What Is Fueling the Rise of the Digital Nomad Lifestyle?

Team mates working – Proven Ways to Make a Location Independent Income

As people crave freedom, flexibility, and the ability to work remotely; digital nomads are becoming increasingly popular.

By 2025, some studies predict that 35.7 million Americans, or 22% of the workforce, will be remote workers. The pandemic has encouraged many to lead a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle.

This digital nomad lifestyle involves living and working remotely in different locations, usually relying heavily on a reliable internet connection. It enables people to travel the world while still having a successful and rewarding career.

Digital nomadism is increasing rapidly and showing no signs of slowing down. Here are some reasons that can explain this boom:

Companies are creating policies that allow employees to work from any location

Qualtrics recently reported that 80% of job-seekers prioritize the opportunity to work remotely when selecting a job. Companies such as Lift, Airbnb, and 3M are responding accordingly by switching to permanent flexible work models.

Likewise, Spotify promotes its “work from anywhere” model, noting that “work isn’t somewhere you go, it’s something you do.”

This model allows employees to work from a specified geographic region – i.e. if a role is based in Sweden, the employee may be eligible to work remotely within Europe.

As an example, companies are now pivoting towards things like:

Flexible working hours

Digital nomads can work whenever and wherever they want, reducing the need to commute to a traditional office.

Async communication

Tools such as Slack and Zoom are making it easier for digital nomads to communicate with colleagues in different time zones.

Remote collaboration

Team members can access and share files, documents, and presentations in real-time to collaborate, even when they’re in different locations.

The goal is to promote creativity and innovation among remote teams, while still enabling them to stay connected.

Reduced carbon footprint

The “work from anywhere” model allows for reduced environmental impact with fewer people commuting to traditional offices and fewer related emissions, like from fuel.

Enhanced productivity

With fewer distractions, remote workers can often be more productive and efficient than those stuck in an office environment.

Increased creativity

Those who work remotely also tend to be more creative, as they’re able to think outside the box and explore new ways of doing things.

Additionally, they’re usually able to work in a more flexible environment, allowing them to take breaks when needed and focus on projects that spark their creativity.

Better focus

Working remotely also allows people to cut out distractions from the outside world, allowing them to focus on the task at hand. Something that can lead to more efficient working habits.

Global pool of talented employees

Positive young mixed race woman using a laptop and smartphone at home.Cozy home interior with indoor plants.Remote work, business,freelance,online shopping,e-learning,urban jungle concept.

This model enables employers to access highly skilled individuals, even if they are unable to travel. In the end, it presents an opportunity to hire workers in other countries without them needing to relocate.

Digital nomadism opens up a world of opportunities to start a business

Many digital nomads are self-employed, which gives them the freedom to become their own bosses and start their own businesses. This can take many forms, from starting a blog or freelancing to becoming a consultant or running an e-commerce or dropshipping store.

The digital nomad lifestyle provides the flexibility to work from any location and can be used as a stepping stone to launching a successful business, provided they have the right skills, resources, and mindset.

Digital nomads have the freedom to work in different environments, allowing them to pursue side projects that they might otherwise find more difficult to achieve. This can lead to the creation of a successful business.

It brings career development by conquering challenges

Digital nomads tend to be highly motivated and driven, and they are often exposed to new skills and opportunities while traveling. They may embrace flexibility, opportunity, and the ability that comes from being mobile and constantly exposed to different environments.

As it allows greater freedom in terms of location, digital nomads may have varying levels of access to technology and conveniences, which can both be beneficial and challenging.

People are craving connection more than ever

When traveling, digital nomads have the opportunity to meet and connect with people just like them, and share experiences and knowledge.

This could be through networking events with like-minded individuals, meetups, conferences, or even just through everyday interactions. It’s a great way to build relationships and foster collaboration, which can be invaluable in growing one’s business.

Through apps such as Couchsurfing, Meetup, and social media channels, digital nomads can also connect with others who have similar goals and aspirations.

