If you’re a digital nomad that enjoys slow traveling and stays at one location for extended periods of time, then maybe being a digital slomad is perfect for you!
With remote work taking the world by storm, more and more people are opting for a lifestyle that allows them to work and travel at the same time.
In today’s article, you’ll learn all about the slomad lifestyle, what it means to be a digital slomad, and how to become one!
What Is a Slomad?
First things first, you might be wondering what exactly is a slomad?
The term comes from the words “slow” and “nomad”.
A nomad is someone with no fixed residence. They change locations every so often to live elsewhere. A slomad is someone who also changes locations, but not as frequently.
What Is a Digital Slomad?
Digital slomads are digital nomads that prefer slow traveling. Most digital nomads change locations at least once every month or every three months. Usually, it depends on the visa duration, while other times people just want to explore multiple places in a short amount of time.
However, this fast-paced lifestyle might not be for everyone. Some people would rather stay at one location for longer than three months. Here is where digital slomads came to life.
Additionally, a digital slomad may also be a remote worker trying to reduce fossil traces. The whole point is to fly less, seek sustainable accommodation, and work and invest in green projects.
Digital Slomad vs Digital Nomad
Digital slomads and digital nomads are similar, but they’re not the same.
Both work remotely and travel. The main difference is how much time they spend on each location. Digital nomads change residence quicker than a digital slomad.
A digital nomad may stay in one country for a month or two before moving to their next destination. A digital slomad may stay for much longer. They focus on really getting to know the location, and this means staying there for more than three months.
Compared to digital nomads, digital slomads aim to have a more immersive experience with the place where they’re living. They enjoy learning about local customs and traditions, maybe even participating in them. Also, they wish to learn the local language, idioms, and slang.
Additionally, slomads are more conscious about living a greener life. Instead of traveling by plane, they prefer to use trains, support local businesses, and try to create as little waste as possible.
Benefits of the Slomad Lifestyle
The slomad lifestyle brings lots of opportunities and advantages. Here are a couple of the benefits:
The less you travel, the less you spend. Usually, the living expenses of most countries are very similar. The most expensive thing about being a digital nomad is paying for plane tickets or visas.
As mentioned before, slomads are more conscious about living a greener life. By really trying to reduce fossil traces, you’ll be living a more sustainable life.
Starting a family or being on the move constantly can be hard. That is why being a slomad is much better for families. Your kids will get the chance to explore new countries, without the toll of constantly moving.
Being a digital nomad can be lonely sometimes. However, being a slomad allows you to cultivate deeper and more meaningful friendships everywhere you go.
How to Become a Digital Slomad
I know what you’re thinking: Becoming a digital slomad sounds so hard!
Well, guess what? It’s not hard at all! Here’s all you need to do to become a digital slomad:
Find a location-independent job
Having a remote job or one that allows you to work from anywhere is a must. You need the freedom to move to another country while keeping a steady source of income.
Here are some options for you:
- Ask your current job if they have remote options
- Find a work-from-anywhere job
- Start creating content and monetize it (blog, YouTube, etc.)
- Do freelance work
It is important to save money before you start your new life in another country. Having an amount saved will give you a head start and will also help you against unexpected expenses. Have enough savings to last you a couple of months’ expenses, so that you can move and adjust to your new place without having to worry too much.
Choose your destination
Research the countries you wish to visit. Think about the type of lifestyle you wish to have.
If you want to live somewhere tropical, with lots of beach and sunlight, then you could consider an island in the Caribbean. Or maybe you’re looking for a historical city, then you might consider somewhere in Europe. Whichever you choose, make sure you’ve done plenty of research.
Keep in mind things like:
- Do you need a visa?
- What’s the price of living?
- What neighborhood to select?
Once you’ve picked your destination, it is time to start packing.
Digital Nomads do not pack too much. Because they’re constantly on the move, carrying around lots of luggage is not convenient. However, as a slomad, you might want to have a bit more stuff on you.
