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What is a Digital Nomad Lifestyle?

Updated on February 3, 2020
Rosemarie Graham profile image

A lot of people are interested in living a nomad lifestyle, but are not sure what is it.

Digital Nomad lifestyle definition

Imagine if you could, having a job that does not require to be in an office at all. You work whenever it is convenient for you, and from anywhere in the world.
Sounds like fun does it not? But right now you sitting in an office at your desk reading this article either on a laptop or on a smartphone.
Well, that is the life of a digital nomad.
As the name digital suggests these are jobs that require you to have just a laptop and internet access because your laptop computer and a smartphone will serve as your primary communication tool with anyone or any company that you may work for in any part of the world.

But before we embark on this exciting lifestyle; it is best we try and learn more about it. And today that's what I am going to do.

Digital Nomad on a beach
Digital Nomad on a beach

Digital nomad careers

Do I need a degree to embark on the life of a Digital Nomad?

Not necessarily, to live as a Digital Nomad requires you have exceptional skills in whatever market or niche industry you want to go in. However, there is one exception, in regards to teaching English to a non-native person whether online or living for time in a foreign country, always requires the applicant to have a Bachelor’s degree in English or two years of post-graduate work experience, and some non-English speaking country may accept A TEFL certification, they will also do a criminal background check on all applicant.

Surprisingly, for the rest of the other skills area (see the list below) not having a formal education is a non-issue, you just need to become an expert in these areas. Youtube, Udemy and online companies like Lynda are fantastic places to learn about these online jobs.

What jobs do Digital Nomads do

Web developer

Facebook Ads Manager


Digital Marketer

Virtual assistance

Day trader

Social Media manager

Content writers

Selling ads space

CPC advertising

Creating digital products

Conducting paid online webinars


Drop shipper

Medical Transcribing

Teaching English online

How to Be a Digital Nomad - the Framework

How Do Digital Nomads Make Money

Having gone through what it takes to work as Digital Nomad the next logical question would be, how do Digital Nomads Make money? Digital nomads make money in two ways.

1. You own your own business.
Because you are doing this remotely you must have a website, so you would need a domain name and web hosting. Also, you will need to know how to do your own email marketing to attract and retain new clients.
Very importantly, you must have some basic seo knowledge, and how to drive traffic to your website. Do not forget the website must relate to your niche, so when people are looking for certain products or service they will easily find your website.
This article is just scratching the surface of this topic.

Working on a contractual basis

2. Working for different companies on a contractual basis.
A lot of computer programmers and IT specialists will work with small to medium start-up companies.
Let's say there is a small company that does delivery services in a specific geolocation, they may need to know where their drivers are at any given time, so they may contract a computer programmer to create a software that does that. This programmer is not a permanent employee, he is on contract with this company. The beauty of this is that he does not need to be at the business location, he can work remotely from anywhere in the world.

Some digital nomads may work for many different companies and have become so good that they are in high demand and may sub-contract some of the work to other digital nomads or freelancers. In essence, they create a digital nomads agency, where they will offer training via a webinar on what they offer to prospective digital nomads. Bloggers and content writers do this all the time, they outsource or hire writers, graphic designers, or even website builders, from places like Fiverr to do that for them.

Necessary Digital Nomads tools

To succeed as a digital nomads means having the right tools to do the job.
Apps for digital nomads
1. Wifi internet access
2. Smart phone
3. laptop computers


4. Laptop case
5. Language app
6. Lazy Bracket Phone Holder
7. Location device app
8. Laptop stand > that keeps water and grime away.

Dangers and drawbacks for Digital Nomads

Living in a foreign country can be a thrilling experience, you wake every day enjoying great scenic views, exquisite sandy beaches, friendly people, and lower cost of living expenses, however there are some inherent risks that every Digital Nomads and or anyone thinking of choosing this way of life should become familiar with. let us discuss some of them.

The Inability to form lasting relationships

When you are by yourself in a foreign, away from relatives and close friends, it can bring on loneliness, because you no longer enjoy that support group. If not corrected quickly it can result in depression.

Hopping from one country to another is not structured to form long-lasting relationships. You could lose the ability to form any close bond with friends or even relatives, which could result in further isolation. Culture shock is also a real problem too, because you now staying for extended periods of time and begin to leave the touristy spots you may be surprised at the way people live or local customs may shock you. Some Digital Nomads have expressed regrets after embarking on this way of life.

Known Health Risks

Depending on a person need for company, having close contact with strangers could expose you, or them to known transmittable diseases. You could also encounter shady people, or you could get lost. Realizing the danger some Digital Nomads have had geo tracking apps installed on their laptops, and will keep a solar battery phone charger with them at all times, especially when they are away from a digital nomads accommodation environment. Many have joined Digital Nomad communities, or other support groups .

Digital Nomads Health Insurance

When you are an employee of a company, usually in the more affluent countries the worker usually participates in a pension scheme and is given varying types of health insurance coverage. But this is a challenge for many Digital Nomads, especially for beginners they may not earn enough to buy into a pension plan or have any health insurance. Should they get sick and need hospital care, the consequences could be potentially devastating.

Sunset Yallas, St. Thomas
Sunset Yallas, St. Thomas

Digital Nomads and visas

Visa or immigration requirements differ from country to country. Check with a travel agency to get the lateness updates. Because most country will require you to pay taxes if stay over a certain amount of days in that country. Some countries have already begun to create visas for Digital Nomads. See the article below.

Digital Nomads living costs

Lastly, the living costs for most digital Nomads such as accommodation, car rental, food, or grocery, are all subjective. It is dependent on which country you are from, and which country you are going to. Knowing each country's foreign exchange rate is a great asset.

Many Digital Nomads will stay in a country that has a low exchange rate, meaning when a currency falls in value against another currency. Currencies such as the Euro, British pound or US Dollar is stronger than the currency of many developing countries. Therefore a Digital Nomad will be able to live comfortably for the duration of his or her stay in the host country. Usually, this is the main attraction for most Digital Nomads.


Knowing what it takes to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle is very important because you are now able to make informed decisions, to determine if this is something you want to do.

I hope this article will serve as a guide for you, should you decide to become a Digital Nomad.

Thank you for reading.

What is your opinion

Is being a Digital Nomad overrated?

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