Digital nomads are people who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their life in a nomadic manner. Digital nomads tend to travel, while they continue to work with clients or employers. This lifestyle is growing in popularity, and becoming the preferred lifestyle of the under 40 demographic.
This lifestyle is characterized by high mobility. They travel from one country to another without a permanent home or job and their ties to their country of origin have loosened. They might stay in their destinations from a few days to several months, but at the end they will always move on.
Many nomads practice minimalism in order to support their frequent moves. Rather than on money and possessions, they focus on experiences, happiness, and well-being. Most of them work only when they have to. Their jobs are location-independent such as IT, writing, teaching, and handicraft.
Nomads don’t have much money but make it work. One of my favorite blogs is from Tomas Laurinavicius. Tomas is a designer, blogger, entrepreneur and adventurer from Lithuania. His work has been featured in TIME, Forbes, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, New York Observer, Smashing Magazine, Designmodo and many other publications.
Tomas is on a mission to help one million people to change their lifestyles for good. One thing Tomas does is break dow his expenses to show how he makes a little money work in a big way. Here is a snapshot from his blog:
As you can see Tomas isn’t working with a lot, but it works. He recently relocated from Lithuania to Chiang Mai. He travels like this using a very specific set of tools that are budget-conscious and vital to his goals.
Tomas believes that planning is the key to living on a budget:
“It’s incredibly important to plan things. Your personal life, professional career, holidays, weekends and more. Just having a goal without a plan is just a wish. Even though you will not have a clear plan or the plan will change along the way it’s still good to have a direction to go.”
Another good resource is the Digital Nomad subcat on Reddit. There is a lot of bullshit on here – as usual per Reddit – but it is also a fantastic resource to find other nomads in a specific destination to give you a heads up on deals and housing.
Also look up a destination on Nomad List.Nomad List finds you the best places in the world to live and work remotely. Here is the report for Chiang Mai, Thailand. They also have a great blog to inspire and motivate. There is also a site called Digital Nomad Jobs that can assist in employment. But Upwork and Guru are probably more popular.
Bottom line: Balance your priorities. Other digital nomads fit work around travel. But work is their necessary evil in order to travel. The more flexibility you have the more you will enjoy the experiences of being a digital nomad.