What Is a Digital Nomad And How to Know If It’s For You

So your interest has been stimulated. Maybe for the last year or so, you’ve been pondering what the hell this digital nomad experience is and wondering if it’s even possible for you. Maybe you’ve seen knowledge workers in your network pack up and leave but keep their current jobs, posting photos on Instagram or Linkedin with a laptop and sunset combo.

You won’t be surprised to learn that since the pandemic – when most of us have been forced to blur the lines between our personal and professional spaces – the trend of a digital nomad lifestyle has skyrocketed. Some studies say it increases as much as 112%. American workers who describe themselves as digital nomads alone have grown by 49%. Even I did it in 2021!

So what is a digital nomad? And can it now be a real lifestyle option for you to explore?

What is Digital Nomad?

Digital nomads are people who live their lives in a nomadic way, traveling to or in different places while working remotely using digital technology. In short, they are teleworkers or have the flexibility to work anywhere in the world as long as they have access to digital telecommunications technology.

How I became a digital nomad

In early 2021, my partner and I sold our house in London without a permanent place to live. Stuck indoors for most of 2020 and adapting to working from home since 2019, both of us have itchy feet and I’m used to still getting the job done without the need for a suitable location.

So we threw all of our remaining gear and the dog in the back of our Hyundai i20 and adventured across the UK staying in Airbnbs for most of the year.

At the time, I didn’t think I needed traditional ownership of brick and mortar to feel settled. I was satisfied with my work. They’re fine when I’m moving, and as long as I’m feeling good, that’s fine. So that’s me, officially a digital nomad — looking for the next area to live, a “try before you buy” approach, living and working in makeshift homes, rely only on Wi-Fi and keep the bare minimum for freedom of movement.

But the scope is a little wider than that of other digital nomads who are also perpetual travelers, jumping from country to country and time zone to time zone with the technology required to do so. perform to the extent necessary for their own business as an entrepreneur or within an institutional setting.

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Basically, a digital nomad is someone who combines work and travel to some degree!

Tips to know if being a digital nomad is for you

2021 comes and goes, and we’re now back in rented accommodation and will be here for at least another year. But in that nomadic experimentation, there were some great experiences and some not so great.

So check out this guide to see if being a digital nomad is right for you.

1. Understand what can happen

The important thing before you start figuring out the beautiful place of the world that you want to work in is to understand the art of the possible. If you’ve been employed by an organization and plan to keep the job but move, talk to your line manager and human resources first.

Also understand others who have gone before you. It can store an argument. A line manager or leadership team with a fixed mindset can prevent this situation before it even begins.

Consider working with decision makers on experiments where you work somewhere for a month to test the waters and also to reassure those people that you can still perform at the level needed no matter what. where are you.

Others may feel uncomfortable about you being away from the office, so I’m afraid you might reduce their flexibility. If you run your own business, you are the boss.

2. Country Restrictions and Restrictions

A boring but worthy study, if you are cruising around the world to become a digital nomad you may need to check work visas, required vaccinations, Wi-Fi speeds , cost of living, minimum income, and taxes, especially if your organization is based in a country rather than where you’re headed. You don’t want to be stuck with lower-than-expected cash flow somewhere else in the world technically.

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Since the UK left the European Union, digital nomad visas for non-EU nomads in some European countries are encouraged. Countries like Italy, Portugal and Spain recently joined Malta, Estonia, Germany and others around the world to open their doors to digital nomads to help revitalize cities and economies. The local economy was affected by that P again.

European countries want digital nomads, so now might be the ideal time to start thinking about this.

3. Technology

I’ve been caught a few times with facilities with below-threshold Wi-Fi, and that has affected the quality of my work.

Zoom calls freeze, sound quality is lower than expected, and reception is reduced due to inclement weather or random farm animals interfering with things. Sometimes these problems are unavoidable, so it’s best to adapt. But I bought some extra data that I have connected to my main devices, so if the Wi-Fi goes down, I can get back to normal in less time.

