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Become a Digital Nomad and Get a Job While Working on the Road

Being a nomadic species, human beings have always loved to travel and discover the world around themselves. As time passed, the concept of a nomad evolved into something more digital. Both of these concepts, however, provide different life experiences, but let’s discover what the latter one has to particularly offer in this digital era.

What Is a Digital Nomad?

The word ‘nomad’ carries a historical perspective, which described the tendency of human beings to settle finally at once after decades of traveling. The urge to discover new places and to uncover new challenges has led to defining this particular segment of the human race as nomads.

Digital nomads, an evolved race of the nomads, are basically the remote workers who travel far and wide. You can find these digital nomads sitting at cafes, coworking spaces, libraries or any public place. They are often accompanied by laptop and portable WiFi devices or working through a mobile hotspot to carry out the operations. 

Digital nomads are often seen in public places carrying out their operations remotely. They often defy the traditional 9-5 jobs and quench their thirst for travel accompanied through remote working. Most of them have been witnessed to work 4-5 days per week as well as providing services on their self-defined working hours. 

On average, a digital nomad can make around $12,000 per year while enjoying the serene views of Thailand, Bali or the resort he/she loves. They are constantly on the move, however, they are hard to find in the metropolitan cities.

How to Become a Digital Nomad?

Becoming a digital nomad is not a simple route to follow, but can offer different routes to follow for becoming one. Some of the proven and tested methods stated as per the experience of the digital nomads are as follow below:

  • Become a Part of Local Digital Nomad Community – there are a number of Digital Nomad Academies, Social Media Groups or Communities in the near vicinity which one can join for better guidance. There many like-minded people who would like to push the boundaries and provide the necessary support during this journey.
  • Cut Back on Expenses – While working as a digital nomad, you need to cut off excess spendings and have more savings. You may need to end the online subscriptions, or give up the golf club membership, or pay off debt and focus more on the long-term avenues. 
  • Recognize Your Skills – This is one of the important aspects to consider before becoming a digital nomad and the more you know about your skills, the better will be the chance of relocating to a place that provides you with the best opportunities for employment or business growth.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Digital Nomad

Though as fancy as it may sound, becoming a digital nomad requires consistency and patience. Traveling around the world and managing remote work at the same time can not be mastered in a single go. However, the experience that it offers can never be achieved with a traditional 9-5 job. Below are described the pros and cons of becoming a digital nomad:

Pros of Being a Digital Nomad

  • Flexible Work Hours – If you are working as a freelancer, there are bright chances that you have decided your working hours on your own. You can still have a lot of freedom as to where you want to work and whom you want to work with. You can decide at what time of the day you want to work, be an early riser or be a night owl as well as if you want to pursue a tech-role or non-tech job. Choose whatever suits you the best!
  • Non-stop Traveling – The top benefit of being a digital nomad is that you can choose to travel anytime and anywhere you want. You just need to make sure that you have a stable internet connection available, a workable laptop and you are good to go and settle anywhere you wish to.
  • Making Useful Connections – The best part about digital nomading is that you get to meet new people every now and then. People from all backgrounds of life, age groups, caste and of different expertise share their portion of wisdom with you. The knowledge you gain from their experience is worth it.

Cons of Being a Digital Nomad

  • Managing Leisure and Burn-out – This is one of the hardest aspects to maintain digital nomading. In the beginning, maintaining work-life balance is quite a task to accomplish, but with the passage of time, things start to get smoother. It takes time to find the right balance for yourself but once done, you’ll find ample time to enjoy vacationing too. 
  • Dealing with Loneliness – Though you’ll have enough time to spend time with yourself, the loneliness can sometimes become very overwhelming. You’ll always end up leaving people behind while meeting new people at the same time as you’ll be on the constant move. To avoid being caught up in loneliness, try to make strong connections through community programs and make an effort to connect with likeminded people.
  • Missing Events Back at Home – As you’ll be traveling from time to time, you’ll probably miss important events back at home, be it a birthday, siblings graduation or even funerals. Traveling provides one with different opportunities and worth-remembering experiences, but in the end, these little sacrifices are an essential part of digital nomading. 

What Are Digital Nomad Jobs?

