So you’re considering working remotely and want to know the benefits of becoming a digital nomad?
Let me clue you in on a little secret.
Becoming a digital nomad is the best decision I’ve ever made. The ability to work for yourself and determine your schedule? It’s not a bad life.
There’s a reason why there will be 1 billion digital nomads by the year 2035. This lifestyle is growing in popularity each and every day.
Just like any other lifestyle, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about what it’s like to actually be a digital nomad.
For example, if you tell your family and friends that you are considering becoming a digital nomad, chances are they’ll envision you traveling the globe nonstop and potentially putting yourself in danger. Or they might worry that you’ll struggle to make ends meet.
Sure, these clichés can and certainly have happened for some individuals. However, they are not the norm for successful digital nomads nor do they universally define the nomadic lifestyle.
Think about it: in today’s society, new technology and cultural shifts have changed the way we work and view productivity.
Long gone are the days when an office is viewed as a necessity for a productive workforce. Hopefully, it stays that way.
In fact, you don’t even need a physical space to become an entrepreneur! The opportunities to make money online have never been more plentiful.
As long as you know how to develop and optimize your online business workflows, you can live a location-independent lifestyle.
But let’s get more specific.
What exactly are the benefits of becoming a digital nomad?
#1. No Experience Required to Become a Digital Nomad
Want to become a doctor?
Well, that’ll be four years of undergrad, plus medical school, plus residency, not to mention additional training if you choose to specialize in a complex practice area.
What about becoming an athlete?
While you might not need the same education as becoming a doctor, becoming an athlete isn’t any easier.
That career path takes years of training, sport-specific workouts, nutrition, and athletic conditioning. Even then, you have to outplay your colleagues and competitors to stand a legitimate chance in the sports world.
I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
Here’s the reality:
Most career paths require specific education, training, and years of experience for you to be successful.
Even if you’re just trying to climb the corporate ladder, the idea behind going to school, acquiring a massive amount of debt, and getting paid less than what you deserve in order to procure stuff is a tiring existence.
Yes, you know the stuff I’m talking about. The material possessions people procure to impress those they don’t like in order to feel worthy or important. That stuff.
The concept of the American Dream and living this outdated lifestyle is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, nobody has clued in the American public.
Compare that to the nomadic lifestyle.
To become a digital nomad, all you need is the ability to work remotely. Seriously! That only requires an internet connection, a laptop, and a dream!
In other words, you don’t need to gain years of experience to become a digital nomad.
Now, that’s not to say you won’t grow and learn new skills in this lifestyle. After all, the most successful digital nomads have a growth mindset that allows them to problem-solve challenges as they arise.
You can use the skills you already have or become proficient as your progress to begin making money online.
Are you a good writer? Then consider freelance writing! Do you have strong organizational skills? Then consider becoming a virtual assistant for someone who needs the help. Are you strong at branding and social media? Then you can likely find a remote social media manager position that is currently hiring!
No skills? No problem! You can learn how to earn an income online with zero knowledge and limited experience. In this case, you can earn while you learn. That’s the beauty of remote work and online business in a globalized world.
Here’s the reality: there are fewer barriers to entry to the nomadic lifestyle than ever before.
#2. Digital Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Enjoy Autonomy
Are you frustrated with your boss? Does your job feel like a dead-end with no room for growth?
The employer-employee relationship can sometimes feel like a power struggle.
Maybe you can relate to this. One of the biggest reasons people become entrepreneurs is because they don’t feel like they fit into the corporate mold or enjoy working for someone else.
Compare that to being self-employed. Digital entrepreneurs get to call the shots.
As your own boss, you can create a business that matches your values and long-term goals.
It’s no wonder that numerous studies have shown that entrepreneurs enjoy higher life satisfaction and career satisfaction compared to people with traditional career paths!
The research is clear: despite the risks associated with entrepreneurship, science suggests that starting your own business is likely to make you a happier person.
Let’s take a look at a concrete example.
Let’s say you’ve come up with a creative or unconventional idea. In the corporate world, you’d have to go through the laborious red-tape of corporate bureaucracy.
