Digital Nomad FAQ – All your questions answered!
In recent years the term ‘digital nomad’ has spread like a wildfire among the remote work community. This lifestyle is attracting more people every day, and with the pandemic being over countries are slowly opening up letting aspiring digital nomads in once again.
To many, this seemed like an unreachable goal, but since 2020 so many companies have turned to remote work models. Now, even for those with “regular jobs”, this goal of being nomad seems much easier to achieve. In this article, we will answer all of the digital nomad FAQs to help you feel prepared and confident to begin your nomad journey.
What is a digital nomad?
If you type into Google “what is a digital nomad”, a definition pops up that says a digital nomad is a person who earns a living working online in various locations of their choosing (rather than a fixed business location). Although this is true, there is so much more to the digital nomad lifestyle than what one sentence can explain.
Remote professionals that frequently move to different countries combining two great things, work and travel are known as digital nomads,. You may see them working at coffee shops, co-working spaces, or public libraries, relying on wireless internet-enabled gadgets such as smartphones and mobile hotspots to do so. Without their laptops and good Wi-Fi, this lifestyle wouldn’t be possible.
As a digital nomad, you have complete control over your location and, often, your work schedule and are not bound by the traditional 9-to-5 office routine. That means digital nomad have to hold themselves accountable to be productive and complete their work, which can be a struggle when you’re working by the beach.
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How do you make money as a digital nomad?
Contrary to what some people think, digital nomads do a lot work and have high-demand jobs in different sectors. As long as their job can be done remotely they can become a digital nomad and work full time or part-time from anywhere in the world.
If you are wondering if this lifestyle is for you, first analyze your current job and think about how flexible your company is and if it would be possible for you to work from home. If your company worked remotely during a pandemic, it likely that it will allow you to go fully remote now as well., although you may need to remain in your same timezone. And if you’re self-employed it’s even easier since you’re the boss and make you’re own rules.
For those that don’t have a career that can be remote you might want to consider transitioning to a different career path where you can use your skills to remotely help another company.
Some of the most common digital nomad jobs are in marketing, IT, eCommerce, design, writing, and even architecture. An interesting fact is that 83% of digital nomads are self-employed, while 17% are employed by companies as remote workers.
How much money do digital nomads make?
There is no set salary for digital nomads or any freelancers for that matter. They can make from nothing to millions of dollars, depending on experience, success, niche, and so many other factors. If a digital nomad is working for a company then they know a salary and can plan accordingly. But the majority of digital nomads are freelancers who work for themselves and don’t have set earnings.
This is a very important aspect of digital nomad life to consider before heading to a foreign country. The best advice is to first establish yourself as a freelancer, and once you have enough money coming in every month you can consider moving somewhere else.
Also, how much a digital nomad has to earn per month depends on where they are going to live. Expenses are not the same in Iceland and Turkey, or Bali and Malaysia. Mastering budgeting is crucial for a successful digital nomad career.
How do digital nomads make friends?
Being a digital nomad can feel lonely at times, especially if you’re traveling alone. To be productive and fulfilled you have to be content in all aspects of your life, which means socializing and making friends. One of the biggest digital nomad FAQs is how do digital nomads make friends quickly in a foreign country?
Here are some ideas:
- Coliving spaces
- Coworking spaces
- Digital nomad events
- Networking events.
- Doing hobbies (yoga, crossfit, gym, dancing classes, skateboarding, etc.)
- Digital nomad Facebook groups.
Where do digital nomads work?
Another digital nomad FAQ is where do digital nomads work? Digital nomads can typically work from anywhere, as long as they are connected to the internet. This can be from their home, Airbnb, hotel, a café, or a pub. It depends on where each person can be the most productive and focused during their working hours.
Coworking spaces are an awesome options for nomads as they provide quality Wi-Fi, ergonomic chairs and desks, a nomad community and often some freebies as well (like coffee and snacks). But some digital nomads prefer working from home, especially if they are frequently on calls, plus you can save money since you don’t need to pay for membership fees. Alternatively, you’ll often spot nomads at cafes that have good Wi-Fi, inexpensive food/drinks and tables tha tables that are well set up to work from.
Where are the best cities for digital nomads?
Some people want to become digital nomads to avoid big cities and work from remote natural areas or the coastal towns, but others prefer the vibrancy of large cities. Cities can be extremely attractive and offer so much to remote working individuals. They often contain coworking and coliving spaces, a variety of entertainment options, and digital nomad communities. Some excellent cities for digital nomads are Lisbon, Playa del Carmen, Tbilisi, Medellín, Budapest, and many more around the globe. Check out our full roundup of the best cities for digital nomads here.