Though there are a number of employment opportunities that one can acquire as a digital nomad, be it a technical role or a non-technical one. As discussed earlier, the perks of digital nomading are that you don’t need a proper office setup. Hence, digital nomad jobs can be defined as a job that can be easily accomplished while on the constant move. In other words, these are basically the jobs that can be combined with traveling, read our other article on how to make money while traveling.

Digital Nomad Jobs

Though we’ll discuss a number of digital nomad jobs in this article, however, every now and then you’ll find a number of new digital nomading jobs emerging in the market. The possibilities are vast and it would be too early to say as to how many would count under the digital nomad banner. There is a list of profitable digital nomads that can make your life as evident from this video. We might have missed a few jobs or so but the most common ones are as follows:

Remote Marketing Jobs

The field of marketing, in general, is quite vast and it has remained the same within the digital nomading industry. Especially, the digital marketing niche has been found to be the most suitable for a remote job opportunity. The popular digital marketing opportunities include:

  • Social Media Marketer
  • Email Marketer
  • Inbound/Outbound Marketer
  • Content Marketer

Social Media Marketing can become the best digital nomad opportunity since the workload can be easily batched and the relevant content for different channels can be prepared in advance. Hence, not only you can have the relevant content bulk produced but you can also use the leisure time as an opportunity to explore the world around you. To find more opportunities as a marketer read our blog post on remote marketing positions. 

Online Teaching

Another opportunity for digital nomads is online teaching or tutoring. The digital arenas have made it possible to teach any subject without having a need for a classroom and a blackboard. This job not only keeps you empowered but also allows you to select any hour of the day as your working hour. All you need to do is to get the right tools and join the right agencies or marketplaces where a number of online teaching opportunities await you. To read more about online teaching jobs that require no previous experience or background read our blog post here

Online Proofreading 

Proofreading is also one of the promising digital nomading jobs. It allows you to keep flexible working hours while being on the move constantly. All you have to do is to proofread the manuscript at hand and correct any grammatical or syntax mistakes as you may find in it. You may also have to maintain an overall layout of the manuscript as well as consistency & coherency within the script. Just sign up on the best proofreading platforms, receive gigs, get the work done on particular hours of the day and you have plenty of time to travel & explore. Our ultimate guide to proofreading details the necessary requirements to become a proofreader as well as where to find jobs relevant to your experience. 

Writing Jobs

Writing and traveling go hand in hand. Whether you are a storyteller, a copywriter or a blog writer, you’ll always be in need of some inspiration. Writing is the most suitable job for digital nomading and the demand for writers tends to continue. If you are a newbie, begin with your own blog as a portfolio. Pack your backpack, take inspiration, carve your words out and continue your journey as check out our post on freelance writing jobs to learn. 

Virtual Assistant

If you love to be in administration and love the things to go organized, then a virtual assistant is a suitable job for your digital nomading quest. The possibilities within the virtual assistance field are limitless and you can provide your services within any field possible. All you need to have a strong network, a killer profile and just go ahead with unraveling the world.

Web Designer

If you love the idea of technical digital nomading jobs, then this is the one for you. As a web-designer, you’ll be expected to create a seamless experience for the users and make the browsing a pleasurable activity. From layout to images to font to color combination, you’ll as a web designer be responsible for the whole design. As an average pay per web designer is $60,000-$80,000 per year with flexible work hours, this is the ultimate digital nomading job for you.

Affiliate Marketer

If you like to write a review about the products and like to earn a profit from the sale of each item, this is the digital nomading opportunity for you. All you can do is to set up your own affiliate blog or work with companies remotely who are into affiliate marketing. Select your working hours of the day, produce a killer review, get a commission for each sale and you are ready for your next trip.

Graphic Designer

The world of digital nomading is full of opportunities for creative minds. If you are a graphic designer, UI/UX expert, 3D modeler or any form of designer, digital nomading provides endless job possibilities. Just connect with a reliable platform, design a logo or a web-mock up and get ready for the next dream destination. For more tips and information on graphic design read our blog post tailored to helping those looking to pursue a career in graphic design. 

Computer Science Jobs

There are a number of computer science roles that one of you can acquire when it comes to digital nomading. You can be a Software Engineer, an Information Security Analyst or Database Administrator to serve your financial requirements. Just identify what you are good at, set timings for your working hours and you are ready to quench the travel thirst. For more information, read our blog post about setting your career in the field of Information Technology or Computer Science.