But as a digital nomad, you can test your idea immediately. You can try out your idea and see if it gains any traction in the marketplace!
Sure, other benefits to being a digital nomad are great, but there is a deeper sense of fulfillment and purpose when you embrace autonomy.
Besides, who doesn’t want more freedom over their finances and their life? I know I do.
#3.Improved Work-Life Balance When Becoming a Digital Nomad
The corporate world is always attempting to accomplish two things:
- Increase productivity/profitability and
- Decrease costs.
This creates a squeeze on a company’s most valuable assets: its people.
Here’s a stat that might surprise you.
Compared to 1980, employees today work 173 more hours per year, according to an analysis of Labor Department data. You’d think that with automation and technology, work hours would decrease, but they’ve actually gone up steadily over the last four decades.
One benefit of becoming a digital nomad, as far as autonomy is concerned, is that you can create your own work schedule.
This should be good news for anyone, as it typically results in improved work-life balance.
Just think about it: a better work-life balance results in better mental health, increased happiness, and improved productivity. Hopefully, it also means there is less stress in your life!
This is not to say that being a digital nomad is easy.
You may find yourself working odd hours or putting in extra time as you grow your business, especially in the early stages. But even then, many people find it’s more tolerable to work long hours when they’re the ones calling the shots, rather than an overbearing employer.
There are even coaches available to help digital nomads optimize their workflows.
Having an experienced and objective mentor can help you identify areas of improvement in your work so you can better achieve a healthy work-life balance. Digital nomad coaching can really help propel people forward as they transition into this lifestyle.
Long story short:
Online business owners and remote workers chose the perfect life balance suited to their personal needs.
#4. Work As Much (or As Little) As You Like
Building on the theme of work-life balance, digital nomads can work as much or as little as they want.
For most people, there’s a sweet spot. You can work as much as you need to pay your bills, save money, and still have some for leisure spending.
Sometimes there’s a busy season. Online fitness coaches, for example, might see their business boom right after the New Year as everyone tries to fulfill their fitness resolutions.
eCommerce businesses see an increase in traffic and sales right before the holidays.
On the other hand, sometimes you need more time to refresh. Or maybe you need to travel last minute for an emergency. Perhaps there’s an impromptu trip you want to take.
Regardless of the reason, you don’t need to worry about asking permission from a boss or a manager about taking time off work. As a nomad entrepreneur, you have autonomy over both your business and your schedule!
There’s always a heated debate when it comes to work-life balance, but it is my belief that in order to increase productivity and happiness, you need ample time for rest and rejuvenation.
Something you may lack control over in the traditional workforce or corporate world.
#5. Location Independence
Another major benefit of becoming a digital nomad is location independence.
“You mean I can really work from anywhere?!”
That’s typically one of the first questions I get when I tell people I’m a digital nomad.
Yes, one of the advantages of nomadic life is that you can work from anywhere. Some of the most popular countries for the nomad lifestyle include, but are not limited to:
- Sri Lanka
- Indoneshia (Bali)
There’s nothing wrong with taking a vacation, but nomad travel can be so much richer and more rewarding than traditional vacations.
Think about it: when most people go on vacation, they typically focus on seeing the tourist hot spots.
However, when you actually live and work in another country, you truly gain more appreciation for culture, customs, and cuisine. You can even develop lifelong and fulfilling friendships. You are becoming part of a new community. Pretty sweet, right?!
For some digital nomads, location independence means that they’re taking advantage of living in a cheaper location.
So they can more aggressively pay off their debt while saving money. The important part, however, is for those nomads to pursue their goals without becoming location dependent on that new location.
It’s not uncommon for nomads to hire a digital nomad coaching service so they can keep the larger picture in mind.
The best part about nomadic life is that you get to blur the lines of passionate work and leisure travel. And what’s even better is that everybody has their own unique story and setup.
Want to live at home for half the year and travel the rest? Great! Go do it. Want to travel with your family full-time? That option is available to you. Want to purchase a home in your favorite destination and establish a home base? Go ahead!
Having this level of location independence allows you to arrange whatever situation benefits you the most.
