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Digital Nomads: A New Breed of Worker on the Rise

In recent years, there’s been a significant rise in the number of people who are choosing to live a digital nomad lifestyle.

A digital nomad is someone who takes advantage of technology that makes it possible to work from anywhere in the world. They keep their job and continue the same work, but they aren’t tethered to a location and they tend to move often, usually abroad. Digital nomads are often entrepreneurs or freelance workers who have freedom and choose to use it to work from anywhere. They move from place to place as they please.

So why the increase in the number of people who are living such a life? The rise of the digital nomad lifestyle has been made possible by a number of factors. Here are just a few:

  1. The proliferation of high-speed internet access: In order to work remotely, digital nomads need to have access to high-speed internet. This is no longer a luxury, but a necessity, as more and more businesses move online.

  1. The rise of cloud-based tools and services: Digital nomads require digital tools, of course. Cloud-based tools and services have made it possible for digital nomads to work from anywhere with more ease. Services like Google Docs, Dropbox, and Skype make it possible to collaborate with others and stay connected no matter where you are.

  1. The popularity of coworking spaces: Coworking spaces are popping up all over the world, providing digital nomads with a place to work and meet other like-minded individuals.

  1. The growth of the sharing economy: Companies like Airbnb and Uber, have made it easier than ever for digital nomads to find affordable accommodations and transportation.

If total freedom to travel and relocate often sounds interesting, maybe the lifestyle is for you! We’re exploring some of the pros and cons to help you decide. Before we look at the benefits of being a digital nomad, let’s get a few potential negatives out of the way.

The Challenges of Working as a Digital Nomad

It’s true, it sounds like a dream. It can be, but like anything, this work-on-the-go, location-independent lifestyle isn’t without its challenges. The following are some of the hardest parts to navigate as a digital nomad:

The Need for Self-Discipline

The digital nomad lifestyle requires a high degree of self-discipline. The fact that new sights, foods, and experiences are just outside your door adds another level of distraction that may prove to be more than you can resist. Without a traditional office or workplace, and with the addition of new and novel distractions, it can be easy to get derailed and fall behind on work.

The Challenge of Working Alone

For some people, working alone can be lonely and isolating, but others love it. Either way, digital nomads need to be able to stay motivated and focused even when they’re working by themselves. Some people do not thrive when working this way. Be aware of how you need to work when considering this lifestyle.

The Lack of Home and Relationship Stability

When you’re a digital nomad, your work goes with you. As for everything else—you will be starting over in each new place. With the tendency to move frequently, the digital nomad lifestyle can be disruptive and make it difficult to keep and maintain relationships. There’s no home-base, so there’s no network of friends and family nearby. For some, that’s the whole point. But it’s not for everyone.

Despite the challenges, the digital nomad lifestyle is growing in popularity. More and more people are taking full advantage of the benefits of working remotely and choosing to live this way. Let’s take a look at a few positives.

The Benefits of Living a Digital Nomad Lifestyle

People are choosing to become digital nomads for many reasons. For some, it’s a way to escape the traditional 9-5 working life. Others see it as a way to experience different cultures and lifestyles first-hand for more time than a week’s vacation can afford. And for many, knowing they can earn a steady living without disruption while still living their life on their own terms is the goal.

If traditional work life in the same office day after day is yawn-inducing for you, working as a digital nomad can be a great way to escape the norm and live life on your own terms. You’ll have the opportunity to experience different cultures as you travel and continue working. Here are just a few perks of becoming a digital nomad.

Seeing the World

One of the best things about the digital nomad lifestyle is, of course, the opportunity to travel. Because they’re not tied to a specific location, digital nomads easily relocate to different parts of the world without having to look for a job. When the work day is over, vacation experiences await just outside your door.

Stories to Tell

Which scenario gives you more stories to tell? Going to an office job like everyone else, or seamlessly working while moving abroad and changing locations whenever you get the itch? When (if) you do go back to a long-term home base, you’ll look back on all of the rich experiences and, through your stories, maybe even inspire someone else to enjoy a nomadic work life.

A Sense of Freedom

The digital nomad lifestyle provides a sense of freedom that isn’t possible with a traditional job. What if you could follow your whims and live in a warmer climate on short notice? No job search, no asking to transfer abroad. Digital nomads are free to work when they want, where they want, and how they want.

It’s clear that the digital nomad lifestyle is on the rise, and with a list of benefits like that, it’s no wonder. This new breed of worker is more flexible and more mobile than ever before. With advances in technology making remote work even easier, the lifestyle is only going to become more popular in the years to come.

If you’re thinking of becoming a digital nomad, do your research and make sure it’s the right lifestyle for you. A pros and cons list will go a long way, but there are social media groups filled with people already living this way who have advice and tips. Some Google searching is also going to churn up a lot of valuable information that will help you decide if you’re ready to thrive outside the 9-5 and live free of location restrictions.

It’s not for everyone, but if it sounds like something you’d enjoy, perhaps this is your sign to give this adventure lifestyle a try!

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