The development of the Internet and web businesses has not stopped for several years. Giving birth to many entrepreneurs, freelancers and even teleworkers. We call them digital nomads. But what is it exactly? I therefore share with you all the information you need to know to become a digital nomad and my best advice to get started.
What is a digital nomad?
The digital nomad, or digital nomad , is a person who has a professional activity online and who can therefore easily travel. It is necessary to have a Wifi or mobile connection to be able to settle in a country and work without difficulty during your travels. All you need is temporary accommodation abroad, a hotel room, a café or coworking spaces to be able to work.
The advantage of having a professional activity entirely online, allows him to have a nomadic lifestyle and to travel regularly , sometimes even spending part of the year in a country that he likes. The community of digital nomads is only growing and now numbers tens of thousands of professionals online.
The jobs exercised by a digital nomad
The jobs to be a digital nomad are quite numerous and are mainly grouped into three categories:
- The freelancer: there are a multitude of professions that can be exercised online and completely independently. (Web developer, web editor, community manager, graphic designer etc.)
- Self-entrepreneurship : when your business becomes profitable and financially stable, more and more web entrepreneurs embark on digital nomadism. Being mobile and going to travel abroad can ultimately be very interesting for the entrepreneur since it brings new encounters, new professional opportunities and a better opening of the market in the country where he is. (professional blogger, influencer who has a travel vlog , trader, accountant etc.)
- Teleworking: more and more companies are recruiting digital nomads, but this remains fairly concentrated in the United States. However, it is becoming more and more common in France to obtain a CDD or CDI contract with a 100% telework employee status. Concerned about professional and personal development, these companies rely as much as possible on the independence and autonomy of their employees. (Remotive.io, Todoist, Buffer, Microsoft Belgium etc.)
Destinations for a digital nomad
Although the world has few borders when you are a digital nomad, some destinations are still more popular than others. The number 1 criterion being to be able to combine the fairly low cost of living and a very important internet connection . Here is a non-exhaustive list of the most popular destinations for digital nomads :
- Chiang Mai, Thailand: between friendly atmosphere, healthy lifestyle, very reasonable cost of living and quality internet connection, there is not much to blame for this city.
- Budapest, Hungary: For travelers to Europe, Budapest remains a destination of choice. Rents are very low and the community of digital nomads is already well developed there.
- Bali, Indonesia: Digital Nomad in Bali is the combo of heavenly landscapes and a relaxed atmosphere can hardly disappoint digital nomads. On top of that, the cost of living there is relatively low.
- Buenos Aires, Argentina: with a cost of living not exceeding 1000 euros per month, it is one of the most affordable cities to come and settle there as a digital nomad.
- Prague, Czech Republic: Already very popular with travellers, Prague remains a very interesting city for digital nomads. Its correct cost of living and the Wifi connection of the cafes are the prime factors for heading to the city.
- The pros and cons of digital nomadism
The lifestyle of the digital nomad arouses the desires of many people. And for good reason, freedom, travel and work are the watchwords of thousands of digital nomads around the world. Like any professional activity, this lifestyle has many advantages but also some disadvantages.
- Geographical freedom: it is possible to work anywhere in the world, as long as the internet connection is good.
- Time freedom: you can work whenever you want and adapt your hours to your daily schedule.
- Freedom in the choice of clients and assignments: as a freelancer, you have no obligation to work on a project that you don’t like. You can easily choose your clients and your missions.
- Important personal and professional development: the digital nomad lifestyle brings a lot of opportunities and open-mindedness. It is therefore very beneficial on a personal and professional level.
- The inconvenients
- Unstable income: unless you are a telecommuter, the digital nomad has to deal with a lot of irregularities in terms of income.
- Isolation: if working and traveling abroad is very rewarding, the risk of isolation is rather high. The digital nomad generally lives alone and has no colleagues.
- Strict self -discipline: the digital nomad lifestyle is not for everyone. Great discipline is required to be able to combine travel and freelance work.
How to become a digital nomad?
Becoming a digital nomad is not a secret formula, there are actually three ways to become a digital nomad:
- Engage in self-entrepreneurship: not all businesses will be suitable, but rather prefer online professions. This requires a lot of discipline and a very specific structure. The goal is to create time and passive income online.
- Become a freelancer: moving from salaried to freelancing can be a very good solution to becoming a digital nomad. This allows you to work anywhere in the world provided the internet connection is good.
if the status of an employee reassures you and suits you a little more, it is quite possible to become a digital nomad while being attached to a company. Negotiate your contract to be able to switch to teleworking 100% of your time.