Have you ever wanted to embark on a journey with a one-way ticket and no final destination? Have you ever dreamt of a life where you can pack your things and escape to the next adventure at the last minute?
You’re not alone.
For several millions of people, this lifestyle is already a reality. They signed off from their 9–5 job and signed up for a never ending trip around the world, enjoying a kind of freedom that makes the rest of us envious.
They are digital nomads.
In this article we’ll cover the big questions about them and their lifestyle.
Digital nomads are tech savvy people, young and eager to see the world. Their desire to travel powers their unconventional lifestyle. You could say they’re the new, smart generation of backpackers.
Nomads and backpackers aren’t a new thing though. So what’s so special about digital nomads?
You could start backpacking tomorrow and become a nomad yourself. Easy. However, unless you were born rich or inherited a fortune, your nomadic lifestyle would end pretty soon. When you run out of money you run out of miles.
Unlike traditional backpackers, digital nomads found a way to support their lifestyle while on the go, creating the possibility of an endless journey.
Digital nomads work while travelling. Most of them keep their living frugal, so a small amount of work will pay all their expenses, meaning less work time and more leisure time (what’s the point of sitting in a beautiful location you can’t enjoy because you’re loaded with work?).
First and foremost, digital nomads are location independent workers. They’re generally very skilled and smart people, working as remote workers, freelancers or entrepreneurs.
Whether they’re working for a global corporation, or inventing the next cool thing, all they need to do their job is a laptop and a stable internet connection.
You might ask, why now?
There are three primary reasons why we’re witnessing a rise in the digital nomad phenomenon:
People are different and individuals have their own reasons. However, some are more common than others.
Being able to create a sustainable lifestyle, where you have the freedom to work when and where you want, is intriguing and highly motivating.
People want to see the world, experience different cultures, and meet different people.
The most successful people love a challenge. Embarking on a one-way business trip is one of the biggest challenges you can face.
Nomads are by definition location independent, so the first step to becoming a digital nomad is setting up your location independent business.
In our article “How to Set Up a Profitable Location Independent Business”, we explain how you can escape the rat-race and say goodbye to a regular 9–5 job.
You can easily become location independent if you are:
This depends on the type of work they do and how successful they are.
Remote workers get a typical salary. Depending on their job and the position they cover, it can be anything in the range of $1000–$3000.
Freelancers have a flexible income. Although it can be $0 at times (yes, expect bad months), the high end of the range can be very high and it’s limited only by your personal skills and the amount of value you can deliver. It’s not uncommon to find freelancers invoicing over $10 000 per month.
Entrepreneurs are generally the ones to make more money. Unlike remote workers and freelancers, they rely on other people to do the job while they focus on the creation of assets and networking. Their capacity for making money isn’t linked to their time, so expanding their income to anything between $5000 and $100 000+ per month is a real possibility.
As a digital nomad, you could live anywhere there’s a stable and reasonably fast internet connection.
Choosing the type of city, climate, and culture, comes down entirely to personal preference.
This list is a great resource — give it a try!
If you work as a freelancer or entrepreneur, you need to be able to invoice your clients. Therefore, you need a company.
The cost of this? Less than €500.
Other costs related to running your Estonian company are discussed at length in our previous article “The cost of running a company in Estonia”.
This is one of the most asked questions.
Instead of attempting to give our own answer, we’ll direct you to the wise advice of someone who’s been living the digital nomad lifestyle for several years.
The following two articles are a great starting point for packing your bags:
Any list of current tech would quickly become outdated. Instead of telling you which brand and model you should buy, we’ll give you the criteria you should use to make your own choice.
Finally, do you prefer Mac, PC, or Chrome OS?
Pick your type and follow the guidelines above to find the best machine you can afford.
We close this article with a final question: is this lifestyle sustainable in the long run?
They do say all good things come to an end. Being a digital nomad follows the same rule.
Here are a few reasons why the digital nomad lifestyle can’t last forever:
Quitting the digital nomad lifestyle isn’t the end of the world.
You had the time of your life, you saw places, met people, and fed your mind and soul with incredible experiences. You did what others can only dream of.
So don’t beat yourself up, and know that it’s ok to bring an end to it.
Does it mean you have to get a job? Absolutely not.
If you managed to live as a digital nomad for some time, chances are you mastered the art of producing value while on the go. This skill will remain with you forever and you can keep working with your clients as if nothing changed.
As a matter of fact, the smart choice would be to transition to a location independent lifestyle, where you can enjoy the same freedom with less moving around.
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