Citizen Remote has a broad range of resources to assist with the exciting process of relocating to another country!
Do digital nomads pay tax?
The answer to this digital nomad FAQ is that yes, digital nomads still have to pay taxes to the country in which they are a tax resident. American digital nomads have to file US taxes, and the same is for most of the others, including Australia, the UK, Switzerland, etc. US digital nomads must submit a US tax return if their earnings are above the filing threshold.
Some digital nomad visas require that you do not work with the clients from the country you are residing in, so make sure to check tax regulations for both, your country of origin and the country you are traveling to. Some digital nomads choose to become tax residents of different countries, forgoing the tax residency in the home country to register their business in a country with a more friendly tax system.
Do digital nomads have a home base?
A permanent base might give stability and a location to keep your belongings, but frequent movement can provide the intriguing landscape and thrill that many people seek in this lifestyle. Some digital nomads prefer a home base for a variety of reasons, including the opportunity to keep more of their physical belongings, maintain contacts and to have an address.
At the same time, many digital nomads travel full-time for years and do not own homes of their own, neither in their home country or abroad. Freedom is one of the most attractive things about this lifestyle and the reality that you’re not tied to a physical location. So many digital nomads choose a more minimal lifestyle and carry everything with them.. It’s never too late to choose to set up a base in a country that you fall in love with as a nomad.
What are the advantages of being a digital nomad?
Digital nomads are self-sufficient, and they have to be. This is true not just in terms of lifestyle but also in terms of work. They love their freedom, travel opportunities, the excitement of seeing new places and meeting new people, and a chance to change their situation on whim if they aren’t feeling fulfilled.
This lifestyle frees you from the burdens of property, 9-5 employment, and other obligations. You will be a tourist in most countries, allowing you to avoid paying several taxes. But you’ll also get the chance to see countries in a way that tourists can’t, since you’ll have the time to live like a local and get to truly know how people live there. This kind of lifestyle is perfect for those wanting to break free of normality and enjoy more of the world.
What are the disadvantages of being a digital nomad?
Despite the appeal of this lifestyle, several disadvantages may cause some people to abandon their plans to become digital nomads. If you don’t have regular income then being a digital nomad can be extremely stressful as it’s hard to budget living in countries with different cost of living.
As a digital nomad there isn’t much familiarity in life. Many people miss family and friends, miss their favorite local restaurants and bars, and miss the comfortability of knowing where you are. You’re constantly trying to find out where the banks, grocery stores and hairdressers are, and trying to make friends. The lack of stability causes a lot of people to abandon the lifestyle.
Both freelancers and digital nomads are susceptible to emotional fatigue. Burnout is more likely to occur if you work too many hours without obtaining enough rest. It’s important to realize that, unlike working-from-home freelancers, you’ll experience greater stress as a result of moving, adjusting to new living conditions, and cultural differences.
Can anyone be a digital nomad?
Generally speaking, anyone can be a digital nomad, as long as they are committed and willing to change their lifestyle or potentially their careers. If you’re a nurse or a teacher or some other location-based occupation, it might be hard for you to imagine doing your job digitally.
But there is a solution for everything, and if you really want to travel while working you can turn into a consultant in your field, start your own business in the niche, or change to something totally different. So, yes, anyone willing to change their life can be a digital nomad.
How do digital nomads live in foreign countries?
The first step in starting your life as a digital nomad is to find out what type of visa you need for the country you are planning to travel to. Digital nomad visas allow candidates to work in foreign countries while they are traveling. Not every country has a visa for digital nomads, so you’ll have to be selective based on the options. And even if a country offers a visa option, it doesn’t mean you will qualify.
Most digital nomad visas don’t allow foreigners to work in the local labor market, but instead allow people to work for foreign companies or for themselves.
They are easy to get, much like tourist visas, but they also allow for longer stays. A digital nomad visa permits its bearer to work while in the country as long as they do not work in the local labor market. You can find out every digital nomad visa that you’re eligible for by entering all your details in our Visa Wizard.
Digital nomad FAQ
Living a digital nomad life is exciting and challenging at the same time. As long as you are well prepared and there is nothing to surprise you along the way, you are safe to go and enjoy this amazing lifestyle.
The purpose of the digital nomad FAQ is to clarify anything you were not sure about. We hope we answered all your questions about the digital nomad lifestyle, but you can always reach out to us anytime to talk more about this lifestyle and how to thrive as a nomad.