Over the course of the last few years, many of us have had to work or study from home rather than from university or from the office. For some of us, this has been an amazing shift, showing that we actually can do our job from anywhere and have a better work-life balance as a result.
With many of us being told to come back into the office, employees are increasingly asking for flexibility when it comes to where we work from. Now we know that we can do our jobs successfully remotely, why limit ourselves to working from home? Where else can we work from? That’s where digital nomadism comes in.
Digital nomads are essentially people who rely on technology and work remotely from all around the world. As many companies are adopting remote working policies and, in some cases, ditching the office altogether, the opportunity to travel and work online at the same is too good an opportunity to pass up.
So, when the world’s your oyster, where do you even begin? Let us be your guide on how to become a digital nomad!
Who can become a digital nomad?
First things first, who can actually be a digital nomad? Well if your job can be done remotely, your company is okay with you being a fully remote worker and you have a laptop with a steady internet connection, then chances are this is an option for you.
Pre-pandemic, the majority of digital nomads were either creatives, so bloggers, photographers, designers, coders… However, with us all having to try remote work during the last couple of years, the boundaries on who can and can’t work remotely have massively opened up.
Unfortunately if your job is in a factory or on a shop floor, digital nomadism probably isn’t for you, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t travel and work. There are plenty of working holiday visas that you can look into if this is something you want to explore.
How can you make money as a digital nomad?
Okay so the big one – how can you make money on the road as a digital nomad? The easiest way is to convince your boss that if you can work from home why can’t you work from say Portugal? This way you’ll still have your steady income hitting your bank account each month regardless of where you are.
Another option is to go freelance. This is normally the route for creatives, coders or developers that made digital nomadism so popular in the first place. If you have a skill that people will pay for, you can upload a profile on sites such as Fiverr or Upwork and find matching remote gigs from all over the world and get paid that way. There are thousands of jobs there, so depending on how niche you go, you should be able to find a decent amount of clients to keep you going on the road.
Where are the best places to be a digital nomad?
Although one of the draws behind the idea of being a digital nomad is the idea that you can work anywhere and move around whenever you want, however this isn’t always the case. Due to different visa restrictions when it comes to working abroad, being a digital nomad can be a tricky balancing act.
This being said, many countries including Portugal, Germany, Croatia, Estonia, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and more have developed specialist digital nomad visas that are less restrictive than normal working visas but more permanent are legitimate than trying to get away with working remotely on a tourist visa – if you like the sound of the country you’re visiting, don’t try and game the visa system in this way, they might not let you back in if you’re caught!
If you’re looking to start out as a digital nomad, especially if you’re going to remain working with your existing company, it’s probably best to pick somewhere in the same time zone or no more than plus or minus two hours so that you can still participate with the rest of the team. Luckily, that leaves plenty of options for potential locations!
Where can I stay or live as a digital nomad?
So, if you’re moving around all the time you probably don’t want to go to the hassle of renting out a place in every city – there’s minimum lease lengths to consider as well as potentially feeling isolated in a new city or country. Similarly, staying in a hotel or AirBnB for the duration is going to get super expensive really quickly.
The solution? Check yourself into one of the many hostels that now have co-working spaces. This way you can benefit from the social aspects of staying in a hostel while having access to great facilities like desks, high speed internet, printers and more. It’s a highly affordable option that’s going to give you the flexibility you need to be a successful digital nomad and give you the chance to experience your chosen location like a local, with a base that you can feel comfortable in.
On our Hostel Card alone we have plenty of hostels that have co-working spaces including Clinknoord, Dream Hostel in Prague, Hostel Mondpalast in Dresden, Lisbon Destination Hostel, many of the Selina hostels, The Beehive and YellowSquare in Rome, and many more. And don’t forget – for just £19.99 a year you get up to 20% off dorm beds AND private rooms. If you’re thinking of becoming a digital nomad, that’s a massive saving!
Are you ready?
Switching up your work-life situation and taking the leap into digital nomadism can feel daunting, but after the remote working experiences we’ve had recently we know that we can make it work and work successfully.
With the rise in digital nomad visas and the boom in co-working spaces, especially within affordable and social hostel settings, it’s never been easier to become a digital nomad.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is a person who travels while working, they are location-independent. Digital nomads usually either work for themselves or work for a flexible company that lets them spend more time abroad or in different locations.
How to make money as a digital nomad?
There are lots of ways you can make money as a digital nomad. You can start your own business, freelance online for others or work for a local business. Check out this blog for more, we give you all the best tips!
Where to be a digital nomad?
You can be a digital nomad anywhere in the world, wherever you feel like exploring! The only thing you need to keep in mind is good internet connection if your work online, or places where you can easily find temp work.