Is The Digital Nomad Lifestyle As Carefree As It Looks?

The rise of the digital nomad has been an intriguing one in our society. Within the space of a few years, digital nomads have descended on countries that are happy to host them. Some countries have even gone to the trouble over the last couple of years of offering special digital nomad visas for those looking to set up in their country for an extended period. 

Nomadding In The 2020s

Digital nomads come in all shapes and sizes. Still, the exponential rise in the number of influencers and remote workers has resulted in a knock-on effect where swarms of people have left their homeland to travel and work all over the globe. Influencers get a lot of unfair criticism, they also get plenty of valid criticism as well – many are accused of highlighting the positives and accentuating the benefits of a digital nomad lifestyle and perhaps painting a different picture of what it’s truly like. 

Ultimately, millions of people are guilty of this. It’s just that influencers are the ones getting paid for it. You only need to browse through Facebook or Instagram and explore the timelines of people you worked with years ago, bragging about purchases that have put them into crunching debt. 

Sure, it looks good on social media, but people conveniently forget to include the underlying cost in their posts. So, is it the same for digital nomads? Is the grass greener on the other side? Let’s have a gander.

Top Nomad Jobs

Graphic designers, programmers, social media managers, copywriters and social media influencers are a selection of the top digital nomad jobs at the moment. AI is rapidly changing the landscape of many of these industries, with graphic designers, copywriters, and computer programmers all concerned that their day in the sun might be coming to a swift end thanks to generative AI tools and the soulless invention of ChatGPT.

Some financiers and traders also make a career of working and traveling, often able to trade assets such as forex or cryptocurrency from their mobile phones or laptops on the move. 

Cryptocurrency and blockchain are moving at a rapid pace, and there are many companies that have been able to rise in prominence over the last few years, with the brains and designers behind many blockchain-based companies opting for digital nomad lifestyles as well – whether they run crypto exchanges or gambling platforms. 

Although some people who gamble at traditional casinos might not warm to the idea of a crypto casino immediately, the huge surge in Bitcoin interest throughout 2024 means that any casino with crypto payment systems has been able to siphon off a chunk of the growing market for themselves. While traditional casinos are still the most sought-after, gambling with Bitcoin and other blockchain casinos is continuing to gather momentum, with their numbers swelling year after year. 

Holistic View Of The Nomad Lifestyle

It’s easy to become embittered by digital nomads on Instagram or other social media platforms as they post captions like “Today’s office” whilst sitting on a beach with a cocktail, with a beautiful sunset in the background. However, this is often not telling the full picture. How do we know? Well, as a writer, I’ve lived the digital nomad lifestyle for a year or two.

Yes, being able to travel and work is the dream scenario for many people – and being stuck in an office watching people travel the world can fill you with resentment. But there’s stability that comes with that, which is sorely missing from the digital nomad lifestyle. 

Digital nomads are often self-employed, meaning they have highly complicated tax arrangements, which can change significantly depending on the country they’re in. As the market grows for digital nomads, it’s not a simple case of packing your laptop and jumping on a plane hopping from country to country – you will often need a specialist visa and may sometimes even have to pay tax on the money you earn in that country, depending on how long you stay there.

As with any self-employment – work can be sporadic, and there’s far less job security. So, while you might be based on the beach and telling everyone it’s your “office for the day,” – the actual reality is that you’re sat in a hotel room, sometimes on a dreadful WiFi connection, working for 12 hours to meet a strict deadline. It’s not quite the relaxing holiday it’s often portrayed to be by some nomads. Also, if anything goes wrong with your laptop – good luck getting it fixed in a remote part of a poor country.

Final Thoughts

Okay, we’re not saying to get the violins out – but what we are saying is that people often view with envy those who live a lifestyle that is the opposite of theirs. It’s part of the human condition to look at other people’s lives as more relaxing and carefree than our own – but everybody has their own issues they must deal with. Social media consistently paints a picture of somebody’s life that can often be a falsehood or wide of the market. For this reason, it’s always best to have a digital detox alongside a physical one from time to time. 

Yes, there are perks to the job for nomads, but there are also negatives to consider. As with any vocation, nothing is perfect, but if you are looking to become a digital nomad, ensure you weigh all this up rather than being convinced by a few misleading posts you see on social media. 

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By inAra

Hi there! I’m May, a girl who loves to wander and wonder! I’m from Saigon, based in Los Angeles, but my current location is anywhere and everywhere. Travel, Photography, Tea Time, Picnic, Home Decor and Event Planning are a few of my favorite things.

inArabymay is a travel and lifestyle blog inspired by beautiful destinations, by color and nature, and by wonderful people that I’ve met on my journey.

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