With the pandemic subsiding and the realm of ‘digital’ providing the required leverage, certain class of professionals are preferring to travel across the country and beyond while also being in job to ensure uninterrupted income
"To travel is to live"
– Hans Christian Andersen
Ever wanted to pick up all your belongings and start life afresh in a new place? Do you consider yourself a wanderlust but only find yourself travelling once a year for a week maximum? In this digital age, more and more people are unsubscribing from the above norms and living their lives as digital nomads.
A digital nomad is a person who can work remotely (thanks to technology) and live in an untethered way. The great part is that they live with minimal possession but find it easy to make ends meet since they are still on the job during the day, or freelancing during their flexible hours. It is touted to be a new-age lifestyle.
Who can be a digital nomad?
Anyone whose job doesn't require him/her to be stuck to one geographic location, and who can work using technology, can be one. Add to that the zeal for travel, a penchant for experiencing new cultures and meeting new people, and you have the perfect candidate.
Even though most of the digital nomads are young IT remote workers, bloggers, vloggers, YouTubers, lifestyle-related content writers, backpackers, and entrepreneurs; they can be retired, or semi-retired folks as well.
The COVID-19 opportunity
While the world came to a standstill during the pandemic, as soon as things began to re-start and normalise, a lot of people took the opportunity to become digital nomads for work and better quality of life. So many people felt burnout and were feeling exhausted, stuck and uninspired during the two years of the pandemic. Digital nomad working offers the solution to make work fit into a life's plan rather than working to build a life around work.
Is it the same as remote working?
No, the terms 'remote worker' and 'digital nomad' are misunderstood by some to be exchangeable, but they are not. A digital nomad is constantly on the move, but a remote worker works from home or a nearby coworking space.
What does it take to be a digital nomad?
Remember the grass is greener on the other side. Becoming a digital nomad may seem easy at the first glance but is not. It requires a lot of planning, especially with the finances, work schedules and more.
A stable income, lesser responsibilities tying someone down to a place (for example kids' education) and a liking for fitting into a whole new culture can be the requisite traits for becoming a digital nomad.
Advantages of being a digital nomad
⁕ Better work-life balance
⁕ Living new experiences
⁕ Meeting new people and developing new life stories
⁕ Lesser cost of living
Cons and downsides
⁕ Not possible for all kinds of jobs
⁕ No sense of rootedness
⁕ Requires discipline
⁕ Needs intense planning of budget
⁕The internet can be limited in some places
Can you just move to another country and be a digital nomad?
One of the obvious questions in everyone's mind can be about taxes. Nomads don't have a fixed residence, but due to constraints like passports, tax laws etc. are still under the law of the land of their respective native countries.
A few countries around the world are now offering digital nomad visas, as a type of travel visa for those who wish to stay longer and work while travelling. This allows you to stay and work in a country, as long as you don't become a part of the local labour force. It allows for longer stays than a tourist visa. Essentially, with a digital nomad visa, you can enjoy a longer-term, tax-free (in some) stay in a country, as long as your income comes from outside the country.
Several countries like Indonesia, Germany, Estonia, Barbados, Mexico, Costa Rica, Seychelles, Thailand and offer some form of digital nomad visas.
A digital nomad within India
Many choose to be digital nomads within their own country. With a wide variety of beaches and mountains, nomads choose to keep exploring and living in various parts of our country while working. Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Jaipur, Darjeeling etc. are some popular destinations in India.
Would you ever consider being a digital nomad?
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