Working in a coffee shop in Champs-Elysées, having a glass of wine on the banks of the Sena river at night. And flying to Costa Rica the next day to explore the colorful streets of San José before you set up your new remote office under a palm tree by the beach. Sounds like a dream, right? Fortunately, all of this is possible in a nomadic lifestyle.
So what is the nomadic lifestyle, and is it right for you?
We discuss this and much more in the article below. Read on to learn why you should or shouldn’t live a nomadic lifestyle.
What is a Nomadic Lifestyle?
A nomadic lifestyle consists of traveling from place to place rather than staying put in one place for extended periods. The reason for constantly moving around could be as simple as finding a cheap place to stay, seeking adventure and flexibility, or just being on the road for no specific reason.
Compared to the old days, the modern nomadic lifestyle (or laptop lifestyle) means you are free from physical labor since your office is now your laptop or phone. As a result, you can work from anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection.
Characteristics of the Nomadic Lifestyle
Behind the scenic images of sunsets on the beach or the romantic mountain tops is a lot to ponder before embarking on the nomadic journey. The first thing to know is that the nomadic lifestyle isn’t for everyone. Below are the features of being a digital nomad:
- You will constantly be changing location: Like the idea of being stable in one place? The nomadic lifestyle isn’t for you. The average digital nomad moves every six months. If a digital nomad stays in one place for a long time, it wouldn’t be considered a nomadic lifestyle.
- Minimalist Mindset: Throughout history till today, nomads travel light. The modern-day nomads travel around with a backpack or a suitcase. They can work remotely as long as they have a laptop and internet connection. So, if you are conscious about owning a lot of things and having a lot of space, this may not be for you.
- Adaptability: One of the essential qualities a nomad must have is the ability to adapt. The nomadic life isn’t always comfortable. Accommodations can suck, the weather can be unpredictable, and the people around you can be unwelcoming sometimes. It pays to be adaptable and ready for whatever comes your way since you will be tested in various situations.
- Little to No Attachments: Digital nomads hardly form bonds since they quickly move from place to place. To them, this lifestyle matters more than any relationship, so they tend to be less attached than the average person. If you are the kind of person that is easily attached to people, places, or things, a nomadic life may not be for you.
Pros and Cons of Nomadic Lifestyle
|Freedom and flexibility||Constant goodbyes|
|It can be affordable||Feeling rootless|
|You learn about yourself||It can be isolating|
|You get to be creative||It can be expensive to always be on the move|
|Make money while traveling the world|
Now, let’s break down the advantages and disadvantages of the nomadic lifestyle.
1. Freedom and Flexibility
The freedom to travel the world and work remotely is the ultimate dream for many people. Perhaps this is the biggest attraction to becoming a digital nomad.
The nomadic lifestyle allows you to choose where and when to work—you are your own boss. You no longer have to follow the 9-5 routine.
You can work early in the morning with a warm cup of coffee with a beautiful beach backdrop or at night after sightseeing with a glass of wine.
2. New Experiences
A nomadic way of life lets you experience new things. From cuisines to activities, there are many fun things to discover when you travel. You meet new people, learn about different cultures, and experience new adventures daily.
Being on the road also forces you to be more resourceful since you must search for necessities such as food, accommodation, and transportation.
3. It Can Be Affordable
For instance, housesitting, staying in hostels, or cheap vacation rentals are excellent ways to save on living costs. Traveling with reusable water bottles with built-in filters, using public transportation instead of taxis/cars/cabs, and spending less on gadgets, clothing, etc., can help.
4. You Learn a Lot About Yourself
One of the underrated advantages of a nomadic lifestyle is that you discover more about who you are. As you travel the world, you are bound to encounter some pleasant situations and some not-so-pleasant ones.
For instance, traveling through a country where you don’t speak the language, dealing with cultural differences, or navigating through cities where you don’t know your way can be highly stressful and challenging.
Solving these problems teaches you to think on your feet, stay calm in difficult situations, and overcome obstacles.
The tough times make the good times feel even better. Nomadism builds character and confidence, which are very critical for any lifestyle.
5. You Get to Be Creative
Since you constantly travel from place to place, a nomadic lifestyle allows you to experiment with different projects. You could work on one project one day while the next occurs at a different location. It is an excellent opportunity to try new things.