Social Media Jobs

Social Media is one of the arenas for not only exploring opportunities for a living but also to give a shot to your own venture. You can work as Social Media Content Developer, Social Media Marketer, Graphic Designer, Social Media Analyst or even as Photographer/Videographer while you are on the go. The best thing about social media jobs is that you can create the content in batches beforehand. Hence, plan the content, schedule it and discover new places around you at the same time.

Customer Service

Remote customer care has now become one of the most sought after digital nomading jobs. You’ll be expected to have fluency in a particular language, preferably two, manage customer issues, queries and have working internet and phone connection. Just make sure you have a reserved space for this job anywhere you are currently living, work during particular hours and you can set up the course for another journey soon.

Self-published Author

In this digital era, it has become possible for authors to publish their books through digital publishing mediums, bypassing the need for publishing companies. They often make money by selling their books through online platforms and receive a pre-defined portion of it. All you need to do is to accompany a laptop, a WiFi device, a good pair of headsets with your favorite songs, set a writing schedule and you are good to discover the world.

Health Coach

This is one of the digital nomad jobs that can allow you not to bring positivity into other people’s lives but also quench your thirst for exploring the world. As a health coach you are able to be a lifestyle coach, group coach as well as a group specialist. You can work as a solo health coach or can join a virtual medium to continue your passion. There are many sub-categories that one can explore within this medium, such as Business Coach, Mindfulness Coach, Nutrition Coach or Yoga Coach, while gearing up for your next quest.

Recruiter

One can work as a headhunter while exploring the possibilities of digital nomading and unraveling the beauty of the world. As a recruiter or headhunter, you would be expected to recruit employees for companies on their behalf. This will include sending the word out for vacancy, sorting out the best candidates for the interview, shortlisting and finally selecting the right candidate. You just need a laptop, an internet device and a phone for recruiting the best talent while on the way to explore your dream destination.

Podcaster 

As a podcaster, you’ll be expected to create the content layout for the podcast, edit it and share it with the masses through your own channel or through any digital platform. You can choose to pick random people or interview important guests, share their stories or have an in-depth discussion or just you can talk about your journey as a digital nomading while discovering new places around the world. 

Digital Nomad Jobs for Beginners

No matter at what career level you are working now or how much experience you might have gained in the digital nomading industry, you must have started from level zero at some point. The beginning is always the hard part but once done, the career starts to flourish and the flow is set to have been accomplished then. 

There are a number of roles that one can look into while broadening the horizon just after finishing college. Some of the digital nomading jobs that can work best for you, as a beginner, and set your course for the adventures too, are listed below:

  • Virtual Assistant 
  • Online Teaching 
  • Photography
  • Content Writing
  • Digital/Social Media Marketing
  • Proofreader/Transcriber
  • Remote Customer Service
  • Dropshipping

Read our blog post on entry-level remote jobs for digital nomads.

Nomad Jobs

Nomads, also referred to as Remote Workers, are those people who work on a particular niche irrespective and independent of the location. The nomads usually travel frequently less over time as they have to keep up with the contractual limitations or other reasons before setting out on a new journey. As a remote worker or a nomad, there are a number of roles that you can acquire while discovering places around, as discussed below:

Baby Sitter

As a baby sitter, you are expected to house-sit the children, elders or the pets, while they are away on a business or personal trip. As a sitter, you get this opportunity of looking after the house or the pets through community centers or digital platforms. As a nomad, it is the perfect opportunity not only to spend time with children but also to learn from the wisdom of elders or play with the pets while saving up on the accommodation costs in the new place. 

Delivery Jobs

There are a number of companies that work with delivery workers in various countries to provide services to the people. The scope of delivery jobs is very wide and can include delivering grocery items, medicines, large machinery, special occasion gifts, restaurant or home-based cooked food and many more. Not only you’ll earn some extra cash but will be set up for new short or long trips every day and on top of it, you set to schedule your delivery hours.

Consultants

As a consultant, companies around the world will be looking forward to hiring you in order to fix a specific set of problems. This field knowledge is specialized and hence, a consultant can easily find a client anywhere across the country or the world. Often you’ll be required to travel up to the client for fostering a positive relationship and hence, you can discover new places while earning cash in the go. 

Where to Find Digital Nomads Jobs?

