It’s been happening all around you for years and you might not have noticed. It used to be only the adventurous few. But year by year, more and more people are quitting their jobs and becoming digital nomads.
What does that mean? It is something different for everyone but the force that drives them all is the same. They want more freedom to explore the world, and they want to spend their time doing the things they love. It sounds like a fairytale, doesn’t it?
Well, it’s easier than it sounds. Every year internet-based industry grows, and more and more jobs are available online. Not only that, but more and more digital nomads are turning around and offering a helping hand to those who would follow in their footsteps–for a price. If you’ve always dreamed of being free to travel where and when you want, it’s not as unattainable as you might have imagined.
What are digital nomads?
Simply put, digital nomads are people who make their income online and are therefore free to travel. Not all of them do; some stay in their hometown. Others live several months every year in one place and travel the rest of their time. Some take life head on and move into their cars or live out of their backpacks, traveling the world.
Digital nomads aren’t all young kids who had WiFi in the womb either. There are plenty of 50-somethings who were fed up with where they were or had life lead them down a different path. Lots of people who have been holding down day jobs for more than 30 years make the shift to location independence.
That guy on his laptop at the local cafe might be one. The girl on the bike beside you at the gym might be one. They are everywhere. They blend in so readily because they are just going about their lives like normal. Digital nomads learn to feel comfortable living in their own unique routines. After all, so much of what they do is unique to their chosen lifestyle.
What do digital nomads do?
You’re probably wondering how they all make their money. That’s what everyone wants to know. How do you do it? And, of course, the answer is different for everyone. Many are writers; the internet is filled with content that people were paid to write. Blog posts, sales pages, product descriptions, emails, and news articles are all commonly paid content.
There are also a lot of creative professionals among the ranks of the digital nomads. Photographers, videographers, editors, illustrators, and designers all can complete their work from just about anywhere. In the case of a professional photographer, a location-independent lifestyle actually makes it much easier to pursue your craft. After all, you can’t develop a world-class photo portfolio staying in one place your whole life.
The skill set that most often leads to the life of a digital nomad, though, is programming. After all, programmers already know the ins and outs of the internet. Their job is entirely online and usually for clients all across the world. Programmers, web designers, software developers, and app developers also hold some of the most prized skills on the internet and can earn more than a decent living online.
Not all digital nomads have some impressive skill though. One of the most lucrative and fastest growing markets online today is social media marketing and management. What that means is that people pay big money to have someone else manage their business’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I’d bet if I’d told you 10 years ago that you could be a professional Facebooker you’d have laughed at me. These days, it probably pays better than your job. That’s no exaggeration.
Why location independence?
Some do it for the freedom, some do it to pursue their passion, but all of them do it because they aren’t satisfied with where they’re at. Digital nomads are all so unique in their lifestyles, habits, and backgrounds. However, if you ask them all why, their answers will all sound pretty similar.
“Because I hated my boss and wanted more freedom.”
“Because I wanted more time to spend with my family. This just seemed like the logical choice.”
“I just hated having to wake up every day and do the same thing I did the day before. I wasn’t going anywhere.”
For me personally, I chose the life of a digital nomad so that I could spend more time climbing. I loved working as a cook, but the kitchen was keeping me from pursuing my true passions. I wanted to travel, I wanted to see the world’s far-off places, and I wanted to do it now. Requesting time off and planning trips just weren’t cutting it for me.
If you dream of adventure and being your own boss, it might be closer at hand than you realize. It can be hard and scary to make a big change at first, but once you take the first steps on the path to life as a digital nomad, you might never look back.
If you’re interested in more information on how to become a digital nomad and land your first location independent job, check out this post we recently published about how to do just that.
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