Digital Nomad

How To Work While Traveling? Is Digital Nomad Legit? What Is A Digital Nomad?

The internet has revolutionized the way we work and travel, ushering in an era where the entire world can be our office. Gone are the days of being tied to a desk or single country at a traditional workplace. Today, becoming a digital nomad is not just a dream but a feasible reality.

What Is A Digital Nomad? Digital Nomad Meaning

A digital nomad is someone who travels while working online. Unlike a "remote worker" who typically work from a fixed home office, digital nomads constantly move between cities and countries, prioritizing flexibility and mobility. While they share similarities with other Travel Backpackers (check out our blog about all the different types of Travel Backpackers here), digital nomads often have more financial freedom and stay a place longer. Additionally, they differ from expats in that they usually don't establish legal residency in the places they visit.

Governments worldwide are recognizing the unique status of digital nomads, introducing specialized visas to accommodate their lifestyle. With just an internet connection and a laptop, anyone can embrace the digital nomad lifestyle.

While the digital nomad lifestyle isn't without its challenges, such as fatigue and work-related stress, it offers unparalleled flexibility and opportunities for personal and professional growth. For many, becoming a digital nomad has been a life-changing decision, enabling us to pursue our passions while traversing the globe.

Finding Work As A Digital Nomad

The first step in embracing the digital nomad lifestyle is identifying viable remote work opportunities. Whether you're a seasoned professional or a newcomer to the workforce, there are numerous avenues for finding remote work.

Freelancing is a popular choice among digital nomads, offering flexibility but also note that there is uncertainty regarding income stability. Alternatively, starting your own online business provides autonomy and potential for high earnings, albeit with added responsibilities. For those seeking a more structured approach, remote employment with a company offers stability and benefits, albeit with less flexibility.

Some of the most popular websites to search for remote jobs include: Hubstaff Talent, We Work Remotely, and Virtual Vocations.

 

What Are Digital Nomad Jobs? How Do Digital Nomads Make Money?

In the realm of digital nomadism, the possibilities are endless. As long as a job can be done on a laptop with an internet connection, it's fair game. But how much can digital nomads expect to earn? Well, that largely depends on the job and one's dedication. How do backpackers make money? Let's look at the most sought-after digital nomad jobs.

IT and Tech Jobs: This category includes web and software development, as well as UI/UX design. These roles often command high salaries and offer ample opportunities for growth and innovation.

Language Jobs: Teaching English, translation, and transcription are popular options for digital nomads. With the rise of online language learning platforms, there's a growing demand for language professionals who can work remotely.

Creative Jobs: Photography and creative writing are ideal for those with a passion for storytelling and visual arts. These roles allow individuals to express their creativity while earning a living from anywhere in the world.

Writing Jobs: Copywriting and blogging are excellent choices for those with strong writing skills and a knack for engaging content. As content continues to reign supreme in the digital landscape, there's no shortage of opportunities for skilled writers.

Marketing Jobs: E-commerce and product management are key areas of focus for digital nomads interested in marketing. With the rise of online businesses and digital marketing platforms, there's a growing demand for professionals who can drive results in these fields.

 

My Personal Digital Nomad Work Experience

Personally, I have a few means of income. The first being, you guessed it, Generation Nomad. This includes both selling products and some affiliate marketing. Another form of income I have is through selling travel. I'm still trying to grow my travel business, but there are a lot of ways that you can make money simply by booking travel. I find that selling travel is a growing industry. Of course people can book travel on their own. However, I find many are looking for curated experiences and somebody to do all the logistics. Lastly my background is in real estate. So managing real estate remotely has been quite lucrative.

 

Where Do Digital Nomads Work?

Contrary to popular belief, Digital Nomads don't spend their days lounging by exotic pools or perched atop remote mountaintops. So where do backpackers work? Backpackers seek out comfortable and conducive work environments that allow for productivity and focus. Options range from working at their lodging, libraries, or cafes to joining co-working spaces tailored to digital nomads. Just like how there are hostels that are catered to partying, I have also seen hostels catered to digital nomads. All of these spaces often provide essential amenities and foster a sense of community among like-minded individuals.

