The pandemic may have accelerated the work-from-home lifestyle but the post-pandemic world is seeing a major shift.
With the reopening of borders and the ease of travel restrictions, the idea of work-from-home has evolved into work-from-anywhere.
Remote work has changed how we work and where we work from and the good news is, it’s not going anywhere.
If your new year’s resolution is to embrace the digital nomad lifestyle, you’ve come to the right place.
Welcome to the freelancer’s guide to becoming a digital nomad.
What is a Digital Nomad?
First things first, let’s get the essentials out of the way by defining what exactly a digital nomad is.
Digital nomads are not the same as remote workers. The key difference between them is, remote workers have a home ground where they are based while digital nomads are, well, nomads.
Unlike remote workers who work from home in one city or location, digital nomads move from city to city or sometimes even country, all while working from home. They usually stay in one location for a couple of months before they move on to their next adventure.
They’re not just travellers though. Most digital nomads maintain their jobs while they move so only their location changes, not the nature of their work.
The Advantages of Being a Digital Nomad
Living and working anywhere in the world has its obvious advantages. You can beat routine and boredom by living in a new place and maybe even experiencing a new culture every couple of months.
Check out the best places to work as a freelancer.
You’ll also meet new and interesting people, make friends all over the world and manage a better work-life balance.
Most digital nomads also save more, not just by cutting down on commuting costs but by living in low-cost living countries while earning in a strong currency.
The Disadvantages of Being a Digital Nomad
If you’re serious about living a digital nomad lifestyle, it’s important to be aware of its disadvantages too.
While living in a new city can be fun, it can also get lonely being away from friends and family. It may be hard to forge strong bonds when you’re not in one place long enough. It can also be hard to meet new people.
Digital nomads may also find it tough to differentiate between work and travel. Since they’re working from new cities, sometimes work takes precedence and digital nomads might not fully experience the sights and sounds of the city they’re in.
Who Can Be a Digital Nomad?
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages to be a digital nomad, you’ll need to see if your current job will let you adopt this lifestyle.
Most jobs for digital nomads are (unsurprisingly!) digital. We’ve put together a list of the most popular remote jobs to help you.
- Software engineers
- Digital marketing associates/strategists
- Graphic designers
- UI/UX designers
- Content writers
- Online tutors
- Academic editors
- Customer service representatives
- Virtual assistants
This list is just the beginning. If your current role does not fall on the list, don’t worry. Read on to know how you can still achieve your goal of being a digital nomad.
Want to increase your freelance clientele? Check out the Refrens marketplace and get started.
Financial Tips for Freelance Digital Nomads
As a freelancer, you’re already your own boss. However, living away from your home country can make finances tricky if you don’t have a plan.
If you already have a successful online business, taking your work to another country can be easier. You already have your primary source of income and as long as you can handle different time zones, you will be able to adapt to the lifestyle.
However, if you’re just starting out on your freelance journey, it would help to have a second source of income while you get on your feet.
In these cases, you can consider renting out your home in your country to fund your digital nomad lifestyle. This can be especially helpful if you’re moving from a country with a high cost of living to one with a substantially lower cost of living.
Learn how to manage your finances as a freelancer in this blog post.
Finally, if you’re truly passionate about embracing this lifestyle, you might want to consider dipping into your savings or investments till you have a steady flow of freelance clients.
Tips for Finding Clients for Freelance Digital Nomads
When you’re starting on your freelance digital nomad journey, remember job boards are your best friends.
Job boards are the best way to find new clients and ramp up your business. Most job boards advertise for positions open to anyone in the world. Simply filter your search using keywords such as ‘work from anywhere, ‘location independent, or ‘fully distributed team’.
Here are some of the best job boards for freelancers:
- We Work Remotely – The largest remote work community in the world
- Remote OK – A remote work platform for all types of profession
- Just Remote – Employers can post remote working opportunities and connect with job seekers from around the world.
- Working Nomads – Connect professionals who want to work remotely with innovative companies offering independent positions.
- Pangian – Fastest growing remote work community for professionals
- Remotive – Job opportunities from vetted tech companies.
- Skip the Drive – Lists remote & work-from-home jobs
Networking Tips for Freelance Digital Nomads
We’ve already discussed the loneliness that often accompanies being a digital nomad but it doesn’t have to be that way!
Co-working spaces not only give you a sense of stability when working remotely, they’re also great places to network and meet new people (both within and outside your industry).
Check out the networking tips for freelancers.
You would need to pay a daily or monthly fee to use these spaces (depending on your needs). Co-working spaces usually come equipped with high-speed internet access, video conferencing equipment, basic office furniture, and even free coffee!
Spacehuntr is a great place to start if you’re looking for co-working spaces in different cities. They have a collection of different venues for different budgets and needs. If you need help choosing your co-working space or even just need help getting around a new city, they have a ton of information and expert guides who would be happy to help you!
If you’ve reached this point in this article, chances are you’re seriously considering becoming a digital nomad in 2023.
This lifestyle may not be for everyone but those who have tried it have often found it to be fulfilling. Don’t hesitate to try it out, especially if you’re working in a career that allows you to work remotely.
When you’re a digital nomad, you can live anywhere so if you dislike it, you can always come home.
Take the plunge in 2023, good luck!