On the other hand, live event production tools such as Groovy Gecko make it easy for digital nomads and remote workers to deliver top-quality live video for both large international conferences and smaller-scale happenings.

Improving health and well-being is a priority

With more time spent outdoors and in nature, digital nomads tend to be physically and mentally healthier compared to those stuck in a sedentary office job.

Being on the move and embracing new cultures can lead to improved mental health, such as increased self-confidence and a more positive outlook on life.

Additionally, relying less on public transport and more on walking or biking can lead to improved physical health, as well as a smaller environmental footprint.

Foreign nations are becoming increasingly attractive to digital nomads

The interest in a location-independent lifestyle has seen a significant increase in the last five years, with searches for “nomad visa” increasing by 2,400%. To accommodate this demand, countries have begun introducing visas for extended stays.

For example, Brazil offers both temporary visas and residence permits for periods of one year each, renewable for a second. Indonesia even offers the longest available visa at five years.

So far, 46 countries offer some form of digital nomad visa. As a side effect, digital nomads benefit from huge cost savings as they don’t have to spend large amounts of money on rent or bills, as they can easily move around and find affordable accommodation around the world.

Depending on where they live and work, digital nomads may also be able to take advantage of various tax breaks and other benefits.

Freedom and adventure are being taken to new heights

Digital nomads have the chance to explore the world and experience different cultures, giving them a feeling of freedom and adventure.

Working remotely allows them to explore new places, cultures, and languages while indulging in new cuisine. And traveling far and wide enables them to reach their goals and manifest their dreams.

The number of products and services designed for digital nomads is growing

Digital nomads can use various products and services that have emerged to help them manage this lifestyle. Examples include:

Coworking spaces and coliving homes all over the world

Coworking spaces are a great solution for digital nomads looking to combine work and travel. These spaces typically provide comfortable working stations, access to a local community, and sometimes even temporary housing on-site.

By using coworking spaces, digital nomads have the opportunity to be productive while also being inspired by the people they meet.

On the other hand, colivings are a great option for digital nomads who want to extend their stay in a particular destination.

These spaces provide fully-stocked kitchens, washing machines, and plenty of other amenities that promote a safe and comfortable living environment.

The focus of coliving spaces is on building a community and providing shared living areas that can be used to host events and activities, while still offering enough private areas to ensure personal privacy.

Commonly, these spaces come with features like living rooms, dining areas, and kitchens, and offer amenities such as high-speed WiFi, laundry facilities, and other luxuries.

Additionally, coliving spaces often include services such as housekeeping and maintenance, so that residents can enjoy the freedom of living in a foreign city without the extra hassle of taking care of a property.

Getaways and travel services

Ready to travel and have someone else take care of the details? Nomad Cruise and Remote Year are the perfect options for digital nomads.

These companies organize trips for professionals working remotely, allowing them to stay and work in different destinations for periods of up to a year.

All the planning is done for them, leaving digital nomads free to explore new places and focus on their work.

Online hubs

Digital nomads are discovering that they can find work easily thanks to the increasing number of online talent marketplaces and remote job sites. But these online hubs cover more than just job-related areas.

For instance, Nomad List is a great source of data for digital nomads, featuring information on the cost of living, internet speeds, taxes, visas, and more for 1,200 cities worldwide. A key resource for digital nomads wannabes.

People value experiences more than material possessions

Millennials are leading the shift away from possessions and towards experiences. Activities such as concerts, rock climbing, and culinary classes are becoming increasingly popular with this generation rather than buying expensive items.

A study found that more than 3 in 4 Millennials prioritize experiences over products, and 55% are investing more in events and live experiences than ever before.

It is no longer necessary to be stuck at a desk for 8 hours a day to be productive – Millennials are discovering they can explore the world, meet different people, and work whenever and wherever they feel inspired.

Families are also adopting the digital nomad way of life

Digital nomads are becoming more and more common among families. Flexible work and homeschooling have allowed them to explore the world and pursue their professional goals at the same time.

