Working on the beach, going for a swim in the sea during lunch break and determining your own working hours - for many, this sounds too good to be true. For digital nomads, this life is a reality, but it requires the necessary flexibility and the right job.
Not every profession is suitable and a certain self-discipline is also important for digital nomads. But what are digital nomads actually? Find out more about this attractive-sounding work model and how you can become a digital nomad in the following article.
A "nomad" used to be a non-settled person who always moved on in search of food, livestock or for trade and had no fixed place of residence. Nomads are therefore actually wanderers who are always on the move and at home everywhere.
Working as a digital nomad means that you can set up your workplace flexibly anywhere in the world. You don't need much. All you need is access to electricity, the internet as a connection to employers or customers, a powerful laptop and a mobile phone. Internet nomads work and travel the world on the side.
Thanks to technical progress, digital nomadic life is possible without any problems in many regions around the world. In the big cities, the internet is often very well developed and in the rural regions, the development is also progressing. Digital nomads use this development for their very own living and working model. You can work in very different sectors for your digital nomadic life.
Some employers give their employees the freedom to work in a home office, for example. Working from abroad is also possible. Most digital nomads, however, are freelancers and self-employed who work for several clients worldwide and work independently from any location. Daily work at fixed times is possible, but so is project work that is done for several weeks at a time and involves longer breaks.
Travelling is very important for most digital nomads. They want to discover many regions of the world and get to know foreign cultures. They manage to do this much better and more intensively than tourists who only travel to these areas for holidays.
As a digital nomad, you can work anywhere, but most people are only really productive if they find a good place to sit in a quiet environment. This can be your favourite café, for example, but also a modern co-working space where you can meet other digital nomads from all over the world to expand your network. There are also often rooms for online meetings and seminar rooms that others can share.
Simply emigrate and live as a digital nomad? Under no circumstances should you rush into your plan. A little planning and a financial cushion for the beginning are important to make ends meet abroad. You need the following things to get started:
The classic travel insurance is usually only valid for a stay of up to six weeks. If you stay longer abroad, it is important to have extra insurance to cover health emergencies, repatriation after accidents, dental treatment and other medical needs.
Check whether and where you have access to your bank account. Choose a bank that allows you to withdraw cash and pay by (credit) card abroad without any problems. The fees should not be too high.
For the start, a small cushion in the bank can't hurt. After all, accommodation must first be found and the first few weeks need to be bridged until everything is running smoothly. Also plan for loss of income, sick days and holidays.
Check that you have electricity, mobile phone reception and internet on site. Take an extra battery for your devices to prevent possible breakdowns.
Inform your customers and business partners how they can best reach you on the road. An e-mail address, website and phone number are important for communication.
The best way to make new contacts is via Facebook, Xing or LinkedIn. Advertisements in job portals also provide new jobs along the way.
Which professions are suitable for becoming a digital nomad? Actually, any job that requires you to sit in front of a computer most of the time, has little equipment and where you only need to communicate with your team, clients and business partners from time to time.
Here are some examples of digital nomad professions:
Of course, you can become self-employed and thus work freely. But it is also possible to be only partially present at your employer's premises through remote work. For real digital nomad jobs, however, location-independent work is important and often takes place in cooperation with people all over the world. Depending on the distance, real meetings may be possible, but most people with digital nomad jobs contact each other via Skype and other online communication tools.
Many digital nomads have already taken the plunge and fulfilled their lifelong dream of a location-independent workplace. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Build up a small, stable clientele at home so that you can start straight away and don't have to go abroad to find new clients.
You have a permanent job but don't dare to quit? Then ask your boss if you can take a year off (e.g. sabbatical). This way you can try out the digital nomadic life first. The remote work model with few days of presence would also be an alternative to complete self-employment as a digital nomad.
Inform yourself in advance about all entry requirements (visas, etc.), useful vaccinations and regulations for registration in the respective country.
Don't forget to stay in touch with your friends and family. You can do this, for example, via Skype, WhatsApp and other messenger tools that allow you to video chat.
Working as a digital nomad sounds tempting, but in reality it is often harder than expected and by no means just a holiday with lucrative side work. However, with good preparation, a regular clientele and some start-up capital, the entry for internet nomads can be successful. If you want to become a digital nomad, you should also choose places that offer good internet and mobile phone reception.