What Is a Digital Nomad, and Should You Become One?
Since the pandemic, working has begun to look much different for many people worldwide. For some, this means remote work has become their new normal. There are many perks to the digital nomad lifestyle, like working from anywhere and spending more time with your family.
The flexibility of digital work has changed many people’s lives for the better and even improved their mental health. If you’re considering becoming a digital nomad, you’ll need to know a few things to prepare.
What Is a Digital Nomad?
A digital nomad works remotely full-time or part-time from different locations. They can accomplish everything they need if they have a functional laptop and a reliable internet connection. This means they can get their work done anywhere, such as in coffee shops or co-working spaces.
Advantages of Becoming a Digital Nomad
Here are some of the advantages that come with being a digital nomad.
- Less conflict between coworkers
- The beach could be your office
- You’ll save on gas
- Pajamas can be your new normal
- Choose your projects
- There’s less on your plate
- You’ll have more drive
- You can visit a foreign country
- You could save a lot of money
- Make new friends
There are many perks to becoming location independent, like having a better work-life balance. You might also become more productive without all the distractions that a typical office setting has.
1. Less Conflict Between Coworkers
When you’re working remotely, you don’t need to worry about the issues you might face in an office setting, like someone eating your lunch or dirtying all the coffee mugs.
2. The Beach Could Be Your Office
Since you aren’t tied to your desk, you could head down to your favorite beach town and rent an Airbnb near the water for a change of scenery. You don’t need to remain in the same time zone as your company.
3. You’ll Save on Gas
When you don’t have a commute to worry about, you’ll spend much less than usual on expenses like gas and general vehicle maintenance. This is especially true if you reside in a city with heavy traffic like Los Angeles.
4. Pajamas Can Be Your New Normal
Regarding remote work, no one cares how you look. Even if you have to attend a meeting, no one will be able to see what you have on anyway.
5. Choose Your Projects
If you’re self-employed, you can even choose which types of projects you work on and set your work hours. If there’s something you don’t want to do or a particular day you’d prefer not to work on, you can say no and set that boundary.
6. There’s Less on Your Plate
For self-employed individuals (some companies even offer flexibility in this area), you can work fewer hours in exchange for more personal time, as long as you hit your deadlines.
7. You’ll Have More Drive
When you’re location independent, it can drive you to accomplish more than you would have in an office setting. New experiences can be inspiring and positively impact your work product.
8. You Can Visit a Foreign Country
Have you ever wanted to travel to a different country like Spain or Colombia? Some companies may not allow this, but if you’re self-employed, you definitely can.
9. You Could Save a Lot of Money
If you can travel to (and work from) a country with a low cost of living, like Europe, you’ll save a lot on things like food, housing, and transportation (compared to the U.S.A.).
10. Make New Friends
You’re bound to meet people along the way when you’re working from different locations. Take advantage of each unique experience, and spend time in places where you might get to meet locals or fellow travelers.
As you can see, many advantages come with the digital nomad lifestyle. You can visit new parts of the world and create beautiful memories.
Disadvantages of Becoming a Digital Nomad
Before you transition into this lifestyle, here are some things you’ll want to consider:
- You might have trouble taking a break.
- A WiFi connection isn’t always easy to find.
- Mental health struggles.
It’s important to take note of the potential downsides that could also come from remote work to make the best decision for yourself.
You Might Have Trouble Taking a Break
While the digital lifestyle could promote a better work-life balance, it does the opposite for many. Going into an office allows people to separate work from their personal life, but some struggle to take a break without that separation.
There can also be a desire for remote workers to prove they’re being productive even from home or their local coffee shops, so they take on more work and hours.
A WiFi Connection Isn’t Always Easy To Find
A quality internet connection might not always be available when traveling, especially at the airport. You could always use the hotspot in your phone (or a portable one) if you have it.
However, these aren’t usually as strong as standard WiFi and are best left for emergencies. Public internet connections are also not very secure, so if you’re working from airports, coworking spaces, or Airbnbs, you’ll want a VPN to protect your data.
Mental Health Struggles
For some, being alone is liberating; for others, it harms their mental well-being. Traveling alone can also be difficult for substance abuse survivors as it can be a trigger that causes them to revert to old behaviors.
As with anything, there are potential downsides to the digital nomad life. At Insured Nomads, we have resources available to travelers struggling with mental health and who want to keep their work files safe while working on public WiFi. We make traveling easier from start to finish.