According to a survey conducted by Lonely Planet, this phenomenon has been termed as ‘anywhere workers’. The survey found that the majority of anywhere workers tend to be full-time employees, with 61% of participants aged between 24-44 and 35% aged between 45-54.

Nearly half are married, and even more (70%) travel with their children.

Digital Nomad FAQs

What is the lifestyle of a digital nomad?

As we’ve seen, digital nomads typically live a lifestyle that combines long-term travel and working remotely. The lifestyle typically involves frequently changing locations, living in different places throughout the world, and having the freedom to work and travel when and where they choose.

Popular destinations for nomads include selected destinations in Southeast Asia such as Bali and Chiang Mai; Mexico and Southern Europe. But this list is growing as many nations are offering digital nomad visas to attract more and more remote workers.

The way it works is that digital nomads usually have some sort of online job or other work that they can do remotely that allows them to make money while they travel.

They usually carry only their laptop, phone, and other electronics, and live a minimalist lifestyle that enables them to move frequently and stay on the road for extended periods of time.

Ultimately, they take advantage of remote work opportunities and live nomadic for a while to explore the world.

Are digital nomads causing gentrification?

Digital nomads are not a primary cause of gentrification, but they can contribute to it in certain circumstances.

In areas with limited housing stock and an influx of digital nomads, housing prices may increase, leading to gentrification. In order to avoid this, it is important that digital nomads are mindful of the impact they may be having on local real estate prices and work to find more affordable options that allow them to pursue their lifestyle without affecting the area’s economy.

Is digital nomad life worth it?

Yes, digital nomad life can be a great experience and worth it for those who enjoy the freedom of being able to work from anywhere in the world. It can also be a great way to save money on rent and other expenses.

However, it may not be for everyone, so it’s important to consider the pros and cons before diving headfirst into this lifestyle.

Which are the main pros and cons of digital nomad life?

Here’re some remote work pros and cons as well as freelancing advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind:

Digital nomad benefits

One of the main benefits of remote work, freelancing, and working from anywhere is that it allows individuals to have more flexibility and control over their working environment. For example, they can choose to work from home, a coffee shop, or even a co-working space.

This flexibility can provide a sense of freedom that can be extremely empowering for those who prefer to work independently.

Additionally, remote work can allow people to work according to their own rhythms and schedules, and to achieve a better work-life balance.

Work from anywhere drawbacks

Remote work can also come with some potential drawbacks.

For example, some people may find that working from home can lead to social isolation, which can be damaging to both their mental and physical health.

Additionally, it can be hard to stay motivated and focused when there is no supervisor or manager to keep track of progress, so it is important to create a suitable and productive workspace.

Finally, remote work can also be more laborious in terms of organization and setting deadlines than working in an office setting.

Overall, while remote work, freelancing, and working from anywhere can provide a great deal of flexibility and freedom, it is important to remember to maintain a healthy and productive workspace.

Are there any digital nomad-friendly companies worth knowing about?

Luckily many companies like jumping on board this trend and helping digital nomads succeed at this lifestyle.

Let’s have a look at one of our favorites: SafetyWing.

For digital nomads seeking dependable coverage, SafetyWings’s Nomad Insurance medical and travel insurance plan might be the perfect fit. At just $45.08 every 4 weeks, this plan offers comprehensive protection for multiple countries, as well as for short trips back home for up to 30 days (or 15 days for US residents) after every 90-day period abroad.

What’s more, nomadic families may appreciate the fact that up to 2 children under 10 (1 per adult) are included free of charge in the policy.

With so many benefits, SafetyWing’s Nomad Insurance plan is a great option for digital nomads, remote workers, and freelancers on the move.

Is 30 too old to be a digital nomad?

No, 30 is not too old to be a digital nomad.

