Rumor has it that anyone using a computer and internet connection for work ends up considering (and intensely googling) digital nomadism at some point in their professional life. Jokes aside, this lifestyle — or at least the idea of it — has been gaining more and more attention ever since the popularization of remote work. The mere concept of typing away on the beach, looking out into the turquoise slowly rippling in the distance is enough to spark interest. But what does it take to reach that beach, lead that lifestyle? What are the pros and cons? How do you actually become a digital nomad? Let’s find out.

 Digital nomadism. Is it right for you?

A digital nomad is a remote worker who leads a nomadic lifestyle, traveling across different cities, countries, or even continents. Since they only require a reliable internet connection to perform their professional duties, these workers stay in one place for as short a while as a few days and spend their free time exploring new places and cultures, often by themselves or with locals they befriend on the way.

By this description only, you can assess your enthusiasm for digital nomadism. If you love to travel, are curious about the world, and feel that sense of wanderlust, making travelling a way of life could be right up your alley.

With that out of the way, let’s consider the pragmatic aspects of becoming a digital nomad.

  1. The jobs you could do

As stated previously, you will need a job that doesn’t require your physical presence — and that ensures an income you can count on, especially if you hit the international road. Most digital nomads work in IT, digital marketing, graphic design, or editing, while some make a living by showcasing their lifestyle via content creation. But this is by no means an exhaustive list of jobs. If your field of activity is, say, accounting, you may still be able to find remote work through freelancing.

Regardless of your area of expertise, a constant flow of income is essential. You might have savings in place already, and while they will give you a head start and some peace of mind, you need to always be ready to face unexpected costs.

  1. The places you could live

You have the job, and now you need the plan — where will you go? You could start small and tour the cities you always said you would. But if you want to take the journey overseas, doing research and staying informed is paramount. You might discover your passport doesn’t cover all the places you want to see or that getting a visa takes time and money you did not expect when you started the process. In all honesty, travelling as a lifestyle can become frustrating once you get to paperwork.

Even with all that sorted, you must remember that while internet connection sounds like a 21st-century commodity, it might not be the case for every part of the world. That remote beach you want to lounge on in Seychelles could be entirely unreliable from this point of view, so choosing your destinations (and vacation days) wisely should always be a priority.

  1. The people you could meet

You hear it a lot from people who travel far and wide — what you expect isn’t always what you find. Depending on who you talk to or what media you consume, you might have unrealistic expectations of what peoples and cultures are like. A typical scenario would be that you are curious and excited to meet the locals, but you discover they don’t speak English or that they encourage you to visit the touristy restaurant rather than the hidden-away-gem diner.

When living a digital nomad lifestyle, keeping an open mind is crucial, as is researching the customs of the culture you’re about to experience. You might find it impolite to slurp your soup at home, but if your home was in Japan, slurping that soup would be not only nice, but a real compliment to the chef. Of course, you are not expected to know every little detail and you will most likely benefit from your foreigner status on this account. But staying open and available when it comes to learning will take you a long way.

  1. The feelings you could have

As a digital nomad, you’ll get to see places and have once-in-a-lifetime experience that will sweep you off your feet. But as you have already guessed, that is not the full story: you might also experience feelings of loneliness or even isolation. You may find yourself surrounded by people yet feeling the weight of not knowing or being in any way connected to any of them. Most digital nomads travel by themselves, finding it hard to maintain relationships of any kind due to always being on the move.

If you are a loner, you will love it, but if you’re not, finding community with other digital nomads or choosing a coworking space to answer duty’s calls could be a saving grace. Also, staying in touch with your loved ones back home via calls, texts, or even blogging is something you may want to make a routine of.

Ultimately, only you can decide what is right for you — digital nomadism included. But having an overview of what you can do and what to expect will help you not only reach that decision but start acting on it. And if you do want to act on it, here’s how.

 How to become a digital nomad in 2024

Traveling while working has never been easier. In recent years we witnessed not only technological advancements, but a shift in the way people and companies think of work. In the past few years, remote work has become increasingly acceptable, and the idea of starting an online business became 100% realistic. That takes us to our first point:

  1. Learn valuable digital skills

If you’re yet to enter the digital market, look for something that sparks your interest. It can be IT-related, such as programming, or maybe marketing-oriented, such as SEO or copywriting. Or, you might already have a profession that translates into the digital world, allowing you to focus on fields such as business and finance. Regardless of the nature of your work, you can either learn new skills or hone the ones you already have by way of the digital nomad’s lifeblood: the internet. That may sound too good to be true but, for once, it actually is. From popular websites such as YouTube to more niche platforms like Udemy and Skillshare, there are options for every person and budget.