Ultimately, the choice of workspace depends on personal preferences and the availability of resources in each location.

 

Where To Digital Nomad? What's A Digital Nomad Visa? 

A digital nomad visa is a type of visa that allows you to work remotely and legally stay in a foreign country, longer than the typical tourist visa.

The qualifications for a digital nomad visa vary by country. Generally, to qualify for a digital nomad visa, you’ll need to have a job that can be done from anywhere in the world. You'll also need to meet a minimum monthly income and fulfill other requirements such as having global health insurance coverage.

Visaguide.worldan online free information guide to worldwide visas, ranked countries based on various factors that directly impact the lifestyle of a digital nomad. Visaguide.world ranked countries based on: active visa availability, internet speed, taxation policies and tax-free length, income requirements for visa applications, cost of living in euros, global health score (GHS), and tourism popularity.

Their findings show the best Top 10 Countries To Be A Digital Nomad in 2024 are:

1. Spain

2. Argentina

3. Romania

4. UAE

5. Croatia

6. Portugal

7. Uruguay

8. Malta

9. Norway

10. Andorra

Remember, you could always stay in a country for the limited tourist visa time period that your passport allows in a specific country. Just make sure to leave the country (or customs union) within the tourist visa time period. In my opinion, this could become tricky especially if you hope to stay in the European Schengen Area (customs union). For US, UK, Canadian and Australian passport holders, you can stay in Europe up to 90 days for tourism during any 180-day period. Meaning if you are in Europe for 90 days, you have to leave Europe for another 90 days in order to return on a tourist visa. The European Schengen Area refers to all the countries in blue in the image below with the ones in orange to join the Schengen Area soon. For example, you can't do 90 days in Sweden and then 90 days in Norway since they are both in this customs union.


What To Sort Out Before Leaving: Digital Nomad Checklist

Embarking on the digital nomad lifestyle requires careful planning and preparation. Before setting off on your nomadic journey, here are some essential items to address:

Insurance: Securing adequate travel insurance is essential for digital nomads. World Nomads offers comprehensive coverage tailored to the needs of long-term travelers, providing peace of mind in case of unexpected emergencies.

Travel Banking and Credit Cards: Managing finances while on the road requires savvy banking solutions. Consider options like Revolut and Wise for minimizing ATM fees and currency exchange charges.

Accommodation and Possessions: Decide whether to sell, store, or sublet your belongings before departing. Temporary storage options can be useful for those unsure of their long-term plans.

Permanent Address: Establishing a temporary address for official correspondence is crucial for managing administrative tasks while abroad. Utilize electronic mail or enlist the help of a trusted contact to receive mail on your behalf.

Phone Plans: Opt for dual SIM phones and international SIM cards to maintain connectivity while traveling between countries. Alternatively, consider eSIM solutions such as Airalo for hassle-free access to mobile services worldwide.

WIFI: Similarly to having some form of international SIM card on your phone, you will need access to reliable WIFI. Consider bringing a portable WIFI modem with you for an inexpensive way to access reliable internet safely and remotely.

By addressing these key considerations before departure, you can set yourself up for a smooth transition to the digital nomad lifestyle. With proper planning and preparation, you can embark on your nomadic adventure with confidence and peace of mind.

Being a digital nomad requires a little bit a prep work before you start traveling. There is a lot to discuss regarding this topic and we hope to talk more about it on the Generation Nomad Journal.

 

WRITTEN BY

MARK CIPOLLINA

I’m Mark, the Founder of Generation Nomad, Avid Travel Backpacker & Digital Nomad. I am passionate about helping others discover the world through my experiences. I solo backpacked for months at a time, lived abroad, and even speak two foreign languages. Besides collaborating on the best lightweight travel accessories for Travel Backpackers, I also love sharing my travel photography.
Favorite Trips: Spain, Egypt & Vietnam 
Favorite Cuisines: Italian, Peruvian & Japanese
Quote: “Be a circle and just roll with it” 
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