Most of us have by now heard of the digital nomad lifestyle, where a person leaves behind a home base and chooses to travel between destinations, working as they go. But while that’s the broad concept, you might be left asking how to become a digital nomad? The idea of travelling and working as you do so is not revolutionary – people have done it for centuries – but with the digital angle involved, what does a digital nomad lifestyle look like?
It may sound a bit like a copout, but there is no one way for a digital nomad to live and work. To be part of this living and working revolution, you need to tick two boxes:
- One, you don’t live permanently anywhere.
- Two, you work from a computer, usually a laptop, via the internet.
People’s experience of the lifestyle can differ substantially, but if you’re still wondering how this would work in practice for you, then there are a few clarifying points below.
Where does a digital nomad live while on the move?
The idea of being nomadic suggests constant movement, not settling anywhere for long enough to really consider it home in any way. In reality, most digital nomads will spend at least weeks and often months in a place before moving on. While they are there, their living quarters can vary. If you so choose, you can set up in an RV and stay in camping facilities as long as the WiFi is reliable. You could stay in a hostel, an AirBnB or even on the couch of a friend if that works for everyone. In truth, short term rental seems to be the most popular choice.
What kind of jobs can a digital nomad do?
In essence, if you can do it from home, you can do it as a digital nomad. You can be a customer services rep, if your employer is prepared to allow it. More usually, though, the jons digital nomads do are more solidly online. Writers and digital marketers are among the most likely candidates, along with developers and designers. However, you can also do things like teach languages online or even become a blogger or vlogger. However, if you plan to make money from blogging or a similar niche, it is a good idea to secure the funding upfront or have an alternative means of paying your way in the meantime, as it can take a while to start making money.
How long do digital nomads stay mobile?
There’s really no straight answer to that question. People have only been operating as digital nomads for a couple of decades at most, so there’s no definitive lifespan for the career. But there is no reason for a digital nomad to ever stop being one as long as there is work available. Some people have managed more than a decade, while others tend to prefer doing it in short stints because they feel the need to recharge from time to time. In other cases, paperwork can be a consideration: Spain is planning to issue “digital nomad visas”, which will last for five years at a time, which offers some impression of how long you could stay away. The short answer is: it’s up to you.