I also have two phones, personal and work, on different networks, in case where we live there is a patch for one carrier but not for the other.

4. Personal and professional growth

One important thing that may not be widely connected with professional life is that traveling can have as powerful, if not more, effects on personal development, like training or on-site course. These development experiences ultimately make people better and build a range of in-demand skills.

Even just mingling with different cultures can help you overcome challenges, become a better listener, improve your problem-solving abilities, and build soft skills — aka. people skills — like resilience, perseverance, communication, maturity, confidence, and prioritization. All of these are important factors for the modern talent that organizations will hire.

According to Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, visiting a place in a foreign country and participating in the local environment, “incres your cognitive flexibility and enhances the depth and integration of your work. think.”

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So if you’re looking for some help in persuading your boss, you’ve got it. Good for you, good for the team, and good for the organization.

5. Finance

This can be turned both ways. Our advantage in 2021 is zero debt, no mortgage, no rent and only minimal personal bills. The revenue was mainly for the grocery store and the Airbnb we were staying at.

All other general living expenses before are gone – no home internet bills, council tax, home insurance, home repairs, gas, electricity and water, as this is part of in someone else’s guesthouse.

Of course, living and working in countries where your money keeps growing can help with all of this, but it’s your decision about how much comfort and luxury you want to live and work in. will decide all of this.

6. Pursue the holiday feeling

We were all there. You visit a place and have such an amazing experience that you start to wonder what it would be like to live there, to have that holiday feeling all the time while getting paid.

I understand and pursuing that feeling can get addicting, but this digital nomad nightingale requires incredible discipline and organization, something that can be lacking when you’re on autopilot. due to that vacation. You have to work.

We’ve all heard the phrase “planning is half the fun” and for me, it really is. Create the value of a year of digital nomad living in seven different places across the UK, research costs, negotiate with Airbnb host companies, navigate local areas and public spaces. The rest is also very interesting.

However, there is one thing to ask: do you have enough energy and time to capture that feeling of freedom and carefree living?

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Overwork can be easily intrusive, and before you know it, you’ve just sat on your laptop all week working in someone else’s house. Nothing else has changed, just your view of the kitchen.

To get the most out of being a digital nomad, you have to try and keep limits on how much you work and also put energy and effort into being present, geared toward local areas. local, find out what’s going on and maybe even enjoy better weather!

You don’t want your main impression to be a slightly different zoom background.

7. Biological Comfort and Environmental Impact

I’m used to walking the short distance to the local store or ordering a Deliveroo. I rarely use my car other than to visit friends or family. But as soon as we spent time in remote parts of the country, where there were no pubs or shops within walking distance, my car usage increased massively — even daily.

Simple things like getting a haircut, buying groceries, buying takeout. Everything takes at least a 20-minute drive either way, and I am conscious that nothing in that time will be quick. Every trip away from that house to do something takes an hour, even the nearest pub is a drive away!

It took me a few weeks to get used to this, but as I mentioned earlier, I have adapted. Humans are pretty well adapted, but I’m very conscious of how much more gas I’ll buy and the increased smoke levels when wrecking my little Hyundai on pothole-filled country roads.

Epilogue

So, is the digital nomad experience for you? Only you can decide. But what I can say is that now might be one of the better times to experiment with this.

Dozens of countries are opening up and creating specific access for digital nomads. Some have even created specific centers and villages to make it easier for you to mingle with others. Plus, by getting off your current sofa and exploring more of the world, you’re reducing your costs and potentially bringing a resurgence to local economies caused by Covid. .

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As companies become more flexible in hybrid and remote working, there have never been more opportunities to work from wherever you want.

Featured photo credit: Peggy Anke via unsplash.com

https://www.lifehack.org/921999/what-is-a-digital-nomad What Is a Digital Nomad And How to Know If It’s For You

Sarah Ridley

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