What it’s like to live like a digital nomad

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More and more people are becoming curious about alternative lifestyles and ways of making a living. The last few years where the online world has grown bigger, there has emerged a new kind of “profession” – The Digital Nomad.

It is not a lifestyle for everyone, but there are many who enjoy the benefits and today I will tell you more about what it’s like to live as a digital nomad.

What is a digital nomad?

Digital Nomad: “A digital nomad is someone who leverages technology and the Internet to work remotely and more Generally Conduct Their nomadic lifestyle in a Manner.”

Examples of occupations include digital nomads:

Web DesignerSocial Media Manager
BloggerWebshop
Freelance Writer/JournalistSeo Marketer
Personal TrainerNutrition Advisor
Graphic DesignerAuditor
AttornetVirtual Assistanst
Customer ServiceBarber
BartenderWaiter/Waitress
Poker PlayerPhotographer
ConsultantInterpreter/Translator

Why I became one and what it’s like to live as a digital nomad

For me it was really just something I stumbled upon. Back in 2010, when I lived at Gran Canaria, I met a Canadian who lived entirely online through affiliate marketing and a Swedish guy who was a professional poker player. And I was attending a bartender school, so my ideas about having a regular job in Sweden just came further and further away.

Naturally, I became curious because it was totally new and a different way of life.

It was exciting and something that I felt compelled to explore more. When the winter season ended, I went back to Sweden, and going back to a regular job again was kind of the worst thing that could happen.

Therefore, In my spare time, I began to read more about the opportunity to make money online. What I discovered was something like a dream, and at first, I didn’t really believe that this could be possible.

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I had no idea what a digital nomad was back then, and I’m not sure whether the term was even coined or not. Anyway, what I discovered was that there were already a whole bunch of people who traveled the world and lived a free life outside a regular 9-5 job, and at the same time working online.

It was mainly the freedom that caught my attention and the opportunity to travel while earning money. I also wanted to be my own boss and do something different. Everything else that I have experienced and come to the realization with has just been a bonus on the way.

Advantages

  • Freedom
  • Less fixed expenses
  • Broaden one’s horizons
  • Fun
  • Can explore the world
  • Social
  • Don’t need to be at the same place
  • Greater ability to plan
  • Can be spontaneous
  • More quality time with loved ones

As long as there is a internet connection, you can stay just about anywhere in the world. When you travel, you also meet people from all different kinds of culture, and it’s something that has enriched my life.

Is the life of a digital nomad perfect? Well, not always. Just as with everything else in life, there are also disadvantages.

Cons

  • Dependent on good Internet
  • Not always close to family and friends
  • Unsafe income
  • No stable home

With that said, the benefits overweights the disadvantages for me, at least for now. The most negative thing about working online and to travel around the world is that you rarely meet your family and friends, but on the other hand there will have more quality time when I finally do.

That the income varies from month to month does not bother me so much. It is rather a motivation and drive to improve myself and develop my income sources.

Internet however, can be a pain in the A**. At least, when visiting more remote places in the world, where the Internet barely works at all. The same goes for hotels and hostels where speed may vary regardless of the city in general has good internet or not.

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My truth about life as a digital nomad

To live as a digital nomad is not a lifestyle that suits everyone, but for me it’s perfect right now. I get the chance to travel and see the world while I’m working on something I’ve chosen, and like to do.

Since This lifestyle is so different; it may be difficult for some (friends and family) to understand why you do it. For example, a common question, “When are you going to settle down” and although not everything has to do with my lifestyle, one thing is certain; I have never felt more at peace and settled than now.

How? Well, a normal 9-5 job did not make me happy. I do not want to live a life where I live for the weekend.
I want to live a life where every day counts and is equally appreciated and longed for. That complacency can mean several things, for example, one of my favorite quotes.

“Home is where your heart is”

It is not always a bed of roses, but it has given me the opportunity to see amazing places, get to know wonderful people, and above all I have learned to take advantage of life and that you do not need luxury or material things to be happy.

To be able to do what you are passionate about in life is what you should strive for. We only have one life, and there is no point to waste it on something that doesn’t feel right. Passion is one of the key ingredients for success and happiness. One of my great passions is precisely what I do now, to write and hopefully inspire others to follow their dreams.

The reality

Some of my friends think I tan and relax on the beach all day, or that I’m on a permanent vacation. But the idea that my life is a year round vacation is simply not true. Previously I worked about 40 hours as a salesperson, now it’s about 70-80 hours a week, but I don’t mind because I love what I do.

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Altough im working hard, I will not hide the fact that my office sometimes looks like this:

digital nomad office

And that my days may look like this:

trekking in sapa

Or this:

elephant dream

But most of my day starts early and ends late. As a full time traveler and travel blogger, it’s included in my job to explore and document the places I visit.

In addition, I also need to do social media, eat, write articles, do research for the next destination, look up places to photograph, edit images, SEO, keep track of statistics and optimize my earnings.

If you think this is too much to do and keep track of, well, then perhaps this is not for you. Fortunately, in that case, there are plenty of other careers that do not require as many tasks, but still let you live like a digital nomad.

For me, it’s just fun and I enjoy everything that’s happening in my life right now.

Some digital nomads live a “dream” life and work only 1-2 hours a day while others are working 6-8 hours a day and others more than a regular work week. Depending on the profession, it will be different what your day looks like, but one thing is certain; as a digital nomad, you are not tied to one place and you can plan your life more freely and be more spontaneous.

Anyway, if you are passionate about something where it’s possible to do the work tasks online or regardless of destination, I think you should try out life as a digital nomad! It’s wonderful and a great life experience.

Do not be afraid to take the leap. Need more inspiration and motivation? Get in touch!

September 14th, 2016|

THANKS FOR READING MY BLOG

Swedish Nomad

Hello! I’m Alex Waltner — A Swedish Travel Blogger & Photographer.

My vision with this blog is to inspire people to travel more and better by sharing useful travel guides and tips from my adventures around the world.

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2 Comments

  1. Normal Nomads 10/09/2017 at 5:25 am - Reply

    What a good article!
    My partner and I are also digital nomads, and I’ve been trying for a few weeks now to figure out to write a similar article… but now that I found this one, I think I am going to just refer people to it with a stoic “ditto” on my part.
    Well done.
    Also, we follow you on instagram; you take some pretty solid pics!

  2. Mike | Hobo with a Laptop 02/26/2018 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Nailed it; such an honest post –friends back home think the same of us, that we’re doing the bare minimum and living on a beach all day. Sadly, nope. If anything, the reality is that we’re working hard now to be able to be anywhere –and that means home, too. But on our terms, and only after we’ve built enough passive projects to be able to live comfortably no matter where we wind up. Being a nomad is just a fast-forward button, without losing time. That’s why we love it.

    Keep the great posts coming, Alex.

    Mike and Oshin.

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