Remember, you’ll be staying for longer than three months at one location, so pack accordingly. Keep in mind that there are many things you can purchase at your destination. So try to keep a nice balance of things you need and things you can get there.
Here are a few essentials you must take with you:
- Official documents
- Computer and other devices
- Professional tools for your job
- Appropriate clothes
Decide what to do with your things
You’re going to live in another country, and this means that a lot of your belongings will stay in your hometown. So what should you do with them?
You could try selling some of them and use that money for your trip. However, if there are things you do not wish to sell, it is always a good idea to rent a storage room.
How Much Does It Cost to Be a Slow Nomad?
When people see digital nomads or slomads sharing their life in another country, their first thought is that they must be rich.
This is a big misconception when it comes to this lifestyle. You don’t need to have much money to live in another country. It will surprise you how easy it is to move and live your dream life.
It might take saving some money at first, but it’s all worth it.
How much does it cost to be a slomad? Well, sadly there isn’t a straightforward answer. It will all depend on what country you’re moving to and what your lifestyle habits are.
In countries like Mexico or Costa Rica, you’ll spend around $2,000 USD per month. Their cost of living is much lower than in the US.
Other countries, in Europe for example, may have a similar cost of living as the one you currently have.
Here’s a list of approximate expenses to keep in mind:
- $750 for rent
- $500-$700 for entertainment
- $100 for transportation
- $300-$500 for groceries
- Less than $100 for a SIM card
Add the expenses for your plane tickets, and you’ll have a nice budget.
It is that simple! People don’t realize how easy and sometimes even cheaper it is to live in another country. In most countries, you won’t have to pay local taxes. Although, it will depend on the amount of time you spend there.
How to Plan Slomad Travel
In order to start your slomad lifestyle, you need a plan. Here are some key steps to start your digital slomad travel:
- Choose a destination
- Get your remote work visa (if needed)
- Sort out your belongings
- Purchase your plane tickets
- Get a health insurance
- Sort out your accommodations
Best Digital Nomad Visas for Slomads
In some countries, you will need a digital nomad visa to stay for an extended period of time. Here are the best visas and countries for you:
- Thailand – 90 days with the possibility to extend
- Portugal – 1 year with the possibility to extend
- The Bahamas – 12 months
- Colombia – 2 years
Digital Slomad Experience
Our co-founder and COO Tim Marting participated in an episode of the Zero To Travel Podcast where he discusses slomading with Jason Moore. Listen for an interesting opinion from a long-time slomad with lots of experience traveling and living in countries all around the world.
FAQs about Slomads
How Long Do Slomads Stay in One Country?
Some slomads stay for three months, while others stay for a whole year. It depends on each individual.
However, one can be considered a digital slomad if you stay for three months or longer in one country.
What Are the Best Jobs for Slomads?
There are plenty of job opportunities for slomads. As long as you can work remotely, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Here’s a short list of the best jobs for slomads:
- Virtual Assistant
- Freelance writer
- Online language teacher
- Software Developer
What Are the Disadvantages of a Slomad Lifestyle?
Being a slomad comes with its ups and downs. Having a slomad lifestyle might be lonely sometimes, especially if you’re traveling on your own.
You might also find a lack of private space. Because you’re moving around, you may struggle to find a sense of “home”. You’ll be renting out spaces, working in public cafés or co-working spaces. Your home base will be constantly changing, so your privacy might not always stay the same.
Are There Any Slomad Communities?
Absolutely! There are multiple slomad and digital nomad communities in the world.
To connect with other slomads around you, check out the Citizen Remote app! You’ll find people from all over the world, visiting the same cities you are in. You can chat, share photos, and join an ever-growing community of like-minded people.
What Impact Does Slomadding Have on the Environment?
Slomads usually worry about the environment. They’re very conscious of their carbon footprint. They try living a greener life. Instead of traveling by plane, they prefer to use trains, support local businesses, and try to create as little waste as possible.