Many experts believe that remote working is the future. Thousands of people are getting location-independent and use technology to do their job and earn money. They are the people who travel from location to location, taking gigs or remote jobs as they move. It’s a completely new lifestyle that is well adapted to the 21st century where office spaces and workplace relationships are entirely redefined. The digital nomadic lifestyle mainly revolves around the ability to telecommute and earn an income while making the most out of travel and experiences.

By definition, a digital nomad is someone who works remotely while moving from one place to another. For instance, it can be a developer working for a Canadian firm from the beaches of Bali, or a content writer hiking through the Andes while also contributing to a US-based digital marketing agency. No matter wherever you are, if you have a good internet connection and can organise your life well enough to complete tasks and contribute to the team, there’s remote jobs for you. A digital nomad just takes it to the next level by also travelling while doing their job or taking up gigs. There are several websites dedicated to help these people like job boards, freelance gigs, remote opportunities, etc. Also, the shift in the tourism industry and digital transactions has made it relatively easier to travel comfortably no matter where you are. Websites like Airbnb ensure accommodation and you can easily avail online local services for other necessities.

The ups and downs of being a digital nomad

Being a digital nomad is not all sunshine and beaches. It’s often misinterpreted with beautiful Instagram pictures of people working with their laptop in their hand from a beach. That’s hardly the case and it’s more inconvenient than you think. However, there are several advantages of being a digital nomad and let’s look at a few:

  • Flexibility and independence: Being a digital nomad means you could work and enjoy as per your schedule. You can work when you feel like it and relax or explore when it feels like it.
  • Enjoy life: it’s also another huge perk that attracts many people into this lifestyle. You get to travel, meet people, learn about the culture, and visit amazing places that you otherwise might not get to.
  • Financial independence and happiness: Not implying that digital nomads are all rich, but the increased happiness and contentment leads to increased productivity. Also, minimal lifestyle and less dependency to fixed assets leaves you more independent financially.

This is not to say that this lifestyle is not without its fair share of downsides too. Here are a few to help you figure out if it’s right for you:

  • It’s not an extended vacation: Although the pictures and scenery seem attractive, there’s hard work behind that. You can’t sustain yourself without putting in the work and people often underestimate that.
  • Your life becomes unstable: There’s a reason why people form communities and build bonds. If you are travelling from place to place, the chance of making deep and meaningful relationships becomes slim.
  • There are things that could go wrong: When you are depending on the internet for your livelihood, finding one becomes a matter of sustenance. Also, you must move from place to place which means you uproot yourself from your surroundings and place yourself in an entirely new one which can come with a lot of uncertainties.

And that brings us to another important aspect of being a digital nomad.

What to pack while setting out to be a digital nomad

The contents of your backpack mostly depend on where you are going, and what kind of a trip it’s going to be. However, there are some things that you can take with you with assured certainty that they might come in handy. Here are few of them to help you get started:

  • GPS personal tracker: They are small and compact devices that can track and deliver precise location data. You can use them to assure that you are safe to your loved ones, and you can also use them to safeguard your belongings while you are out and about. They will let you know the exact location of your luggage and will let you know with alerts when any of them move without you not being there.
  • Charging cables and power banks: Being out in the world, you never know when you will need a little bit of juice for your dying phone or laptop before you finish that last leg of work. Different parts of the world use different types of charging slots and you can take an adapter with you to make sure you can use them.
  • Headset, e-reader, headlamps: When you are resting or working, it’s nice to listen to music when there’s a buzz of life distracting you. Headphones help you stay focused on the task at hand. Similarly, you don’t need to carry around heavy books like in the old days but can use the e-reader like a Kindle to read hundreds of books. Headlamps come in handy when you are camping outdoors. It’s also helpful when you get stuck in a situation when there’s no electricity.
  • Luggage and essentials: You can’t rely on a vague hope to get your medication from another country without any issue. It’s always better to take them with you along with the prescriptions. Also, try to carry a towel and essential clothing instead of using the ones your hotel or resort provides. Keeping personal hygiene can save you a lot of pain especially when you are travelling through unfamiliar places.

For the sake of being comprehensive, let’s end it here. If you are interested, there are several travel guides and digital nomad communities and websites you can visit to learn more about each of these. They also have some in-depth info about where you can find jobs, what services work where, and the type of clothing and gadgets suitable to different parts of the world. You can also connect with them and ask about their experience before packing up and booking that flight ticket for the adventure of a lifetime.

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