Remote Jobs that Digital Nomads Thrive In
There are a variety of remote professions that are ideal for someone who is a digital nomad.
- An online business
- Social media professions
- Virtual Assistant
- Data entry
Those with creative jobs like writers, graphic designers, and social media marketing experts can work remotely with no issues.
If you’re a blogger, you can get your work done anywhere. A change of scenery could inspire you to think of new topics. Visiting new places also allows you to take photos you can share with your audience. You could start a nature and travel blog if you’re a backpacker.
An Online Business
If you have a product or service that you sell (or would like to sell) and don’t have an online store yet, you should think about starting one. People are spending more and more time shopping online, especially since the pandemic has changed how our lives look. Business owners who create an online platform are opening up a new revenue stream.
Social Media Professions
Whether you’re a social media manager, a content creator, or similar, you’ll have no problem finding success remotely in this field.
With many companies transitioning to being fully remote, virtual assistants will likely have little trouble finding work. If you’re an in-person assistant who wants to make the transition, you won’t have much trouble. Things like ordering meals, booking flights, scheduling meetings, and many other assistant duties, can all be performed remotely.
If you’re in this field of work, all your work is done from your laptop or desktop, so you can easily transition into the digital nomad lifestyle.
This list is far from exhaustive, as many other jobs can be performed remotely (ex: software development), even those that were not originally intended to be exclusively digital such as product management or visual design.
Places To Work From When Remote
You can work from anywhere you’d like, even in your backyard.
- Coffee shops
- Co-working spaces
- The park
Some people prefer to stay home; others prefer to find a place where other people are so they don’t feel alone. Whatever your preference, there’s a place for you to feel like your most productive self. Here are some places you might want to work from as a digital nomad.
Coffee shops are a popular place for remote workers to spend their time. This is a great place to work because they often have free Wi-Fi, and in some establishments, you can get free coffee refills if you sit inside.
Libraries are open to anyone; the best part is they’re quiet. Since noise isn’t allowed, you’ll have a much easier time focusing here if you’re someone who can’t handle the noise in a coffee shop.
Co-working spaces, like Forge and Draper Startup House, became very popular during the pandemic because they gave people who love an office setting the next best thing. Like-minded people surround you, and many even have free coffee and snacks. You have to pay to use a co-working space, but the cost could be worth it if you thrive in an office-like setting.
A park is likely not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a place where you’d want to get work done. However, parks can be very peaceful, especially during school days and regular business hours, since not many people will be around.
With the flexibility to work from anywhere, many people opt to rent an Airbnb in a new city or state to switch things up. You could even remain in your hometown and book one there if you’d like to experience a slight change in scenery.
The options are endless regarding remote work; you can choose the work environment that feels best for you. If you do not like it, you can always try something new.
Staying Safe in Different Locations
When visiting other parts of the world, you’ll need to take steps to protect your safety.
- Mind where you use your credit card
- Know what you’re consuming
- Know the local laws surrounding protective devices
- Don’t use a public Wi-Fi connection without a VPN
When you’re in an unfamiliar area as a tourist, you’re more vulnerable to things like being robbed or eating something you shouldn’t and getting food poisoning. Here are some steps you can take to be safer on your journey.
Mind Where You Use Your Credit Card
When traveling a lot, it’s a good idea to make sure you have enough cash to cover your expenses. Using your credit card is not always safe; it’s best to use some money wherever possible to protect your personal information.
Know What You’re Consuming
This is especially true if you’re visiting a foreign country. If you don’t understand the ingredient label, have someone translate it for you or look up the words on your phone. There are many mobile translation apps available to download. You don’t want an allergic reaction or contract food poisoning because you ate or drank something you didn’t fully understand.
Know the Local Laws Surrounding Protective Devices
Many countries ban the use of things like pepper spray or tasers, making it illegal to carry them on your person. If you’re traveling to a different country, make sure you’re aware of the laws so you don’t break them unintentionally.
Don’t Use a Public Wi-Fi Connection Without a VPN
You can take advantage of many virtual private network services at no cost to you. At Insured Nomads, we offer free VPN access under our INC membership with every travel or Global Health Insurance plan.
Living the digital nomad life can be a lot of fun; you can make new friends and learn new skills as you travel to different places and immerse yourself in new experiences. However, you’ll need to ensure you’re taking every safety precaution possible, especially if traveling alone.
