Digital nomads are remote workers who usually travel to and live in different countries for extended periods of time. They may work either full time or part time, and will often work in coffee shops, co-working spaces, out of hotel rooms, or from home offices—wherever home may be.
As the name implies, digital nomads live a nomadic lifestyle. The flexibility of remote work jobs provides them with the freedom to arrange their own work schedules, which means they can balance their work commitments around travel; something most nine-to-five office workers cannot do.
There are several innovations that have made the digital nomad lifestyle possible, including content management software, productivity and collaborative software, cheap Internet access through Wi-Fi, more powerful and compact smartphones and laptops, as well as Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) and video conferencing technologies for contacting clients and employers.
Traveling to different parts of the world can get expensive. Flights, accommodation, health insurance, and settling down costs are not necessarily unique to those who travel abroad, but moving to places where you don’t have a support network of friends and family is more complicated than staying in your home country for work. For this reason, digital nomads tend to travel to places that have a relatively low cost of living.
Of course, when choosing travel destinations, the cost of living is not the only consideration. Digital nomads must minimize disruptions to their ability to work, and they need to ensure a safe living environment. The following are also important considerations, and rank differently according to each individual’s preferences:
Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Serbia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia are popular locations for digital nomads.
Digital nomads are often individuals who value freedom and flexibility with their work, and especially value being able to schedule travel around their work. They can explore new cultures by putting down temporary roots in different locations. It sounds like a great lifestyle, but it is not for everyone. Maintaining a sufficient income while traveling requires initiative and drive, and not everyone has the organizational skills to pull it off.
Digital nomads have to work non-traditional hours and juggle multiple clients. Deadlines and work meetings happen across time zones. It can feel lonely traveling for extended periods without family or close friends, and some people have difficulty forming long-term relationships.
Computer programmers who work remotely may command the highest salaries, but remote work jobs exist across many industries and skill sets. The following jobs are location-independent and thus suitable for the digital nomad lifestyle:
The journey to becoming a digital nomad depends on where you start from. Many people already work remotely, and for some, traveling for leisure is already second nature. No matter your background, it is a good idea to map out a plan and see whether a digital nomad lifestyle could work for you. If you’re considering it, here are some suggestions for getting started:
Whether you’re on a flight, heading to the co-working space to get some work done, or going on a day hike just outside the city, a single backpack that can carry what you need is crucial. Something like the Rivacase 7562 is large enough to carry everything you need outside town while also being compact for city trips.
Arguably the most important tool for a digital nomad, you’ll want something that is powerful yet light. The Acer Swift 5 Pro is a 14-inch Full HD IPS touchscreen display in a lightweight chassis with 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors.
Many remote workers, especially software developers, can’t go for long on a small laptop screen. If you’re going to be working out of a home office for more than three months, it might be worthwhile investing in one of Acer’s prosumer line of monitors. Acer’s CB2 monitor provides high-resolution graphics and is height adjustable.
Your laptop screen should be as close to face height as you can get it to protect your posture. A collapsible laptop stand can help elevate your laptop. These are usually light and sturdy, and shouldn’t cost more than $10.
Logitech’s MX Keys Mini wireless keyboard is the perfect portable keyboard due to its small form factor. It uses Bluetooth® Low Energy, and a full charge lasts ten days, or up to five months with backlighting turned off.
About Ashley Buckwell: Ashley is a technology writer who is interested in computers and software development. He is also a fintech researcher and is fascinated with emerging trends in DeFi, blockchain, and bitcoin. He has been writing, editing, and creating content for the ESL industry in Asia for eight years, with a special focus on interactive, digital learning.