6 Compelling Reasons To Become A Digital Nomad

Becoming a digital nomad is something that lots of young professionals are considering in 2021. Firstly, what on earth does this mean? What is a digital nomad? Secondly, why on earth should you become one?

Fear not, both of these questions will be answered throughout this guide. We’ll start with the obvious one, then after explaining what a digital nomad is you will find some compelling reasons to give this lifestyle a go!

Photo: Samer Daboul

What is a digital nomad?

The concept of remote working isn’t a difficult one to understand, particularly after most of us have spent the last year doing it. Instead of working from a fixed office location, you can work from home – or anywhere else. This is at the core of what a digital nomad is, but the key thing that separates one from a standard remote worker is that they will travel around to different locations. 

We live in a connected world that’s full of digital technology, and this is what’s made the digital nomad lifestyle so viable in modern times. People can literally work anywhere they want in the world, and all they need is an internet connection and some sort of device to work on. So, if you are a digital nomad, you will work from different places whenever and wherever you like. This can vary from working from home to working on the other side of the world!

Already, this has piqued your interest as you like the idea of having so much freedom. Well, after reading the following reasons to become a digital nomad, the only thing you’ll be wondering is why you didn’t do it sooner. 

Save money

Being a digital nomad means you can save a lot of money when compared to living a more traditional and fixed way of life. You don’t have to pay to rent an office or anything expensive like that. All you really have to deal with are your ongoing living expenses, such as bills, your home warranty, insurance, etc. 

Okay, but what if you want to travel around as a digital nomad, won’t this cost more money? You’d think so, but it actually doesn’t. You see, traveling to a different country can mean that the cost of living goes down, so you actually end up saving money. Not to mention you might be able to claim back the cost of your travels as an expense on your tax form at the end of the financial year if you can prove that it was essential for your work. For example, if you’re a travel blogger, you can argue that going to Thailand is a business expense as you’re going there to write about the experience! 

Regardless, the digital nomad lifestyle is an affordable one if you know what you’re doing. So, you can save money when compared to the alternatives. 

Experience the world

Have you ever dreamed of traveling, yet felt like your work is holding you back? You only have a finite number of holiday days to take each year, and you have to take them depending on what your employer allows. For instance, it’s impossible to take all 28 days off in a row during the summer. It won’t be allowed, and you also have to work around other people’s holidays as well. 

It gets to a point where you can barely travel and see the world because your life is consumed by your job. This is the harsh reality for most people, who have to settle for a week or two away every year. Even then, you have to book based on what’s available, typically opting for cheaper holidays as the dream ones are overpriced when you can book time off work. 

As a digital nomad, you have a proper chance to experience the world. You can travel whenever you like, for as long as you like, to wherever in the world you’d like to go. The beauty of this lifestyle is that you can travel outside of peak vacation times, so it’s a lot cheaper. You also have the benefit of taking your work with you, meaning you can enjoy different places while still earning a living. If traveling is your main joy in life, you should strongly consider being a digital nomad. 

Enjoy true flexibility for a better work-life balance

Traditional working is not very flexible at all. You are forced to work based on when your employer dictates you should. For most people, this means working in set shifts – 9 to 5 is the most common, and it leads to such a structured and rigid lifestyle. You are constantly fitting your life around this schedule, and it doesn’t lead to a great work-life balance. You might be working when you’re least productive, struggling to focus, and feeling drained of all energy. When you get home, you have no energy or motivation to do anything, so you just kind of end up in a slump. 

Digital nomads get the benefit of enjoying true flexibility. Why? Because you can literally set your own hours and choose when you work. Some days, you might work for 3 hours, take a long break, then work for another 3 hours – and that’s it! Other days you may decide to work for the entire day, giving you the freedom to take an extra couple of days off work after. 

The point is that you are in complete control of your working life, which leads to such a better balance. You work when you want to and feel at your most productive, and you have more time to relax and enjoy life. 

Photo: Helena Lopes

Meet lots of new people – professionally and personally

The digital nomad approach to life also helps you meet lots of new people. Naturally, being able to travel around and work wherever you want means you will encounter different people. These can be fellow travelers that you strike long-lasting personal friendships with, but they can also be fellow professionals. 

Therefore, being a digital nomad isn’t just great for your own personal life and happiness, it can also help you find more work and secure more contracts. You may encounter other digital nomads that can hook you up with work, and the professional relationships you form can keep the money coming through week after week. 

Choose your own path

This goes back to the idea of having flexibility, but it’s more focused on your personal development and career path. As a digital nomad, you have complete freedom to do whatever you want and try lots of things out. In essence, you can find your own path, discovering what you love the most and what appeals to you. 

Consequently, you can then explore development opportunities relating to this path, helping you become better at what you do. That’s the key to living a successful life as a digital nomad; do something that you are good at. The better you are at your job, the easier it is to make money. This means you can actually spend less time working and more time having fun on your travels!

Be healthier and less stressed

A typical office job is actually one of the unhealthiest careers you can have. Sitting down in an office chair for hours on end is not going to be good for you. It leads to a sedentary lifestyle where you barely walk around, you’re not active, and you mess up your posture. You’ll have all sorts of health concerns, not to mention increased stress. 

By contrast, being a digital nomad means you can live a healthier and stress-free life. Again, we covered the idea of improving your work-life balance earlier on, and this goes a long way to reducing stress. Just having the freedom to do what you want and live life by your own rules will help you feel less stressed and more relaxed, reducing the chances of developing stress-related health issues. 

Furthermore, you can live a more active life as a digital nomad. You will spend more time walking around, but you can also set your own schedule to allow for more time in the gym or going for runs. You avoid the horrible office lunches as well, which usually consist of whatever you can find in the nearest shop. Overall, life as a digital nomad is considerably healthier and better for your mental health as well. 

As you have read through this post, you’ve slowly started to realize that being a digital nomad has many benefits. If you are looking for a more flexible and free life, this could be the pathway to go down. Particularly if you already have a specific set of skills and are comfortable in your ability to find work. Naturally, it’s not a lifestyle that suits everyone. You do have the danger of not finding work for a long time, but this changes with experience. Similarly, if you have a family at home, you can’t really pack them all up and travel together – it’s not feasible. So, take all of the benefits into account, consider some possible drawbacks, then decide if this is the right life for you.