How Insured Nomads Keeps Travelers Safe
Travelers who purchase travel or health insurance from us will find that we offer many perks at a very affordable rate. We offer protection for your trip, your stuff, and you.
We Offer Insurance You As You Travel
Along with 24/7 emergency medical care and evacuation, our travel insurance plans can protect your trip plans and any covered events that might arise before or during. Here are some ways you can protect your trip and any upfront costs.
- Trip delay insurance. This coverage is affected if your trip gets delayed due to circumstances outside your control, such as a natural disaster. If the delay becomes so long that you must make purchases while you wait, you can be reimbursed for those if you file a claim.
- Trip interruption insurance. Trip interruption insurance applies when you’ve arrived at your destination, but something puts your plans on hold. Covered events include natural disasters, illness, and more. You can be reimbursed for any unused portion of your trips, such as hotel accommodations or activities paid for upfront, like surfing lessons. You can also be evacuated from a foreign country for your safety if necessary.
- Trip cancellation insurance. Trip cancellation insurance would apply before you even make it to the airport. This is excellent coverage if you have a pre-existing medical condition that could interfere with your travel plans.
Life can be unpredictable when you’re a remote worker, so purchasing extra coverage is always a good idea. There’s no guarantee you’ll be reimbursed if life throws a wrench in your travel plans, and many things are non-refundable. Make sure you’re protected, especially if you paid a lot upfront.
We Insure Your Stuff
Every travel insurance plan also includes protection for things like lost or damaged luggage and stolen property. We take it a step further and offer even more protection with our My Stuff plans. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that if your personal belongings are misplaced by the airline or your cell phone is stolen by someone.
All you need to do is reach out and file a claim for reimbursement. You’ll be able to purchase a replacement phone and new clothing to replace your own if your luggage cannot be found.
We Insure You
We also offer a few different Global Health Insurance plans for travelers — Preferred Global Health (regional, outside of the U.S.) and Preferred Plus Global Health (worldwide, U.S. included). Under each plan, you’ll receive many perks.
- Inpatient care. This refers to any care requiring a person to spend the night in the hospital, like an organ transplant.
- Outpatient care. This refers to any type of care that allows a patient to be treated and released the same day they arrived, like a consultation with a primary care physician.
- Mental health care. We also offer access to counselors for those struggling with their mental health or who need substance abuse support.
- Other types of care. Additional coverages include prescription, vaccination, maternity care, and more.
We offer extensive protection under our health insurance plans to ensure that traveling is as safe as possible for every digital nomad that chooses to work with us.
We Provide Safety Tools for Digital Nomads
With every travel or Global Health Insurance plan, policyholders will receive an INC membership at no additional cost. You can access various health and safety tools with access to luxury airport lounges, a VPN for internet security, and telemedicine services.
- Panic button. No matter what time (or day of the year), you can press our handy panic button when you feel unsafe, and we’ll send someone to you. Just download the app for ease of use.
- Evacuation and repatriation. If you need to be evacuated from an area or removed from a different country entirely (repatriation) for your safety, we’ll arrange that for you.
- Urgent alerts. If there are any health and safety alerts relevant to your travel destination, we’ll make sure you’re made aware of those right away.
- Visa requirement updates. If anything changes concerning the type of visa you need to visit a particular place, we’ll let you know.
- Information for sensitive groups. Certain environmental changes might impact your health and wellbeing if you’re a part of a sensitive group (ex: senior citizens).
Our INC membership offers perks you won’t find at most other insurance companies; we aim to provide a superior travel experience.
Ready To Become a Digital Nomad?
We’re ready for you too. Insured Nomads is on a mission to make travel a rewarding (and safe) experience for all travelers. We want remote workers to enjoy the digital nomad lifestyle, protected the entire way. Reach out to us — we’re ready to help you begin your journey.
About Insured Nomads
Insured Nomads is the first to take an integrated traveltech, fintech and insurtech solution to the world for remote workers, globally distributed teams, expats, and travelers. Their purpose is to make travel as safe and smart as staying at home. They do this by providing health insurance with exceptional medical benefits in tandem with wellbeing, safety, security, and advanced tech-enabled solutions for ease of payment for healthcare, emergency response and evacuation. Insured Nomads is available through affinity relationships, direct, embedded and through select brokers and partners for groups and individuals.
Information on integration, collaboration and partnership contact Brett Estep: firstname.lastname@example.org