Digital Nomad Benefit #6: Pick Your Days Off
There’s been a lot of talk about three-day weekends and four-day workweeks.
In fact, employees in Iceland have already tried it and it’s been described as an “overwhelming success,” according to researchers.
Want to try it?
Go for it! Again, you don’t need to ask for personal time off (PTO) or get approval from a manager or a boss who might not understand. You can pick your days off without feeling guilty.
On the other side of the spectrum, maybe you only want a one-day weekend. That’s fine, too! Or perhaps you need to work seven days a week in order to finish a massive project. Do what you need to.
Do you need your “weekends” to be in the middle of the week instead of Saturday and Sunday? No problem!
When you learn how to live as a nomad, the idea of autonomy might seem simple at first, but you continuously realize how life-encompassing freedom becomes!
#7. Find Inspiration and New Perspective from Wherever You Work
By definition, creativity can only come from something new or from the willingness to try new things.
If you do the same routine day after day, is it really going to inspire you? I doubt it.
But the experience of being a digital nomad can bring inspiration and new perspective to you each and every day! This is because you will constantly be having new experiences.
In general, creativity arises from two stimuli:
- The necessity to solve a problem or
It goes without saying, but becoming a digital nomad is filled with both of those stimuli.
For example, when you face a new challenge such as having to create your own income or living someplace new, you’re going to have to draw on something other than experience to help you through.
Here’s more good news: you won’t have your creativity stifled by the same routine, commute to work, and the same repetitive process day after day, year after year.
Something as simple as having the freedom to create your own schedule and achieve a healthy work-life balance could even be enough to help spur your creativity.
#8. There Are Plenty of Resources to Help You Get Started
If it’s possible to work online, then it’s possible to learn online!
The barriers to entry have never been lower.
A simple Google search of “how to become a digital nomad” yields over 10 million results! Whether you want to learn about something specific (such as the best cities for remote workers) or just about the nomadic lifestyle in general, there are plenty of resources to help you.
Here are some things you’ll want to know:
- What is a digital nomad? What do they do?
- How do digital nomads make money?
- How to negotiate a remote work arrangement?
- How to find travel accommodations for your budget?
- What are some remote work best practices for working form home?
Even if you don’t know someone personally who is a digital nomad, you can find information online from reliable sources.
For example, digital nomad coaching can also help you transition towards this lifestyle. I know from personal experience that having a mentor who’s experienced the challenges first-hand can help you be aware of the ups and downs before they happen. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know and need an objective eye to remind you of the bigger picture.
In any case, with all of the information available to you about digital nomadism, or any other topic for that matter, you can take action and make informed decisions.
#9. Develop a Growth Mindset
Sure, you probably need a growth mindset to become a successful digital entrepreneur anyways (or to seriously consider becoming one!), but the actual experience will put this trait on turbocharge.
It’s like the old saying goes: “experience is the best teacher.”
Simply moving outside of your comfort zone can help you become more open-minded, break internal biases, and learn more about the world around you.
A growth mindset on this life journey will help you learn:
- Resilience. There will always be setbacks on any career or life path. You can always plan in advance, but don’t let your preparation turn into analysis paralysis. At some point, you have to jump all in and have the mindset and skills to navigate forward.
- Fulfillment. Money can’t buy happiness. Living someplace new won’t bring long-term happiness. But you will most certainly find happiness and joy in what you’re doing and pursuing, assuming it’s what you want to do in the first place. Being your own boss and having autonomy beats being a cog in the machine any day!
- Different ways to learn. Sometimes you won’t even realize you’ve learned something until the experience is over or until you need to draw from that life lesson. You’ll learn from new people, new cultures, and even new business philosophies.
At the end of the day, it’s important to replace “failing” with “learning.” When you do that, you’ll find that you’re more willing to take risks, because you’ll understand that every experience is truly a learning experience that brings you one step closer to success and achievement!
Digital Nomad Benefit #10. Reduce Your Stress Over Time
At first, the life of a nomad might seem stressful.
There’s the initial stress of figuring out relocation and adjusting to your new location. Then there’s the challenge of having to make a living for yourself.
