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You might hear the term ‘digital nomad’ thrown around a lot these days, but what exactly is a digital nomad? It sounds kind of funky and strange and it’s something relatively new on a big scale despite the fact that some people have been doing it already for decades. What’s involved? How do you become one? What is it anyway? What are the perks and cons? Read ahead to see all these questions answered.

What Is A Digital Nomad?

Simply put, a digital nomad is someone whose primary source of income is through working online either through location independence with their corporate company (awesome) or by freelancing, selling or teaching english online. A digital nomad typically moves around from country to country and city to city taking advantage of the freedom that is allowed in such a role and works from literally where ever they are. This has become hugely popular as a form of work now that traditional roles are less permanent and unemployment in many countries is high. The nomadic lifestyle with working online suits many people who want to travel but can’t seem to afford it.

How Do You Become One?

The best way to become one is research. Find something that you can do online and look into how to take it to the employment level. Lots of freelancing sites like Upwork, People Per Hour. Fiverr, Elance and more offer great opportunities for freelancers to do everything from social media marketing to graphic design, website development, content management and more. Not only that but if you’re a teacher these days you can get online teaching jobs where you tutor students through the internet. Awesome, right?

Pros

The biggest pro is probably freedom to explore our world and not have to resign yourself to the Monday to Friday 9-5 kind of life if you aren’t up to it. Moving around while working online means you’re never in the same place for very long – unless you find a country that has liberal visa policies and means you can stay for six months to a year with no hassles. Just find a city you love and set up shop. You also make your own hours so you can pick and choose when you work, so no more early mornings if you aren’t a morning person! To top it all off, you get the freedom to learn more about yourself, you develop serious flexibility and you can meet all kinds of cool co-workers in hip, trendy co-working spaces around the globe. Yes! It’s a whole new trend – the co-working space!

Cons

The lack of social engagement if you work from home can be low, which is where co-working spaces are great. The money can come and go in serious ups and downs so it can be stressful for those who are in a lull and are thinking “how am I going to pay rent this month?”. The money can be really bad when you’re just starting out and sometimes you have to work for next to nothing just to get the experience and portfolio. Finally, sometimes being on the road can take a toll and become lonesome, leaving you wishing for a night out with your friends back in your hometown.

So if this sounds like something you might like to get involved with, definitely have a look at how you can make your skillset work for you. Everything from CV writing to marketing, to making videos or composing music and more, it seems everything is game these days. Just be sure to take into account the pros and cons and how you will feel about being away from family and friends for sometimes months or even years at a time. Overall though, imagine how great the open road will feel with no one to answer to but yourself (okay, and maybe a few clients!). Good luck!