What Is A Digital Nomad?

The term "digital nomad" was created in 1997 because of a book published by Wiley called The Digital Nomad.

    Digital nomads and tourists have one thing in common: They both enjoy going to new places!

    But although they both love to travel, digital nomads take it up a notch because they work online and live in different countries for months!

    This lifestyle is the epitome of “living life to the fullest,” and it has many benefits other than creating memories.

    Now, you might be wondering…

    How much money do digital nomads earn?

    How much do digital nomads earn?

    A digital nomad’s annual income can range from $25,000 to $250,000, which is enough for their monthly expenses, typically costing $1,000 to $2,000.

    But of course, their income can go even higher, depending on what they do for a living.

    The most common remote work for digital nomads is self-employed jobs like freelance writing, virtual assistance, and social media management.

    But it’s worth noting that there are digital nomads who are employees or entrepreneurs.

    Regardless of their profession, studies found that digital nomads worked for roughly 40 hours per week – working in co-working spaces, hotels, or coffee shops.

    Do digital nomads pay taxes?

    A digital nomad paying their taxes

    Digital nomads file and pay their taxes from their home country, as they’re considered citizens in that place.

    But to avoid some of your tax obligations in your home country, you can declare yourself non-resident for tax reasons.

    Countries that welcome digital nomads can also require them to pay taxes.

    For example, digital nomads with a Thailand Digital Nomad Visa must pay 17% in taxes instead of a 35% tax rate.

    Getting taxed twice can be a pain for digital nomads, but luckily, they can avoid it with the help of tax benefits, such as the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) and the Foreign Tax Credit (FTC) for US citizens.

    Can you be a nomad with a child?

    A digital nomad family

    You can still be a digital nomad despite having kids, but expect more challenges in traveling and parenting with this kind of setup.

    And regarding their children’s education, digital nomads with families either enroll their kids in an online school or homeschool them.

    Homeschoolers even have a term for this kind of learning.

    It’s called “world schooling.” This educational movement aims to let children study and improve their education by traveling worldwide!

    Where do most digital nomads choose to live?

    Working remotely by the pool

    Digital nomads prefer living in Southeast Asian countries since this region offers an affordable lifestyle.

    A study from the UK even states that Bangkok, Thailand, is ranked as the best city in Asia and the second-best city in the world for digital nomads.

    It’s reasonable, though, as most digital nomads are from countries like the US and the UK that have a high cost of living.

    But affordability isn’t the only basis of digital nomads when choosing a city to live in; other factors they consider are the weather, internet speed, and safety.

    Also, it doesn’t mean that all countries outside of Southeast Asia aren’t suitable for digital nomads.

    In fact, Lisbon, Portugal, ranks number one as the best place for digital nomads.

    How long do digital nomads stay in one place?

    Someone working in a hammock

    According to digital nomads themselves, they often live in one place for around one to six months.

    But some digital nomads only stay a few weeks in a particular city or country, living in numerous countries in under a month or two! 

    They’re able to pull it off by strategically planning their thrilling journey.

    Generally, a digital nomad’s multi-destination travel plan includes researching places for their itinerary, choosing airlines with better deals, and inviting other digital nomad friends to cut costs.

    Are digital nomads minimalist?

    Being a digital nomad can be very minimalist

    Since digital nomads travel a lot, many also live a minimalist lifestyle.

    After all, having and bringing a lot of possessions to different countries can be stressful – carrying dozens of books instead of just getting a Kindle is an example.

    Most focus on only carrying their travel and work essentials, although others bring more, especially if they travel and live in a camper van.

    Of course, this is limited to countries digital nomads can go to without needing an airplane or a boat.

    Are digital nomads good for the economy?

    Being a digital nomad can still be good for the economy

    Digital nomads are beneficial for a country’s economy for many reasons.

    Higher demand for short-term rentals and small hotels is an ideal example.

    There are also digital nomad vloggers that do travel vlogs, showing their audience where they go, which leads to attracting more tourists.

