Digital Nomad Jobs, Destinations & Lifestyles (The Ultimate Guide)

by Menka Dimitrovska, Money Columnist


Published in Money on 23rd March, 2018


Two decades ago, Tsugio Makimoto predicted the future when he wrote that the technological possibilities combined with our need to travel, will change the way we live and work. 9 to 5 jobs will no longer be the norm, and we'll start working and living on the move. His book is a very interesting read and from a present stand point a very accurate depiction of our lives right now. Back then, he didn't get that much attention, and his book was ignored by the public.

As it turns out, all of his predictions turned out to be true. We as humans are explorers and travelers at heart, therefore it's only natural that we look for ways to incorporate that in our daily lives.

digital nomad

What's a Digital Nomad

Let's clarify a few things for those of you who are already interested in the digital nomad lifestyle. A digital nomad is a person who works remotely, and does not depend on any particular location. Being a digital nomad is the best solution for people who don't want to be tied down to one spot, and want to travel the world, while working at the same time.

If this lifestyle sounds appealing to you, then you might want to think about becoming a digital nomad yourself.

All you need to have is a good internet connection and a lap top, and you're good to go.

What You Need to Have in Mind If You Want to Become a Digital Nomad

Living your life on the road, traveling to incredible places, and choosing your own work hours as well as your next destination might sound very appealing even dreamlike to some, but although it's an amazing way to live your life, it might not be suitable for everyone.

Here's what you need to have in mind before deciding to quit your 9-5 job to live as a digital nomad:

  • You need to get used to being on the road
  • You need to be prepared to pack your whole life and move to different and unknown destinations
  • You won't be able to rely on the stability of your 9-5 job
  • You need to be psychologically prepared to change almost everything about your life

These are some very important points you need to consider before making your decision and embracing the changes that come with being a digital nomad.

Now that we've mentioned some of the downsides that come with this lifestyle, let's have a look at the positive aspects of it!

The Advantages of Being a Digital Nomad

digital nomad jobs

Growth and Maturity

Traveling the world on your own, meeting a lot of new people and coming across many different cultures makes you grow in ways that an office job can never do. You release your mind, and you open yourself to new opportunities. You free yourself from the misconceptions about different cultures and races that were brought on by those you surrounded yourself with, and are free to witness firsthand the truths and the myths about those people. A change of environment and people can really change your perspective and open up your eyes.

Job Flexibility

The most appealing part to many people who are considering the digital nomad lifestyle is the flexibility that comes with it.

When you work as a digital nomad you are free to make your own schedule, you don't have to coordinate your breaks and vacations with your colleagues and you break free from that 9-5 routine once and for all.

Enriched Lifestyle

Working from different places around the world allows you to get familiar with a lot of new cultures, learn a new language, and start seeing the world from a different perspective. You will no longer feel geographically or culturally restricted and you'll learn to treasure each day, and the possibilities it may bring.

Stress-Free Lifestyle, No Dressing Up and No Commute

You'll no longer have to stress about being late in the mornings, missing the bus, or getting stuck in traffic. Not to mention that that's just the beginning of your day. You won't have to worry about stressful, endless and sometimes even pointless meetings, because you could have your meetings in shorts, at the beach, while drinking a coconut smoothie.

Interesting Jobs

Just like you have the option to choose where you'd like to work from, you also have the opportunity to choose your job, your projects as well as your clients. You can find a position that works best for you and that's suitable for your skills. You can finally look for a job you genuinely enjoy doing.

Now that we've started talking about job possibilities, let's have a look at what type of jobs are available for digital nomads, and see which one of them would be a good fit for you.

What Kind of Jobs Are Available to Digital Nomads?

The main question that people have when it comes to working as a digital nomad is whether they'll be able to find remote work that can be done completely from their lap top, and will it be able to provide them a regular paycheck that will fund their living and travel costs.

As it turns out, there are a lot of jobs that offer just that and much more, so let's see what your options are!

Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, or Translator

Almost all jobs that have anything to do with writing or translating qualify for remote work. Whether you're working as a content writer, a blogger, a storyteller, or a translator, you can do all your research, interviews and writing on your lap top. You don't need to be in the same room as your client or even the people you'll be interviewing; that's the beauty of the digital age.

If you're qualified to work in these fields and would love to do that remotely then you have a few ways to do so. You can become an independent freelances and look for part-time or full-time freelance jobs online, you can look for companies or employers that offer remote work, or you can even open your own business and market your writing or translation services online.

digital nomad destinations

Ecommerce Entrepreneur

As an ecommerce entrepreneur you are free to travel the world and run your online store from any destination you'd like.

