Who are digital nomads?
Digital nomads are of every shape, color, age, marital status and ‘type’.Forget what you think you know — digital nomads are:
- 18 to 80 years old (or older!)
- Female, male, transgendered, non-binary
- Black, brown, yellow, white
- Single, married, divorced, engaged
- Childless, with children, pregnant
- Gay, straight, bi-sexual, polyamorous
- Religious, atheist, agnostic
- High school dropouts, college graduates,
- Conservative, liberal, non-political
- … and from virtually every populated country on the planet.
In other words, there’s someone very similar to you that’s already a digital nomad, somewhere out there.
Who can become a digital nomad?
Just about anyone can, but not everyone should. See some of the other questions for a bit more on this.
At a minimum, becoming a digital nomad means you need to:
- Be at least 18 years old (most countries around the world consider you ‘an adult’ at 18)
- Have a passport (necessary to leave your country)
- Have some money and source of income to sustain your travels
- Want to travel and experience more of the world
- There’s plenty more to consider here, of course, and there’s an entire chapter of the book dedicated to knowing yourself, discovering your interests or motivations, and beginning the journey.
Who shouldn’t become a digital nomad?
Just about anyone can become a digital nomad, but not everyone should.
Answer yes or no to these five questions:
- Can you handle learning some of the local language as you travel?
- Are you open to new routines, new schedules, and new experiences?
- Can you take your job / work with you, or can you adapt it to make money?
- Are you willing / able to sell, give away, or put most of your stuff into storage?
- Are you ready to proactively choose almost every aspect of your life?
If you said ‘yes!’ or ‘can’t wait!’ to most of these, you’re probably ready!
If you said ‘well…’, ‘actually…’, or ‘no…’ to most of these, it’s probably not for you.
If you love the idea of a digital nomad lifestyle but have decided it’s not for you, consider other ways of connecting with the world:
- Become an Airbnb host — a room at your place might be perfect for a traveler.
- Become a homestay host — similar to offering an Airbnb, but this one gets you actively involved with your guests instead of simply offering them a place to play. It’s a great chance to show off your hometown, introduce the local cuisine, practice a foreign language, and connect with the digital nomad community or other travelers.
- Offer to help the digital nomads you meet — from storing their stuff to using your address to receive their mail or packages, having a stable address and place (or being more familiar with local customs or the local language) can be invaluable to a nomad. If you thought your city or country’s bureaucracy was crazy, imagine going in without knowing what to do or not speaking the language!
- Exchange houses — you might not be ready or able to travel full-time, but offering your house on a housing exchange can give you the opportunity to holiday someplace far away. These sorts of exchanges will also enable someone to come your place and look after your garden and pets.
- Be a house-sitter — another option to consider when you go on vacation, this can be a super-cheap way to see other parts of the world. Do take into consideration the potential limitations of a house-sit that I’ve listed, however.
- Start an online business — whether or not you leave your local community, an online business offers you a way to be in touch with clients or customers around the world. No, it’s not the same as stepping out of your door into a brand-new environment every few weeks or months; but it can help you feel less like an isolated island and more like a global citizen.
This is just getting good.
Hey, I’m Chris. That’s my book to the right, Becoming a Digital Nomad. It’s a step-by-step guide that helps you test and transition into the digital nomad lifestyle. It comes with access to 12 worksheets and access to a Facebook group to connect with other digital nomads.