6. Make Money While Traveling the World
The digital nomad lifestyle brings many income streams. You could be a freelance designer, writer, translator, travel agent, blogger, YouTuber, etc. Your income streams depend on your skills and interests. For instance, if you love taking beautiful pictures, you could consider becoming a travel photographer or selling travel stock photos.
1. Constant Goodbyes
An inherent feature of the nomadic lifestyle is saying goodbye to people or places. You will say goodbye to friends and acquaintances. If you are someone who gets attached easily, you will find it difficult.
Instability is another major challenge a nomad faces. You are a remote worker, but you are constantly moving, which means you need to develop new routines from time to time.
So it can be very demanding on your emotional and psychological well-being. Sometimes, it can affect your productivity as well.
3. Feeling Rootless
As a digital nomad, you rarely set roots anywhere. As you quickly move from one place to the next, it can feel uncomfortable and empty because you don’t have a home to go to at the end of the day. Moving from one place to another may make you question your sense of belonging.
4. It can Become Isolating
A nomadic lifestyle can sometimes be demanding without emotional connections. Although nomad groups are everywhere, building a meaningful and personal relationship is difficult, especially when you miss your loved ones. Homesickness can be a heavy burden for anyone away from home. It can be challenging to cope with loneliness and isolation.
The perks of a nomadic lifestyle come with the acceptance that people move on. As you start over with new people and cities, some relationships will grow from a distance.
5. It Can Be Expensive to Always Be On the Move
You need money to fund your constant trips around the world. This lifestyle is not always cheap, especially if you plan to visit exotic locations frequently. So make sure your budget can support traveling expenses for however long you desire to travel.
There are some ways to make money while traveling or living abroad, like teaching English or being a virtual assistant.
How to Adapt to a Nomadic Lifestyle?
Embarking on a nomadic lifestyle can be an exhilarating yet challenging process. It’s all about breaking free from conventional living, ditching the 9-5, and daring to live a more flexible and unique lifestyle.
But, how to do it the right way? Despite its flexibility and adventurous traits, the nomadic lifestyle requires planning and organization. Here are the key aspects and tips to make it the right way:
1. Embrace a Fluid Schedule
In a nomadic lifestyle, rigid schedules are frequently replaced by a more flexible approach to daily routines. Adaptation begins with loosening the grip on a structured day, allowing for spontaneity and the unexpected turns that come with life on the move.
Also, because in most cases you can encounter unexpected situations like delayed flights, canceled reservations, and more.
2. Build a Portable Career
A key aspect of sustaining a nomadic lifestyle is having a source of income that’s as mobile as you are. Delve into remote work opportunities, freelance gigs, or online entrepreneurship that can be managed from anywhere with a good internet connection.
3. Learn Everything About Time Management
Being on the move can be distracting. Cultivate robust time management skills to balance work, exploration, and rest. Utilize digital tools like task management apps and online calendars to stay on track.
4. Invest in Quality Gear
Your gear is your mobile home and office. Invest in durable, multi-functional, and lightweight gear that allows you to travel anywhere. This includes a reliable laptop, smartphone, and possibly a portable Wi-Fi router to ensure you remain connected wherever you venture.
5. Don’t Neglect Your Health and Wellness
Maintaining a routine of regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate sleep is crucial. It’s easy to neglect health when constantly adapting to new environments. Seek out local gyms, self-care apps, prepare home-cooked meals or healthy snacks, and establish a consistent sleep schedule despite changing time zones.
6. Cultivate Local Connections
Each new location is an opportunity to build relationships and immerse yourself in different cultures. Engage with local communities, learn the basics of the local language, and embrace the unique experiences that come with each new place.
For this take advantage of coworking and coliving environments, and other types of events that allow you to establish local connections and build your community.
7. Financial Management
Adopting a frugal lifestyle and having a solid grasp on your finances is crucial for long-term sustainability on the road. Utilize budgeting apps, have a clear understanding of your ongoing expenses, and save for the unexpected.
8. Legal and Logistical Preparedness
Stay informed about visa regulations, travel advisories, and local laws. Ensure you have the necessary travel insurance, and keep digital and physical copies of important documents readily accessible.
