The term ‘digital nomad’ has been thrown around quite a bit over the past few years and in some ways has become ‘the dream.’ What many people fail to see is the less attractive side to living that way. Plus what if there is a better way to work and travel?
A digital nomad may be a freelancer, independent contractor, or remote worker who can work from any part of the world as long as they have an internet connection and a laptop. You probably already knew that but do you know some of the peculiar issues that may arise from living as a digital nomad all year long?
First, you need a home base because banks and bill providers need a permanent address where they can reach you. You could use your parents’ address of course, but if that is not possible, you will have to keep paying for your house and all the bills that come with that, such as insurance.
There is also the problem of where to stay when you travel. Are you going to stay in a hostel or rent a place or get signed up with a co-working program? Whatever option you choose, unless you’ll be staying with someone you know, it is going to cost you money.
It may sound amazing to be able to travel to exotic locations with interesting sounding names, but what happens if their official language is not a language you speak. You might be able to get by without knowing too many words other than hello and bye in the local language, but only in the big cities and popular tourist attractions. The bigger cities will cost more to live in, and if you stay long enough, you’re going to need a whole lot more than two words.
Travelling as a digital nomad involves way more than finding a place to stay. You need to think about constant internet access and power supply, which are not particularly reliable in certain parts of the world. Plus, there are the hidden costs you have to consider, such as transportation, food, coffee shops, and so on.
Why should you consider being a travelling professional instead?
The digital nomad life can be fantastic, but it might not be sustainable long term. If you are looking for a different route that is equally as satisfying and great for the long haul, you might want to consider being a traveling professional instead. A traveling professional is a full-time worker who has a job of which traveling is a major part.
As a professional who constantly travels, you won’t bear the costs of travelling because your office or agency will be the ones to handle all travel expenses. Also, you will likely also get a travel allowance and an accommodation allowance or even a place that has already been paid for close to wherever you’ll be working from in your new location.
Depending on your company or the nature of your job, you may even get allowances for meals, parking, or car rental.
What travelling professional jobs are there?
As a travel nurse, you can work for an agency and work at hospitals around the world a few months at a time. Travel nursing contracts typically last for around 11 weeks but they could be less or more. The benefits are often impressive and the pay good, and you can take some time off in between contracts to travel.
Being a nurse anywhere is hectic, but because of the flexibility of most contracts, you should be able to adjust your work week to have longer weekends. That way, you can get to really explore every new location.
You can work as a journalist for a big media company in print, digital, or broadcast. Yes, it is difficult to get into a field like that because such roles are quite prestigious and very competitive, but if you are cut out for journalism, you may be able to get to that point.
Depending on your beat, you could travel to exotic locations for documentaries or touristy programmes or to war-torn countries to cover heart-wrenching stories. Whatever your preference, be sure to set out on that path early enough. If you don’t consider yourself journalism material, you can opt for a behind-the-scenes role. After all, journalists need a production crew.
As a travel writer, you could write for a travel company while getting all expense paid trips to some of the most exotic locations. This could be a great choice for you if you are a good writer and don’t want to go down the line of starting a travel blog yourself.
Of course, you would have to deal with some of the more mundane aspects of the job such as dealing with demanding editors or writing about topics you are not particularly excited about.
Working in your country’s Foreign Service department is about as competitive as getting an international journalist role. You could be sent to work in any of your country’s embassies around the world.
Various roles you can take on if you decide to pursue a career in Foreign Service include Public Diplomacy, Political Affairs, Management affairs, Economic Affairs, and Consular Affairs.
Clearly, there is room for persons with different disciplines, and there are often positions for persons with varying levels of education, from Master’s degree to no degree.
International aid worker
This is another job that can take you around the world; however, you won’t exactly be doing much of exotic locations unless there is some sort of trouble there. There are many opportunities in this area for people of different specialisations, so lawyers and doctors or human rights specialists can always find a place.
As dreamy as being a digital nomad may sound, there are other options out there, so be sure to pick whatever works for you. Whether you go the route of a digital nomad or travelling professional, the most important thing is you are happy doing what you are doing.