But as you build up your clientele and establish your business, your initial stress will eventually decrease. After all, who wouldn’t be less stressed if they could create the perfect work-life balance for themselves?
Now, this of course doesn’t mean your life will be stress-free, but it certainly beats longer hours of work at an office or a job that you don’t enjoy.
In some cases, stress may even be replaced with excitement. For example, integrating into a new culture may be a challenge at first, but you’ll become excited to learn more about the world around you.
Again, life as a nomad is defined by your autonomy.
Pursuing your own goals and being your own boss ultimately results in less stress. Sure, this doesn’t mean that you’ll eradicate stress from your life, but at least you’ll be living life on your own terms.
#11. You Can Wear What You Want
Okay, so this might not sound like a big deal, but comfort can help boost both productivity and happiness.
Some days you might feel like wearing a t-shirt and shorts.
Other days, you might feel more productive wearing a button down shirt with slacks.
Either way, it doesn’t matter because you’re your own boss!
This means you’ll save time not only from the commute to work but also from the time it takes to get ready to get there.
No more ironing button up shirts every single morning (unless you want to!) or putting on makeup just minutes after you wake up.
There’s no official dress code for digital nomads other than wear what you want.
If you want to “dress for success,” then that’s completely up to you.
However, if you’re more comfortable and productive working in sweatpants and a hoodie, then you don’t have to worry about upsetting your boss because, well, you’re in charge.
Dressing for comfort and practicality should ultimately help with your productivity.
I know it does for me!
Honestly though, It’s just nice to have the freedom to choose.
#12. Increased Professional and Interpersonal Opportunities
Riddle me this:
How are you going to find new opportunities by doing the same thing every day?
Hint: it’s not always possible.
The reality is that more opportunities come up when you venture out on your own.
There’s no longer the glass ceiling of climbing the corporate ladder and having to please bosses and managers.
You can even choose your own job title because there are many different types of nomadic jobs you can pursue.
Here are some examples:
- Content Creation & Marketing
- Social media management
- Coaching or consulting
- Digital advertising
- Graphic design
- Web development
- And much more
But choosing what you want to do is not the only benefit.
As you travel the world and work with people from a variety of backgrounds, your network will grow.
Each new person you meet… each business opportunity you encounter… will broaden your horizons.
And it’s not just professional opportunities.
Personal opportunities will increase as well.
For example, you might take up a new hobby (such as surfing or swimming) if you live close to the water.
Perhaps you’ve never lived close to the mountains, so moving somewhere mountainous gives you the opportunity to hike.
The good news is no matter where you move, there will always be opportunities for something new as well as the ability to grow your personal network of international friends.
Who knows, you may even find your ideal travel companion and partner.
#13. No More Office Politics
I’ve already referenced managers and employers several times in this article.
But sometimes it isn’t management that’s the problem.
Sometimes, the biggest source of stress can come from coworkers who are constantly trying to impress management for a raise or promotion.
Or maybe your work associates just want to show they’re smarter or more talented than you for their own egotistical reasons.
In my corporate days, I’ve literally seen it all.
The interesting thing is, it’s generally those who screw up the most who end up moving up the fastest. Of course, this only poisons the company culture even more and adds copious amounts of stress to your life.
I personally cannot stand office gossip and backstabbing.
No matter who you are, constant power and authority struggles result in stress. Even if you’re not directly involved in overly dramatic office politics, simply being around it consistently enough is cause for undue stress both inside and outside the office environment.
Do you really want to play office politics?
I know I don’t. It only results in burnt bridges, damaged reputations, and unnecessary anxiety.
Compare that to digital nomadism, where we try to collaborate and expand our networks. Digital entrepreneurs generally take a very different approach to business.
We don’t see each other as a threat, but as passionate coworkers who can learn from each other. Even if we’re in direct competition.
Which one do you think has the greatest impact on your happiness and success?
Since you’re your own boss, you don’t need to rely on someone else for a promotion or a pay raise, the need for office politics is nonexistent.
#14. Re-thinking Materialism
There are many pros and cons of being a digital nomad.
Sometimes, you may even have pros and cons for the exact same thing.
