What is a Digital Nomad?

Dreaming of a life where you travel, adventure and work but had no idea there was a name for it?

You may have heard or read the term digital nomad somewhere in your internet travels and thought “hey that sounds interesting” but not really understood what it actually is. You may have even seriously thought about doing it yourself but don’t think you’ve got what it takes to do it. Trust us, you don’t have to be a hipster or an IT geek to do it… have you seen pictures of us? We aren’t young and we aren’t pretty!  

But let’s get back to it. What is a digital nomad? 

A digital nomad is someone who uses technology to earn money and often will travel at the same time. Digital = technology, Nomad = Moves around. But it’s not as simple as that really, as what is a nomad? Who decides how long in one place is too long? If you stay in one spot for 3 or 6 months with no real plans to move on are you nomadic? If you spend 6 months at a home base and then travel extensively for 6 months is that nomadic? Who is the judge? 

Digital Nomad in a Cafe

And there are other terms for digital nomad too. It’s really just a buzzword to help explain to people what you do, that you aren’t really just on holidays endlessly, and that you still have work to do before you go and do all the touristy things. Find out what a day in the life of a digital nomad means for us.  

Previously the terms telecommuter and or remote worker might have been used to explain someone who worked from home, but those terms don’t really encompass the idea that digital nomads often travel. We can’t even really recall where we first heard the term ‘digital nomad’, our goal was to quit our day jobs and travel. Initially, we considered teaching English face to face in China or Thailand but that would just be going back to a real job, albeit in an exotic location. What we wanted was the freedom to travel as we pleased and work online.

And here we are, digital nomads, earning money online and travelling as we please! For example, last year we were living on Penang Island in Malaysia for 6 months. The next day we were living in northern Wales for 3 months, then a remote part of central Portugal in the mountains for 2 months! So far in 18 months, we’ve visited 9 countries and actually lived in 5 of those for more than a month.

However, we believe that being a digital nomad isn’t so much about how much you travel or how long you stay in one place, it is more about your intent and having the freedom to travel everywhere and earn anywhere at your leisure and convenience.  

For centuries writers and artists have been travelling the world and making money as they travel, now instead of relying on getting work at their new destination digital nomads can live and travel everywhere while still serving clients in different time zones all around the world.  

Of course, there are pros and cons to becoming a digital nomad, but for us the pros far outweigh the cons. Read these other blogs and to help you decide if it is a life for you.

Further Reading:

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