How To Handle Taxes And Financial Matters As A Digital Nomad?
Finances is one of the most common concerns of those who want to become digital nomads but are still figuring this aspect out.
As a digital nomad, your tax liabilities can be a labyrinth to navigate. It’s pivotal to understand the tax laws of your home country and the countries you reside in. Some nations have tax treaties to prevent double taxation, while others may have specific tax regulations for digital nomads.
At ThinkRemote, we have updated news when it comes to digital nomad visas and country requisites so travelers can make informed decisions about their traveling destinations.
Here are other tips to manage your finances as a digital nomad successfully:
- Maintain accurate records: Keeping thorough and accurate records of your income, expenses, and tax documents is crucial. Utilize digital tools and apps to track your finances, and consider keeping a secure digital backup of all necessary documents.
Useful apps for this are: Everydollar, Mint, Pocketguard, YNAB, and Honeydue
- Establish a legal residency: Establishing a legal residency or domicile is crucial for tax purposes. Some digital nomads choose to establish residency in countries with favorable tax laws. Look into countries with territorial tax systems or tax incentives for self-employed or remote workers.
Countries with favorable tax laws for remote workers are Greece, Barbados, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Serbia.
- Banking and money management: Opt for banks and financial institutions that cater to digital nomads, offering low fees, international access, and online banking services.
Digital nomad friendly banks and institutions are: Wise, Payoneer, Binance, and Paypal.
- Use international insurance: Securing international health and travel insurance is a wise move. These policies can cover unexpected medical expenses, trip cancellations, or even gear theft, providing a financial safety net as you traverse the globe.
Popular digital nomad insurance companies are: Safetywing, WorldNomads, and Atlas Travel Insurance.
- Budgeting for the Unseen: The nomadic lifestyle can come with unexpected costs. Having a well-thought-out budget and an emergency fund can help buffer against unforeseen financial challenges.
How to Maintain Relationships While on the Move?
Maintaining relationships while being an expat requires an intentional effort by using digital tools to bridge the gap between the distance. While part of being a digital nomad is forming new friendships, is equality important to nurture the long distance relationship with your loved ones.
Here’s how you can keep these bonds strong and meaningful regardless of the thousands of km that keep you apart.
1. Schedule Regular Check-Ins
Set aside fixed times for virtual catch-ups with loved ones. Whether it’s a weekly video call or daily text check-ins, having a routine helps maintain connection.
You can use tools like World Time Buddy to coordinate call times across different time zones effortlessly as well as shared calendars to schedule calls, marking important dates like birthdays or anniversaries to celebrate together virtually.
2. Stay Active
Stay active on social media, sharing snippets of your adventures to keep loved ones involved in your journey. Also you can create private chat groups or family forums to share updates, photos, and coordinate gatherings.
3. Plan In-Person Visits
The best way to nurture friendships and relationships is by spending quality time with them. For this it is important to plan regular trips every now and then. Or you can also organize vacations in a different location that is convenient for both you and the other ones.
Is a Nomadic Lifestyle for You?
As remote work continues to gain momentum, more remote workers are adopting the nomadic lifestyle.
According to many experts, one billion digital nomads will be zipping around the world in 2023. And it is unsurprising since you can kill two birds with one stone: you can pursue your passion and be your own boss at the same time.
But before you decide to become a digital nomad, you need to consider the pros and the cons first to determine if it’s the way of life for you or not.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Nomadic Lifestyle
Nomads may have permanent homes, give up their homes, or rent them out while traveling. Many can’t afford one and instead opt to live in countries or regions with lower living costs where they can enjoy a higher quality of life.
Living a nomadic lifestyle means living without a permanent home or address. Some people travel from place to place in an RV, while others hop around from city to city searching for new experiences. It can be a liberating experience for those looking for adventure and freedom!
A nomadic lifestyle can mean different things to different people. To some, it may mean never settling down and always making room for one more journey.
For others, it could mean going on short trips but always coming back home when the time is right. It doesn’t have any set rules — everyone has their own interpretation of what it means to live a nomadic life.
Living the nomadic lifestyle typically means moving around, finding basic amenities in a new place, moving about with your belongings, making new acquaintances, saying goodbye, and moving on.