Apart from seeking opportunities through agencies at the place of residence, one can lock an opportunity through online mediums. There are a number of online platforms that provide you with opportunities regarding seeking freelance jobs as a digital nomad. The notable ones are listed below:

Tips for Digital Nomads Working on the Road

Though digital nomading is a great opportunity not only to achieve independence but also to explore the world around you. Even while setting on this journey, you must be aware of the tips and tricks that can help you in the longer run. Some of the essential tips for digital nomads ready to set out are described below:

  • Own a Universal Adapter – As a digital nomad, your laptop and mobile is your one and only source of earning. And to work without facing any interruption, they must be fully charged. As you’ll be discovering new places, probably traveling from one part of the world to another, it is always better to have a universal adapter in your backpack. 
  • Your Backpack is Your Best Buddy – While on the constant move or trying to get set in a new place, you must own everyday essential elements. From medicines to power banks to a water bottle, etc., these essential elements must accompany you all the time.
  • Your Work Hours Must be Regularly Scheduled – When it comes to digital nomading, your working hours are in your hands. Hence, to be productive, your schedule must be clearly set out. Otherwise, you’ll fall prey to the vicious cycle of procrastination. 
  • You Must Focus on a Single Task – The urge to make more money and be able to discover new places can make you grab every opportunity that might come to you. But multitasking can mislead you if you are not giving yourself and your brain enough time to reset itself. It is better to focus on one task for enhanced productivity.
  • You Must Travel When You are Ready for It – Though you’ll be tempted to discover new places or to dine out at the famous resort, it is better to make the travel process slow so that you can have enough money on hand for any unfortunate incident and time to enjoy each destination. Take time to get used to the new place, discover tactics for economic spending and get some rest before you are ready for the next move. 

Digital Nomad Communities 

Living a digital nomadic life has a number of benefits associated with it and has thus become a major lifestyle trend. One can only enjoy the perks of any lifestyle by meeting with likeminded people. To meet with like-minded nomads, there are a number of platforms that allow you to have a strong community network. The digital nomad communities can be categorized on the basis of a number of factors. Let’s discuss some of them in detail as below:

Group-based Digital Nomad Communities

These types of digital nomad communities work on the basis of traveling in the form of groups for a specific period of time. Mostly, the cities to be visited are usually planned ahead of the start of the journey and the journey can last for months to a year. Each of the group-based digital nomad communities has a certain package, covering all the expenses from the accommodation to traveling ones. Some of the group-based digital nomad communities are as follows:

  • The Remote Way – If you are working remotely and don’t want to travel alone, this is the best community for your digital nomading journey. A group of 36 people travels between 2-6 months and discovers a new place every time while each one pays a certain membership fee. This is a great opportunity for keeping in contact with the community through the ecosystem!
  • Remote Year – Much like The Remote Way, Remote Year allows you to discover new places while working at the same time with a group of 50-80 like-minded people. This program covers 12 cities across Asia, Europe and South America and the traveling duration lasts for twelve months. The traveling, organization and accommodation are covered within the membership fee and you have to never worry about these hassles. Not only do you get to explore the places but always get accompanied in a completely strange city. They have also started the traveling program of 4 months for the digital nomads! 

Exclusive All-ladies Digital Nomad Communities

These kinds of digital nomad communities are only specific to the female digital nomads and help them out in their digital nomad journey. Moreover, these communities tend to empower the female population to step into the nomad lifestyle for an independent lifestyle. These communities also serve as the medium for thousands of female nomads to connect with each other and share experiences with one another. Some of the prominent digital communities specifically for the females are as follows:

  • Digital Nomads Girls Retreat – This is an exclusive all-ladies community program for making them independent through digital nomading initiatives. The community arranges retreats round the year at different locations. Each member has to pay a certain fee and can roam 10 days from Las Palmas to Javea and meet like-minded nomads!
  • Digital Nomad Girls – This female-led female digital nomad community comprises more than 4000 nomad girls. This community not only serves as one of the largest exclusive al-ladies community but also arranges community-based events and empowering the nomad girls all around the world. Their Facebook group provides free access to all the girl nomads as well as aspiring ones, where they can get expert advice from the expert nomads. Find out more about the Digital Nomad Girls community through this video!