- Pro = you have the opportunity to move wherever you want
- Con = you have to actually move your belongings to wherever you want
From my experience, the more you travel and move, the more likely you’ll want to downsize.
After all, who actually enjoys moving tons and tons and tons of stuff?! It’s just not fun.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with material possessions, but you’ll be better equipped to distinguish what you want and need vs what no longer serves you.
Perhaps this is one of the more apparent differences between nomadic life vs settled life.
There’s an actual need to rethink materialism.
By rethinking materialism, you can focus on what’s important to you. This can even help you eliminate bad habits, focus on important relationships, and re-evaluate your routines.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that reducing excessive materialism is good for the environment!
Not only that but collecting things only lasts for so long. Collecting memories? Now that’s something you can cherish for a lifetime.
#15. Say “Yes” Only to the Work You Want
At a “normal” job, you have to do whatever your employer tells you to do.
I know I’ve had experiences where I absolutely did not want to have to do something, but I had to because “those are the rules.”
I’m sure you can relate.
Fortunately, as a freelancer or digital business owner, you can focus on what you want to do.
Here’s the best part:
You can play to your strengths!
Sure, there will always be menial tasks or certain elements of work you don’t enjoy. But that’s part of life. At least you don’t have to clean toilets or slaughter animals for a living. It can always be worse.
For example, if you’re a copywriter, you can choose to accept clients whose writing needs fit your strengths.
If you don’t enjoy technical writing, then writing for a healthcare company or about manufacturing processes might not be for you… and that’s ok!
There are still plenty of other clients out there who you can market your skills to.
If you’re a blogger, podcaster, or YouTuber, you can focus on building and defining your brand to be what you want it to be instead of trying to please a boss. You ARE your brand!
There are endless possibilities out there. It’s your job to go get them!
Digital Nomad Benefit #16: Because You Can
Why become a digital nomad?
Because you can, that’s why.
Here’s the deal:
So many people end up sacrificing a part of who they are by letting someone else determine their worth.
As a result, they end up undercompensated, overworked, and burnt out.
Don’t let that be your fate. You’re meant for so much more.
Digital nomadism allows you to blur the lines of deep, passionate work you care about and adventurous, leisure travel.
Think about it:
We now live in a globalized world. Having the ability to work from wherever you are in the world with a laptop, an internet connection, and most importantly, a real sense of freedom.
My ancestors would be rolling over in their graves if I passed up an opportunity like this.
This is still a new culture that will scale immensely in future years.
Embrace the growth mindset, learn, grow, travel, and take advantage of the option to live a balanced lifestyle on your own terms.
#17. Digital Nomads Benefit From a Healthier Lifestyle
Is it just me or have you noticed that healthy food is expensive?
When I lived in the West, it was so much cheaper to go to the drive-through than to eat something that was actually good for me!
But ever since becoming a digital nomad, my diet has never been better.
Many digital nomads enjoy the benefit of eating healthy food and living a healthy lifestyle without breaking the bank.
For whatever reason, it’s expensive to live healthy in the U.S. and other western countries.
However, if you look at countries like Albania and Macedonia (among others), you can eat quality food for very cheap.
Plus, because the food is mostly locally farmed direct to the table, you also enjoy the benefit of no added chemicals or genetic manipulation.
But it’s not just the food.
Most countries are more pedestrian-friendly than the U.S.
Stateside, you need a car or equivalent transport to go anywhere outside your home, even if you live in a major city.
Unless you live in a mixed-use building, zoning requirements keep residential and commercial areas separated by large distances.
In many foreign countries, however, the idea of community is much different.
I’ve learned that you can often walk to a convenience store or market.
Even if you can’t get groceries by foot, there may be a local bakery or restaurant that you frequent.
It’s those little lifestyle changes that add up and make it easier to live a healthier lifestyle.
#18. Better Organization
A little more organization never hurt anyone, right?
And it’s a good thing, too, because becoming a digital nomad will force you to become more organized.
This is a byproduct of two of the benefits discussed above:
- Less focus on material wealth
- The ability to create your own digital business
By rethinking materialism, you are coincidentally forcing yourself to be better organized.