The more diverse the options, the easier it is to get overwhelmed — we get it. Start small by researching a topic online, using free resources like the aforementioned YouTube. Once you grow your confidence and get excited, sign up for a course. Knowing its structural nature will help you stay put. Slowly but surely, you’ll witness yourself building the knowledge you need to get you started on your digital nomad journey.

  1. Research the places you want to go

Typically, people gravitate towards warm climates by the beach — that might or might not be you. Think of a country you always wanted to visit and go from there or, to stay safe, research places that allow you to live comfortably given your current (or prospective) income. Comfort, too, looks different for everybody. It may be important to you to afford premium gym membership every month or be able to eat foods you are familiar with at least once a week. By checking out prices and conditions, you will be able to figure out monthly expenses and identify the places that are most accommodating to you.

Another very important aspect to consider is the legal one. Where can your passport take you and for how long? If you want to stay in one place for a while, what are the conditions for you to obtain a visa? These policies differ greatly from country to country, so we cannot give you universal answers. However, you’ll find a list of destinations you might want to check out later in the article.

  1. Land a digital nomad job

Steps 1 and 2 are done: you learned the skills, found your first destination (or destinations), and figured out the income you need to make it all happen. Now is the time to go job hunting.

The process resembles what you typically do when looking for employment, but the difference is, your perspective will be global. You can go the LinkedIn route, make use of some connections, and do more networking. Depending on your field of activity, you may even look at local businesses — local to the place you want to go. Maybe your skills could come in handy to them, thus allowing you to build an enterprise. Freelancing, too, is always an option, as there are many platforms that can facilitate that.

Ideally, you would already have some money set aside for the first month or months of your journey. But once you land that job, you’ll know for sure how early you can book the flight. Speaking of flights, let’s cover the top destinations for digital nomads in 2024.

Best Places to Live as a Digital Nomad

  1. The gems of Southeast Asia

If you’ve spent any amount of time researching digital nomadism, you probably know that Bali in Indonesia, Chiang Mai in Thailand, and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam are well-established hotspots for working travelers. The warm climate, bustling downtowns, and affordable cost of living win over especially those who’d rather stay in one place for a while than travel from one country to another. Not that traveling is hard, given that all these locations are a comfortable plane ride away from each other.

For Bali, you can get a visa-on-arrival, which lasts 30 days, or a B211A visa that allows you to stay in the country for 60 days. Both are renewable, and there is also a freelancer visa to consider — one that is, however, more expensive. For Thailand, you can now apply for the Thai-Long-Term-Visa, offering 10 years of residence. As for Vietnam, a tourist visa should be enough.

  1. The treasures of South America

When you think of Medellín, Colombia, safety might not be the first word that comes to mind. That is proof of how we see the world before experiencing it. Like any other city, Medellín has its good and bad neighborhoods, but overall, it’s an increasingly popular destination for digital nomads. Along with Argentina’s Buenos Aires and Mexico’s Mexico City, Colombia’s Medellín captivates travelers with its vibrant culture, delicious food, and affordability.

Colombia has a Digital Nomad Visa that once approved, allows you to stay in the country for 2 years. For Mexico, you can start with a typical tourist visa lasting for 6 months. As for Argentina, it does have a Digital Nomad Visa, too, but it’s important to remember it forbids you from working for an Argentinian company or business.

  1. Spain, Europe’s digital nomadism winner

In 2024, Visa Guide selected Spain as the top destination for digital nomads, quoting the qualities you would expect: internet accessibility, excellent climate, and affordability. Your monthly income should be at least €2,400 per month, the equivalent of about $2,600. However, once you start discovering this gem of a country, you will want to splurge. Spain has the kind of culture you will want to learn everything about, not to mention the food, scenery, and lifestyle you might never want to part with.

Summing Up

For many people, becoming digital nomads was — and still is — the best decision they ever made. Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but taking this path is easier and more urgently rewarding than ever before. Through this lifestyle, you can find fulfillment on all accounts, including socially, thanks to the many communities formed around digital nomadism throughout the world.

Author: Ana Voicu
Ana is a creative writer at Yardi. Having earned a degree in English language and literature, she is just as passionate about the written word as she is about real estate and the future of work. You can contact Ana via email


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