National Level/Location Specific Digital Nomad Communities

These types of digital nomad communities work on the basis of providing facilitation to the country-specific or location-specific digital nomads. Moreover, they also work on community meetups as well as reviewing the trends within the specific country or location, as discussed below:

  • Swedish Nomads – Svenska Nomader (Swedish nomads) is an online community with over 10,000+ nomads. It is an exclusive community for Sweedish digital nomads. The online platform covers a podcast, multiple social media channels, a job listing board and lifestyle online magazine about the future of work and the lifestyle as a digital nomad. It focuses on nomadic life through tele-meetups, podcasts, interviews, articles as well as share a nomadic job opportunity with its community. Moreover, the peers provide useful insights about changing landscapes within the digital nomad industry and guide the newbie nomads on how to successfully cater to them. 
  • Bali Spirit – This digital nomad community is specific to the needs of digital nomads residing in Bali or are planning to do so. Not only they help the digital nomads settle in Bali but also find the best coworking spaces for them as well. Their guide system also covers where to visit for rejuvenation, where to work as a remote worker as well as where to stay. 

Visa for Working Nomads

Although fascinating as it may sound, traveling around the globe while working remotely can have some obstacles. But the reality is quite far different from the imaginary world – getting done with the visa process for your dream destination may not be less than a nightmare. 

It is often advised by the digital nomading experts to choose a country where you can enter visa-free. There are a number of countries with spots ideal for digital nomading as well as for exploration. Some of the top-5 countries which are visa-free for the citizens of the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Canada are as follows:

  • Romania – The trial-free visa allows you to stay there for 180 days and discover the black sea on the nomading journey as well!
  • Singapore – Here a Canadian citizen is allowed to stay for 30 days visa-free while for Australian, UK and US citizens, the visa-free stay extends to 90 days.
  • Albania – With breathtaking views, it allows the Americans to stay for one whole year visa-free, while UK, US and Canadian citizens can stay up to 90 days with 180 days visa-free trial.
  • Mexico – All UK, US, Canadian and Australian citizens can stay in Mexico for 180 days visa-free while your passport must be valid for 6 months from date of departure.
  • Argentina – This South American destination can allow the American, UK, US and Australian citizens to stay visa-free for 90 days.

If you are intending to stay for a longer period of time, these are the best places top-3 visas to choose from:

  • Czech Republic Long Term Visa – It’s business visa allows the digital nomads to stay for one year.
  • German Freelance ‘Freiberufler Visa – This freelance visa can be extended up to three years while paying a certain amount of tax after qualifying the ‘liberal’ conditions of freelance jobs.
  • Spain’s Self-employment Visa – Those digital nomads who are self-employed can benefit from it and it allows you to stay for one year.

For more information read our article on visas required for freelancing. Also, check out our article on the best cities to freelance in. 

Tools for Digital Nomads 

There are a number of tools that can allow you to help in your digital nomading journey as well as plan it beforehand. The best top-5 tools for digital nomads are as follows:

  • Hitlist – It allows you to find the best flight deals.
  • Teleport/NomadList – It allows you to compare the living costs of various locations.
  • Workfrom – It allows you to discover co-working spaces or other community locations.
  • Whatsitlike – Has real reviews and tips from ex-pats that have lived in specific cities. 

FAQ

What skills do I need to be a digital nomad?

There are a number of skills that are essential for surviving as a digital nomad in an unknown place such as flexibility as well as discipline & organization. Working remotely requires self-discipline and organization to fulfill tasks and on top of this communication skills are incredibly important for potentially working from different time zones as employers. Budgeting is another important skill to have to ensure you can make ends meet while living in a completely different place. 

How to be a successful digital nomad?

In order to become a successful digital nomad maintaining work-life balance is essential for making the most of your time in different places while staying on top of work. Being prepared for unexpected fall-outs whether that is being well researched on the healthcare system of the places you are going or having savings for in case things go awry. Communication and building a network with the local nomading community will also help make trips life on the road more enjoyable. 

Summary

Digital nomading, as fancy as it may sound, has become a lifestyle that needs to be led while carefully managing the expenses. It is all about living an independent lifestyle and exploring the new places to enrich one’s mind and soul. There are now thousands of jobs available within the offline and online markets that can be acquired by the nomads. All it takes is to work on your skills, establish a profile, sort out the visa & legal documents and join the relevant communities before setting a foot into this journey!

Anya Prevallet-Kinstle is a Project Manager at Appjobs. She is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and specializes in research and content strategizing.

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