- Thinking of becoming a digital nomad? This guide will help you understand how to get started.
- Remote working is now an important part of our professional future, which means that there is no better time to envision the lifestyle of digital nomads.
- How to find work, where to stay, co-living options, and the pros and cons: it’s all covered in this introductory guide to the digital nomadic lifestyle.
Many people around the world are tempted to start living the digital nomadic lifestyle with the aim of finding a better work-life balance, gaining increased working flexibility and living in different countries while working. .
If you’re planning to become a digital nomad and travel the world while working remotely, here are some tips to get you started.
What to look for in a digital nomadic destination
When deciding that you are going to start living as a digital nomad, the first thing you need to consider is where in the world you want to go.
There are many factors to consider when making this decision, especially if you intend to stay in each destination for a while while working.
We’ve summarized a useful list of factors to consider when choosing a digital nomadic destination:
- Internet speed and reliability: find out if it is fast enough for your needs and if the power and internet are reliable.
- Health and security: Find out about the quality of the medical system there and how you can access it. Check out this digital nomad’s guide to health insurance plans.
- Culture: assess if you will like to be part of this new culture.
- Criminality: Find out what the crime rate is, which areas are the safest, and what you can do to ensure your personal safety.
- Tongue: find out if you can speak one of the local languages, if you will be able to speak the local language or if you could learn it during your stay.
- Cost of life: estimate your budget and the cost of living in the city that interests you
- Digital nomadic poles: find out if there are any digital nomadic hubs out there where you could connect with other people on a journey similar to yours.
It’s also worth looking at some of the more popular digital nomadic destinations, for ideas of places others have found great to live and work in.
How to find international work as a digital nomad
If you want to become a digital nomad, you will probably want to get a remote job to finance your travel and living expenses.
One obvious place to start looking for remote employment is with your current employer. You might ask if they would be open to you telecommuting. Or, if you work for a multinational company, you can research if there are opportunities in other countries.
Alternatively, there are plenty of places you can turn to find work as a digital nomad online. You can try working as a freelance writer, doing remote jobs while you work and travel the world.
There are many remote work websites online like UpWork, FlexJobs, We Work Remotely which advertise thousands of remote jobs. And many countries like Croatia, Malta and Estonia offer digital nomadic visas that make it easier to navigate the legal aspects of working abroad.
And you could start to network globally to find work in different countries. Obtaining internationally recognized qualifications or skills that are in high demand in other countries should help you improve your employability.
How to find accommodation in a new city as a digital nomad
Choosing which city to live in is one thing, but finding suitable accommodation as a digital nomad is another. This is because you will have certain requirements like a good internet connection, and you might want to be connected with other like-minded digital nomads. It’s usually a good idea to first decide which city you want to move to and then start looking for accommodation there.
You will be happy to know that there are thriving digital nomad communities all over the world. Some are tiny and others are pretty well established. There are some basic tips when it comes to finding accommodation. This includes finding digital nomadic villages, coliving and coworking spaces, or even flexible seasonal accommodation in hotels and backpacker lodges.
Here are some helpful tips for finding accommodation in a new city as a digital nomad.
Find nearby digital nomadic villages
Digital nomadic villages are starting to sprout across the world. The Madeira Islands in Portugal recently launched a digital nomadic village, and Zadar in Croatia is a popular digital nomadic village to work in.
If you want to network and be integrated with local startups and entrepreneurial communities that create social and environmental impact, then a nomadic village may be the ideal destination. Many offer monthly rentals in homes or hotels that include utilities and bills, making them very convenient.
Connect with digital nomads online for hosting ideas
Connecting online with digital nomads can be a great way to network and find tips and ideas of great places to stay. There are many digital nomad blogs that review housing in cities around the world. It might be a better way to find that perfect little gem of accommodation, rather than looking at Airbnb which is more suitable for short stays in terms of price.
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Anyplace.com is one of those nomadic digital housing sites that is full of ideas to get you excited. And Nomadbase, Digital Nomads Hub, and Digital Nomads Around the World are examples of busy Facebook groups dedicated to discussing and exchanging ideas about digital nomads.
Coliving and coworking
Co-living is growing in popularity as a way to embrace the digital nomadic lifestyle, while being close to other digital nomads on a journey similar to yours. These places usually offer private or shared rooms with good internet connection and shared common areas like kitchens, living rooms, swimming pools and dining areas. Typically you pay a monthly fee to stay there which includes all utilities and bills making it very convenient and hassle free.
Coliving spaces are popular among solo travelers, families and professionals. This is a great option if you want to network and get to know a community, if you want to feel secure living with others, and if you want to network with businesses.
Check out Arctic Coworking Lodge in Norway and Surf Office (located in Europe and North America) for inspiration on the lifestyle you could have while working abroad.
Furnished apartments, Airbnb and long-term hotels
The great thing about furnished apartments is that everything is already there for you, so you just need to book. Often the prices have been adjusted for longer stay options. Sometimes you can get an entire private apartment, and other times you may need to share some common areas.
It’s usually a more expensive option than staying in a coworking hub, and since it’s not designed for digital nomads, you might not have as many opportunities to network and build relationships. But if you are looking for privacy, this may be best for you.
Long-stay hotels are very similar to serviced apartments, but you can be in a larger resort with all the amenities of a hotel, which can include a gym, pool, and sauna. Hotels also usually offer daily housekeeping services, provide clean towels, and also offer other services besides ensuring privacy. Some budget hotels may offer good rates for long term stays.
Airbnb can be a great way to stay with locals if you opt for a room in a house, but it doesn’t always come with all the amenities you need like a desk, printer, and high Wi-Fi. debit. Some nomads like to stay in Airbnb homes and then work from a coworking space for this reason. The good thing about booking through Airbnb is that there are so many amazing places to choose from almost everywhere you go. And there are often places that are quite varied in terms of budget.
Is this lifestyle for you? The pros and cons of being a digital nomad
The decision to start living as a digital nomad isn’t always easy. Depending on the stage of your life, your budget and the size of your family, this can be complex. There are many advantages and disadvantages which are not always obvious and some only come with experience.
We’ve put together a list of pros and cons to help you with your decision-making process as to whether the digital nomad lifestyle might be right for you.
Benefits of becoming a digital nomad
- The freedom to work where you want, when you want
- Travel the world while working
- Meet new people, explore new cities, make new friends
- Save money by earning an income in a country with a lower cost of living
- Better work-life balance (if you can manage it)
- No commute to work
- Best time
- Learn a new language, discover new cultures
- Start a new hobby
- Quality of life
Disadvantages of becoming a digital nomad
Final thoughts on remote working and travel
If you are now convinced that the digital nomadic lifestyle is for you, then you are probably already starting to look for where to go in the world. You will likely be looking for accommodation in these cities and ways to find a job remotely while traveling the world.
Hope this blog has given you some useful resources to consult to help you take all of these steps in the process of transitioning to the nomadic lifestyle!
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