With new words like “staycation” and “quaranteam” joining our lexicon, you’ve probably heard the term “digital nomad” by now. These remote workers travel the world, making cafes, co-working spaces and beachside bungalows their office.
As more and more workers realize that going back to their cubicles doesn’t suit their work or life goals, the remote work trend is on the rise. So before you leap into the digital nomad lifestyle, here’s everything you need to know about living as a digital nomad.
How To Get Started Doing Remote Work
The best answer is: slowly. In August, 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs, many with no other offers on the horizon. So it’s crucial to start looking for digital nomad jobs before leaving your current one. That might be remote work for a company like Google or starting your own business. Either way, having a plan is crucial for living as a digital nomad.
Join digital nomad Facebook groups like Digital Nomads Around The World to see what others living as digital nomads do for work and what a digital nomad salary looks like. Also, have a nest egg saved up for any emergencies while traveling or for when you have a low-income month
What To Bring With You
You’ll be carrying your whole life with you, so pack carefully. Most people living as a digital nomad opt for a checked bag and a carry-on item to pack all their tech and essential travel documents like passports and visas.
If you think you’re packing too much, you are. Specialty items you can only find in your home country and your favorite shampoo that makes your hair shiny should take priority, but remember you can buy things as you need them. In affordable regions like Southeast Asia, it’s easy to discard and pick up clothes along the way. If you need to pack lots of equipment for your job, keep the items compact and small.
Digital Nomad Taxes
Digital nomad taxes are a common question when starting remote work. The best thing to do is hire a certified freelance accountant in your home country to help you navigate the ins and outs of any questions you might have regarding digital nomad jobs and digital nomad salaries. Taxes will largely depend on what country you’re going to, what country you’re from, the type of visa you have and how long you’re staying.
The digital nomad lifestyle is a new one, so there’s a lot of gray area when it comes to digital nomad taxes. But as the world starts to catch up with this growing trend, so will its tax laws.
What No One Tells You About The Digital Nomad Lifestyle
It’s not all afternoon coconuts and turquoise water office views. If you’re solo and living as a digital nomad, things can get lonely. Luckily, there are digital nomad communities around the world with co-working spaces and co-living spaces to meet travelers and remote workers in search of the same digital nomad lifestyle.
But as you hop from country to country, your friends and family back home will be hitting other milestones. You’ll miss birthdays, engagements, weddings and funerals. But this is the tradeoff when living as a digital nomad with total freedom to explore the world.
Digital Nomad Hubs Around The World
Cities like Ubud and Canggu in Bali and Chiang Mai in Thailand have long been popular digital nomad hubs. As the remote work numbers continue to skyrocket, different countries are creating digital nomad communities with special digital nomad visas, including Barbados, Croatia, Costa Rica, Estonia and dozens more.
The tropical islands of Madeira in Portugal may be the most exciting digital nomad city of the year. The small village of Ponta do Sol created a massive co-living and working space in an idyllic European village for 100 remote workers. If it goes well, these digital nomad hubs will be popping up around the world.