Think about it: you begin by organizing what you actually need vs. dead weight.
These skills are also reinforced as you create your own digital business.
That was definitely the case for me. The very process of growing my own business demanded that I be organized and on top of my game.
Whether you’re a copywriter, podcaster, eCommerce business owner, or any other type of digital nomad, you need to hone your organizational skills to be successful.
But it’s more than just your professional life.
Don’t be surprised if these newfound skills carry over to your personal life as well!
#19. There Are Fewer What-Ifs
Michael Curtiz once said, “The only things you regret are the things you didn’t do.”
Even if you don’t agree 100 percent with this quote, I think we can all agree that we’ve definitely had “what-if” moments in life.
By going for it, by becoming a digital nomad, you don’t have to wonder what-if. ‘
Instead, you’ll have a definitive answer of what happened and what you accomplished.
The best part?
You’ll realize that you always have the power to positively influence and shape your future by what you do today.
Simple concepts like “carpe diem” (seize the day) suddenly take on a profound new meaning.
#20. You’re Always Learning
Another famous saying that rings true for many digital nomads is “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”
As someone who is into fitness, this idea really resonates with me.
Life is all about growth.
Sure you can grow by pumping weights and making gains in the gym.
But here’s the thing:
Growth doesn’t necessarily have to refer to just your physical growth.
The reality is that the most meaningful and important growth happens internally.
And what better way to grow than to learn more about not only the world around you but about yourself!
When I said becoming a digital nomad was about embracing a growth mindset, I meant it.
Some people might think this concept is just a bunch of rah-rah motivational nonsense. And sure that’s part of it, having a healthy dose of inspiration that inspires you to take action will certainly help you grow.
But guess what?
Time doesn’t stand still.
So, unless you somehow find a way to freeze time, everything is either growing or dying.
There is no in-between.
You will learn and grow from new cultures, new experiences, business challenges, and new people. As long as you have that growth mindset, you will always be learning.
Oh and by the way:
Even if you rise to the top of your field or industry, never stop learning. Because the moment you do is the quickest way to go back to where you came from.
Gaining knowledge isn’t something you do to obtain a goal, it’s a way of life for most successful entrepreneurs and nomads. Your achievements are just a byproduct of that.
Digital Nomad Benefit #21: Freedom
What does every single human want at their very core?
Freedom to do what you want. Freedom to be what or who you want to be. Freedom to live your life how you want.
And… this is ultimately what digital nomadism all boils down to:
- Personal freedom
- Financial freedom
- Freedom from expectations
- Freedom of choice
But that’s not all.
You can also free your thinking.
I discovered the freedom of free-thinking early on in my teenage years. Since then, I’ve never looked back. I mean, my blog is called Red Pill Rebellion after all!
It could’ve easily been called Red Pill Freedom. That just depends on what side of the coin you’re on.
Whether you believe in following the structure of societal rules or you want to be a lone wolf and chart your own path, having an open mind will improve the way you see the world.
Let’s take a look at an example of free-thinking.
Here’s how traditional thinking would analyze and categorize life:
There’s (1) work and then (2) everything else.
Thanks to experiencing digital nomad life, I know that it’s much more complex than that.
It’s much more holistic than that.
While you shouldn’t live to work, you realize that work is intertwined with so much of who you are.
In other words, you find that purpose defines your work — the very same purpose that defines your life.
You truly have the freedom to create any life that you want.
Whether that’s the traditional life that most of society lives by or you have a burning desire to pursue the unique ideas that live in your head.
In any case, the choice is yours. And I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty friggin awesome!
Recap: Pros and Cons of Digital Nomad Life
If you’re thinking about becoming a digital nomad, I hope this article has helped you weigh some of the benefits.
Of course, everything has a downside, but I truly believe that the pros outweigh the cons.
Here’s a recap of the pros and cons of becoming a digital nomad:
Now I’d like to turn it over to you.
What’s your favorite benefit of being a digital nomad? Have you given serious thought to living and working from anywhere as a digital business owner or remote worker?
Let me know by leaving a comment below right now!
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