People of all ages, genders, and backgrounds can become digital nomads. It is important to note that, while digital nomads have certain advantages, they can also be more vulnerable to financial uncertainty and be at a greater risk for physical and mental health issues due to the often unpredictable lifestyle such a career requires.

Why Europe is a great place for digital nomads?

  1. Affordable Cost of Living: Europe has some of the most affordable costs of living in the world. While major cities can be pricey, smaller towns and cities offer cost savings while retaining the same level of beauty and culture.
  2. Variety of Destinations: From the grandeur of Paris and the beauty of Barcelona to the wild forests of Romania, the many cheap places in Italy, and the laid-back vibes of Portugal, Europe has something for everyone.
  3. Accessible Infrastructure: With cheap and reliable public transportation in many parts of Europe, getting around the continent is a breeze.
  4. Strong Regulatory Environment: Europe has a sophisticated regulatory framework that ensures the safety and security of digital nomads.
  5. Historical Cities: Europe is full of beautiful historical cities that offer an immersive experience. From the cobblestone streets of Amsterdam to the grand architecture of Vienna, there are countless ways to explore the continent’s past.
  6. Unique Food: Europe is home to some of the most unique cuisine in the world. From Italian pizza to Spanish paella and German bratwurst, every destination packs its own flavor.
  7. Open-Mindedness: Europe has long been known for its open-mindedness and tolerance towards people from different cultures and backgrounds. This makes it a great place for digital nomads to work and thrive.
  8. Excellent Connectivity: Europe is well-connected and internet speeds are generally reliable. This makes it easy to stay productive and get work done on the go.

Which EU countries allow digital nomads?

Digital nomads are generally welcome in most parts of Europe, especially in countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, and the UK.

Additionally, Nordic countries such as Finland and Sweden also offer good opportunities for digital nomads.

The primary factor affecting digital nomads is the cost of living in a particular country, as it can have a significant impact on the ability to save money while working remotely.

Whether the country offers digital nomad visas or not is also important.

Are digital nomads wealthy?

Not necessarily. Anyone can become a digital nomad and it doesn’t automatically mean they are or will be wealthy. They could earn a good salary from the work they do, but it is possible to be a digital nomad with a lower income.

Different digital nomads will have different levels of wealth, depending on the kind of work they do and their lifestyle.

That said, one could say digital nomads are wealthy in things like freedom, as the flexibility this lifestyle offers is significant.

What attracts digital nomads?

Digital nomads are attracted to places that offer a high quality of life and low cost of living, good digital infrastructure with fast Internet, a diverse and interesting culture, safe and welcoming communities, and plenty of activities and social opportunities.

They also like to be able to travel easily to other places, with nearby airports and good public transport.

What are some of the challenges of the digital nomad lifestyle?

  1. Financial instability: Living as a digital nomad often entails living from job to job, with little to no guarantee of income. This makes it difficult to plan for the future and can cause major financial stress.
  2. Isolation: Living as a digital nomad means constantly being on the move, making it difficult to build strong relationships and friendships. The lack of connection can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.
  3. Poor internet connection: Finding reliable internet connections can be a challenge in some parts of the world. This can make it difficult to carry out online tasks and can delay projects.
  4. Lack of resources: When living as a digital nomad, basic necessities like health insurance, housing, and other services may be difficult to come by. This can make it difficult to stay healthy and safe.
  5. Culture shock: Moving from one place to the next can be difficult and confusing. It can be difficult to navigate the cultural norms and expectations of each new destination, leading to culture shock and confusion.
  6. Restlessness: Constantly being on the move can lead to feelings of restlessness and burnout. It can also be difficult to stay connected with friends, family, and other contacts.

As technology advances, work is becoming more flexible, the cost of living is lower, and there is no longer an obligation to stay in one place.

Becoming a digital nomad, you benefit from living and working in different places, taking in new cultures, accessing improved resources, leading a balanced lifestyle, and finding and pursuing jobs that inspire you.

To explore the digital nomad lifestyle further, keep reading: