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What is a Digital Nomad

Working as a digital nomad in Hong Kong
Working by the pool as a digital nomad in Hong Kong

In 2011 I decided I wanted to travel the world, but I decided I didn’t want to compromise on time, budget or my long-term financial security. I realised I was working and saving in the present, for a future that wasn’t necessarily mine, and that future seemed a long, long way off. The 9-5 grind wasn’t challenging me anymore and I was struggling to fit into conforms of a society that had already planned out the next 30 years of my life.

I decided I wanted to start living my life in the present, in the lifestyle I wanted to, and I decided I wanted to do it all over the world.

At that point I realised there was nothing stopping me and a digital nomad was born!

What Digital Nomad means to me

The original term ‘Nomad’ is used for a group of people who move from one place to another in search for the essentials, food, water and their well being. Fast forward that into the 21st Century and we have a whole new breed of nomad, the digital nomad. A digital nomad can be defined as “…someone who leverages technology to work from wherever they want. From their home, favourite cafe, or an island bungalow on a tropical beach somewhere hot…”

The modern day principles of what work entails has now changed and the Internet has helped fuel the meteoric rise of the digital nomad.

Traditional life scares me… the conventional model of a “job for life” and the accepted deferred life plan, that we should put our lives and passions on hold until retirement was never going to stick.

Being a digital nomad is all about working online allowing me to remove the restraints of life’s forecast blueprint and fulfilling my hunger for freedom, passion for travel and create the lifestyle I want to, where I want to, and most importantly, NOW.

All I need is a laptop, a reliable Internet connection and a steady supply of coffee!

In 2011 I started to experiment with minimalism and became location independent. Following a year of transferring all my work and business online i founded Virtually Nomadic, a digital nomad travel blog with fellow online entrepreneur Paul Feeney.

In the Last 12 Months we have lived and worked in over 10 Countries across Europe & Asia

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What are the main benefits of being location Independent and a digital Nomad?

As digital nomads our homes are now wherever we see fit. Closing offices at home we hit the road to see what lay in store and embrace a new lifestyle.

That restless feeling of conforming to life’s routines and and being trapped by work have now disappeared as we are constantly surrounded by new and exciting things to see, experience and learn. Wasted time and TV has become a thing of the past and if we do ever get bored, we move!

Its actually Cheaper!

The general consensus is that living abroad and travelling costs the earth. This simply isn’t true. Since becoming location independent I have moved myself away from normal costs and commitments such as rent and car insurance and I now have the opportunity to live in countries that are a lot cheaper. While in Asia i can live in an apartment with a pool and gym and eat out 3 times a day at the fraction of my monthly expenditure in the UK. This has had a dramatic impact on quality of life.

Different weather and climate

As well as deciding where to live, you can also decide when! You can move with the seasons, be it for sun all year around, or travelling to enjoy a snow season for sport.

New diet and cuisine

Mouth-watering award winning restaurants to authentic local food on the side of the street, travelling lets you experience all the cuisines of the world. For the past year I have been feasting on the local culinary delights of Asia! Fresh Sushi in Japan, Chinese Dim Sum, Pad Thai on the streets of Bangkok and beef Pho in Vietnam.

The experience of different cultures

I’ve quickly learnt that the world is even bigger when you get out there, with so many different nationalities, societies, and ethnic groups to meet, everyday is an eye opening experience.

New working environment

location independence is an incredible leap from the cubicle lifestyle and office environment. Everyday is a new office when you have the ability to work in hotels, by the pool, in cafes, bars, at the airport or a 24 hour jimjobong (bath house) in Korea. Its amazing the impact a sea view or a peaceful bench by the lake can have on your working mindset.

Varying life situations

Being a digital nomad helps me test and push myself to new levels I hadn’t thought possible and with this comes a whole new level of independence and understanding. The nomadic lifestyle has continuously thrown me into different situations that arise with travelling and I have quickly learnt to to embrace everything as a new experience with some amazing rewards.

Working and Living with likeminded people

Being a digital nomad puts you next to likeminded people everyday. These people have the same passion for life, travel and business which has had a monumental influence on both my personal and business life in the past year, helping me to push myself, do more and achieve more.

The benefits of Geo Arbitrage and Remote Working

Living in Asia while operating businesses aimed at the UK and American markets has significant monetary advantages for me. While based in a country where living costs are much less i can still generate a higher western income. For both entrepreneurs and digital nomads alike, this also offers revolutionary business opportunities such as outsourcing labour to different countries and economies at much lower costs.

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