considering the nomad lifestyle, is this: you may not be paid as handsomely as you think. Freelance or remote work often comes at a serious discount…And even some of the most skilled creatives take steep paycuts on jobs just to keep the money train rolling. In the end, you may find yourself earning less than you would if you worked a traditional 9-5 job…Not to mention, you might be working twice as hard.

Notwithstanding, there’s a lot of ways that you could make the digital nomad lifestyle work for you. One surefire way to do so is to job hunt for a W-2 career that allows full-time remote work. Staffing agencies and other career sites can help you filter for these employers.

If you are not lucky enough to find these employers, another option is to take the minimal spending approach. Research accommodation sharing or families in other countries looking to host travelers—maybe even an apartment swap if you are feeling daring.

Typically, digital nomads work in marketing, IT, writing, consulting, and design. These jobs lend to more freelance work or short contract jobs or just don’t require a permanent space at an office.

However, if you’re looking for a change, you can become a digital nomad in a variety of fields like teaching or even engineering—the world is your oyster!

Image by Content Pixie

Post Author: Lillia Hall

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Welcome to Foreigner’s Finances, your guide for new money decisions at home and traveling abroad!

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May 2024