    This fact makes digital nomads high-value customers for those in the real estate and tourism industry.

    That’s why numerous countries are now offering digital nomad visas.

    What’s a digital nomad visa?

    A woman on the beach with her laptop

    A digital nomad visa is a type of visa that allows remote workers to keep on working while staying in a particular country.

    Think of it as an upgraded version of a travel visa, allowing digital nomads to do their work legally and stay for more extended periods.

    Processing and receiving a digital nomad visa can take a few weeks or months, depending on the country they’re applying for a visa.

    For example, it can only take 15 to 30 days when you apply for an Estonia Digital Nomad Visa. 

    But besides Estonia, other countries are also offering visas ideal for digital nomads, such as Germany, Iceland, and Croatia.

    Can being a digital nomad improve mental health?

    Being a digital nomad can be good for your mental health

    Being a digital nomad is a double-edged sword; it can improve or worsen your mental health.

    Recent studies show that digital nomads are more productive, creative, and engaged with their work – three factors that contribute to improving mental health.

    But people traveling and working anywhere they want aren’t an exception to challenges and struggles.

    An example would be digital nomads being pressured to succeed in their careers because people have high expectations for them.

    Working anywhere and any time you want is often associated with “living the dream.” which makes it harder for some digital nomads to share their struggles (which everyone has).

    Another struggle digital nomads have is called travel burnout.

    Digital nomads who’ve experienced this struggle combat it with what they call “slow travel” – focusing on getting to know more about the country they’re visiting rather than trying to visit as many places in a short time frame.

    How old are most digital nomads?

    You can be a digital nomad at any age

    It’s a misconception that a digital nomad lifestyle is only for young people.

    Digital nomads are mostly comprised of millennials or those in their mid-20s to early-40s; a study also shows that almost half of digital nomads worldwide are in their 30s.

    This age group is the sweet spot for having a stable income that allows them to afford this adventurous lifestyle.

    And out of all the generations, millennials were found to be the age group inclined to job-hop, which is perfect for people working remotely.

    Many in their 40s to 50s, or Gen X and Baby Boomers, are also a large part of digital nomads, some even turning digital nomads after retirement!

    Preventing loneliness was one of the biggest reasons they became digital nomads later in life.

    How do digital nomads date?

    A digital nomad couple

    Like their work, digital nomads also find partners online through dating apps like OkCupid, Bumble, and Tinder. Some dating apps are even dedicated to digital nomads!

    They can also meet their future partners in Facebook groups and Slack channels created to meet digital nomads.

    But digital nomads aren’t limited to dating online.

    For example, some digital nomads can find their one true love because of co-working spaces, digital nomad events, and co-living spaces.

    The biggest struggle for digital nomads is if their significant other isn’t a digital nomad, which means they have to make a long-distance relationship work.

    When did the digital nomad lifestyle start?

    A woman on top of a mountain with her arms up in the air

    Living a digital nomad lifestyle started in 1983 when the term “digital nomad” wasn’t even invented.

    One of the first ones to enjoy this lifestyle was Steven Roberts.

    He was a freelance writer and corporate consultant from Columbus, Ohio, that turned his recumbent bike into his workspace, which he calls Winnebago.

    The term “digital nomad” was eventually created in 1997 because of a book published by Wiley called The Digital Nomad.

    Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners wrote it, and their book clearly defines what digital nomads are doing now.


    Living in another country while working without the need for an office feels surreal.

    That’s why more and more people are shifting to the world of remote work to achieve this lifestyle.

    And countries are more than willing to support this since it benefits their economy.

    It also doesn’t matter whether you’re in your early 20s or late 50s. You can still become a digital nomad because the point of this lifestyle is to have freedom.

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About The Author

Aaron Lao
Aaron Lao

Aaron is a freelance eCommerce content writer and email marketer. He's on a mission to learn a lot about different subjects in his lifetime. When he isn't writing, expect him to work on his hobbies while documenting his progress.

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