Ecommerce has evolved a lot over the years, and the industry will continue to grow even more.

Online shopping is very appealing to people because it saves them time and money and is a very convenient way to buy everything starting from clothes and technology to furniture, books, games and even food. Research says that in 2017, United State's citizens spent over $460 billion on online shopping, and those figures are only expected to rise.

Here are a few things you'll need to do if you want to open your own ecommerce business:

  • Set up a website for your online shop
  • Set up ways to collect payments
  • Establish shipment methods

When you're working remotely, you need to find a way to handle shipment and storage remotely as well. One way to outsource both of those steps is by dropshipping.

Dropshipping is a very popular method used by online shops, because it saves a lot of time and is quite profitable. You don't need any initial investment, as you don't actually need to buy the products from the vendors beforehand. You simply pay the vendors you work with once a product sells.

Web Developer or Web Designer

Some of the most common positions you'll see when searching for remote jobs are developer and designer jobs. You'll have many remote job opportunities both for front end programmers, and back end engineers. A lot more companies are starting to offer remote work, and are always looking for developers and designers as well.

digital nomad lifestyles

Virtual Assistant

Being a virtual assistant isn't as well paid as the other jobs we previously mentioned, but it's also a fairly simple job that can be done from virtually anywhere. It's a great way to make some extra money, and learn a few new skills on the job. Your job as a virtual assistant can include a lot of different things like: scheduling lunches, ordering flowers for spouses, answering e-mails and phone calls, writing blog posts, posting on social media and engaging with the audience.

The only thing that might make this job a bit less flexible than the other job opportunities we mentioned is that you might not be able to make your own schedule, and choose when you want to work. Your schedule will probably be given beforehand by your employer, so that you can always be available during the company's work hours. Before accepting a job as a virtual assistant make sure to check with your schedule and see if everything works for you. Always keep in mind that you might be in a different time zone than your employer, which can further complicate things.

Customer Support and Call Center Agent

This is another example of a very popular remote job that requires nothing more than a laptop, a pair of headphones and good communication skills. You don't need a lot of experience or special skills in order to work in customer support, but you need to be very polite and professional.

One more thing that makes this job appealing is the fact that call centers usually have an array of schedules for you to choose from, so you can pick the one that fits you best, having in mind your time zone and your daily schedule.

Social Media Expert

Companies are always looking for people with bright new ideas and a lot of enthusiasm who would love to manage social media accounts, interact and engage with people, think of ways to promote the company's products or services and come up with new deals and promotions to bring in more customers. The pay is good and you get to learn a lot of new things on the job, which makes it even more exciting.

Career Coach

Being a career coach or consultant doesn't have to mean you have to talk to or even meet with your clients in person. You can consult your clients, help them identify their career and personal goals, provide them with feedback and help them achieve success, all from your computer.

Hiring Consultant

Your job as a hiring consultant would be to find and interview potential employees, and be the link between them and the company.

You will probably need to post about available job positions online, look through the applicants, write them back and ask them for an interview. If you feel like they're a good fit for the job, you can recommend them to your employer, and he'll take it from there.

Here are a few more examples of remote jobs that only require an internet connection and a laptop:

Digital marketing expert, Photographer, Video editor, Online music teacher, Career coach, Life coach, eCourse creator, Online language teacher, Podcast Editor, Product Manager, Community manager, Illustrator, Animator and Bookkeeper.

You can search for remote work on the following sites:

Remotive, Upwork, Freelancer, We Work Remotely, Remote OK, Startus, Remote Work Hub, PowerToFly, and many, many more.

digital nomad guide

The Best Destinations for Digital Nomads

The best thing about being a digital nomad is the fact that you are not restricted to one location. You can live anywhere in the world, just as long as you have a solid internet connection. Nonetheless, some locations seem to be more popular than others, and for obvious reasons if I may say. Some of those reasons are: the cost of living, infrastructure, and of course fast bandwidth.

Some of those popular locations are: Bangkok in Thailand, Barcelona in Spain, Medellin in Colombia, Bali in Indonesia, Playa del Carmen in Mexico, Chiang Mai in Thailand, Cape Town in South Africa, Buenos Aires in Argentina and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

In many of these popular locations, people have started forming communities of digital nomads, which has led to an increase of co-working spaces and hipster cafes to supply the increasing demand.

Final Thoughts

Now that you've awoken the traveler in you, and gotten a glimpse of how different your life could be, it's going to be harder for you to go to your same old 9-5 job, and do the same old things you do every single day.

So why not start packing right away?

Make travelling your way of life, not your means of escape.

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