Digital nomads have the best Instagram feeds. That’s because they travel the world while working online, often posting from remote corners of the globe.
Being a digital nomad doesn’t mean you’re on a lifelong vacation, though. People with this lifestyle work as bloggers, consultants, business owners, and any other profession they can do online.
This growing trend allows people to ditch the office and work from anywhere with an internet connection. Sound appealing? Read on to learn more about how to become a digital nomad.
What is a digital nomad?
As the term implies, digital nomads rely on technology to work as they globe-trot from country to country. They’ve given up office life and found a way to conduct business entirely online.
According to a survey by online marketplace Upwork, 92 percent of respondents who worked offsite said they were happier doing so. More than half of people who became digital nomads increased their income. Of that group, 79 percent said they planned to continue this lifestyle for the rest of their lives.
Most digital nomads are committed to world travel and to having the freedom to work on their own schedule. It’s common for these workers to congregate in cities with a low cost of living. Chiang Mai, Ubud, Berlin, and Medellin all have a large presence of remote workers.
What are some common digital nomad jobs?
Some may look at this lifestyle and assume it’s a perpetual holiday. However, digital nomads are often as career-oriented as those who work from a fixed location.
Thanks to the technology at our fingertips, lots of jobs can be conducted entirely online. Common industries with remote work are information technology, sales, customer service, marketing, healthcare, education, training, and administrative work.
Andy Josuweit, Student Loan Hero CEO, started his first company, a website design service, while living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He remains committed to relying on a distributed team with remote employees all over the world.
Those without full-time remote work are often freelancers. They offer specific services like marketing, writing, editing, programming, or consulting. According to the Upwork survey, 67 percent of remote workers were freelancers and 34 percent started a virtual business.
How to become a digital nomad
There are lots of ways to adopt the digital nomad lifestyle. First and foremost, figure out how to make an income with remote work.
If you work primarily on the computer, you may be able to convince your boss to let you work outside the office. You’ll never know if you don’t ask!
If your job is not well-suited to location independence, take some time to assess your skills and the services you could offer. Browse freelance job websites to get a sense of your options. Building a portfolio and gathering testimonials is a great first step.
To brush up on skills, consider attending a training program such as a coding boot camp. After a few months, you’ll be equipped with the marketable skills you need to work remotely.
Once you’ve figured out your income source, it’s time to hit the road! Since the world is your oyster, you shouldn’t overthink your next destination. Go with what piques your interest — you can’t really go wrong.
Perks and challenges of working from the road
There are lots of amazing benefits to working as a digital nomad. For one, you have total freedom to work from wherever you want. You can explore new places and get inspired by the variety in your surroundings.
What’s more, you can meet intriguing new people and have adventures while advancing your career. To help you find a community, there are websites with digital nomad meet-ups. There are also programs such as Remote Year and We Roam that bring groups of people together to travel for several months.
Even with these resources, you may have trouble finding a support network. By moving from place to place, you leave behind the stability of friends and family. This lifestyle can get lonely, so consider that factor before making any big life changes.
Making travel plans is another challenge. You’ll need to handle logistics like housing and visas, while still getting your work done. You may have to work odd hours to facilitate time zone differences.
Plus, there’s always the danger of a poor wifi connection. You might not realize a location has unreliable internet until you arrive, and may need to scramble to meet a deadline.
It’s easy to get excited about the digital nomad lifestyle, but you should also keep your eyes open to its challenges and drawbacks. By going into it with realistic expectations, you can prepare yourself for the pros and cons of a digitally nomadic existence.
With this awareness, you can succeed as a digital nomad working your way around the globe. Just don’t be surprised when your friends get jealous of your exotic Instagram feed.
Want more resources for remote work? Check out these 13 websites for online jobs.
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To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
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4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
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