You see them in coffee shops, scattered around the power outlets, working away on a laptop. They’re in hostels, or local diners, networking with everyone around. They work from the sky, on airplane wifi. This unique group of people are unified by one thing, freedom.
The rise of technology in the 21st century has expanded and improved our ability to do pretty much everything. It is most noticeable, however, in the ever-shifting landscape of job opportunities.
Digital Nomads are individuals who use technology to their favor in order to live a nomadic lifestyle, free of traditional constraints.
Digital nomads are not tied to a specific working location. They travel freely, or simply work from home, earning a living completely online.
What Are Digital Nomads?
20 years ago, the thought of working alone, tanning with a view of the beach and an acai berry smoothie bowl in your lap was unheard of. But it is becoming an ever growing norm as Millennials and Generation Z enter the workforce.
These tech savvy generations are liberated by the technology they’ve grown up with. Generation Z is actually said to be the first generation that has grown up without knowing life outside of modern technology.
These generations have a sense of global awareness generated from a lifetime of access to the internet.
As a result, they are waving goodbye to cramped offices and cubicles, exchanging them for a lifestyle that incorporates a cohesive blend of work and travel.
You may have heard the term before. Digital nomads are people who work from wherever they please. Their jobs are often cultivated and modified to accommodate the ability to travel freely.
Traditionally, in the past, this style of living was exclusive to niche careers by influencers or travel writers. It was not a common way of living.
Whereas now, most jobs that simply require a computer can effectively allow for a nomadic style of work.
Common Jobs For Digital Nomads Include:
- Influencers/ Brand Reps
- Digital Marketers,
- Jobs in Social Media, YouTubers
- Vloggers, Professional Bloggers, Writers
- Global Tourism
- Freelance work
- Language Teachers
- Artists, Craftworkers, Photographers and Graphic Designers.
- (And Spies obviously)
Many of these careers didn’t exist two decades ago. There are also countless careers that aren’t listed here. These jobs allow you to travel and go where you please, no longer limited by the toil of 9-5. You are not expected to show up in an office every day. You can pick the hours that you work.
Is Digital Nomad-Hood A Sustainable And Viable Career Choice?
Do you have to enter an office in a suit and tie every day in order to pay the bills? In short, the answer is no. However, your grandparents may continually ask you what exactly it is you do for work.
Be prepared for disapproving looks at family get together's. But the truth of the matter is that people can make a considerable amount of money from these positions.
Many digital nomads have experience working in a traditional workspace. They either felt that the structured environment wasn’t for them and changed careers paths.
Or discovered a means of doing what they do in the office, entirely from their computers, remotely.
In essence, you can become wealthy as a digital nomad, but it is very dependant on the individual circumstances. It requires a keen ability to budget and utilize the resources available.
In general, the key to living a high travel lifestyle when you are not exactly jet set is finding patrons, crowd funding, and sponsorships through companies.
There are some key cost benefits to a nomadic lifestyle. In general, the career move comes naturally with living a more minimalistic life.
You do not need to budget for a car or a mortgage when you travel constantly. This enables you to save money, where most people spend the majority of their earnings.
However, you need to plan ahead before you can confidently live off the grid. It is best to keep emergency savings at all times during your travels.
Definitely have a budget and savings plan in place beforehand. Being free of the office space does not mean that you are free from monetary responsibility.
Just as you would budget your life living 9-5, it will likely take even more planning to properly budget in order to live a nomadic lifestyle.
Benefits Of Travel And Work
Digital nomads have the unique ability to experience a life of travel and independence that generations before them did not.
They are liberated by technology and have an excellent opportunity to see the world. If you work in a field that gives you this option, it is always something to try. Even if it is something you simply do for a month or a year.
If a full career as a digital nomad sounds slightly daunting, you can still gain an international perspective and try working a year abroad.
An international work environment increases perspective in so many ways. You have the ability to connect with a global community of like-minded individuals.
It gives you insight into other cultures and languages that you likely would not have found entering the same office every day.
Resources For Nomads
There are many excellent resources online for those who are looking into this style of work. A core component of living a nomadic lifestyle is finding a place to live and work temporarily, from country to country.
Get To Know A City
Sites like Nomadlist are very helpful for getting the “feel” of a potential city. The site gives short descriptions of everything from the access to wifi, to the best local places to eat and visit.
Find A Place To Stay
Airbnb is another easy way to quickly find reliable housing, from people all over the world. It is now more affordable than ever to find places to stay.
Airbnb is unique in the sense that you stay with local people. They can share unique, local knowledge that you would not learn in a hotel.
Additional Resources For Digital Nomads
There are plenty of resources and blogs that offer advice about managing your finances while you are traveling.
There are many apps that actually let you find temporary work opportunities, based on the country you are visiting.
Hubstaff Talent is an excellent resource for freelancers and businesses of all sizes. You can build and utilize a remote team or work remotely with companies world wide. It's also completely free.
Living A Nomadic Lifestyle? Share Your Thoughts!
Be sure to comment about your own personal experiences living a life free from the office. Share resources and opinions that you have on the topic!
At ElementIQ, working in digital marketing, it is possible to work remotely. It is certainly an experience that we encourage others to try!