Woman working at a outdoor digital nomad cafe

Last Updated on December 8, 2023 by Dr. Shannon Barrett

I’ve been a digital nomad for the past 7 months and I love it.

Last summer, my husband and I packed up our Kia and German Shepherd and started our nomadic adventure.

We haven’t looked back!

Out lives have changed for the better.

Our work life balance is so much better.

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut even if you live in a vacation destination.

We lived on an island off of Charleston, SC.

A known beach destination for many.

It was beautiful and a great place to live.

However life gets in the way even if you live in paradise.

However you can change by changing your perspective every few months.

If you move to a new place every few months, you want to take advantage of every free moment in a new place.

Experience the culture, the events and the people.

The excitement of living in a new place overwhelms any inclination you have to revert to old ways of living.

You no longer want to sit and watch TV or fall into old habits. Instead you can’t wait to explore your new “home”.

This has been the biggest benefit of being a digital nomad but there are many others.

Key Takeaways

  • As a digital nomad, you trade office walls for exotic locations and personal offices, allowing for an exciting blend of work and exploration across different cultures.
  • This lifestyle provides remarkable flexibility and lower living costs by choosing affordable places to live while cutting out unnecessary expenses like long commutes.
  • Digital nomads benefit from constant personal and professional growth as they adapt to new environments, enhance creativity, and build valuable global networks.
  • The freedom of being location-independent allows nomads to pursue hobbies or interests that are not possible with a traditional 9-to-5 job schedule.
  • By embracing minimalism and focusing on the essentials, digital nomads enjoy the liberating experience of having everything they need in just a suitcase.

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Pros of Being a Digital Nomad

A person working on a laptop at a busy city cafe.

It’s very freeing to work from anywhere.

I just need my laptop and a good internet connection.

I often work from our AirBnb but also take my mobile office to restaurants and cafes so I can enjoy the new places we are living.

I’ve also been known to work at the beach. As a blogger, the typical workweek does not apply.

Traveling full-time

A colorful array of passports and travel accessories on a tropical beach.

Imagine waking up to a different stunning view every few weeks: from the sun-kissed beaches of Clearwater Beach to the historic streets of St. Augustine.

Full-time travel is more than just postcard-perfect scenes; it’s about immersing myself in new cultures and experiencing life beyond my comfort zone.

Each destination teaches me something new, whether it’s finding out about new foods such as Datil peppers in St. Augustine or spiny lobsters in southern Florida.

Embracing full-time travel as part of my digital nomad journey means I carry my career with me in my laptop bag.

Long-term travel combined with remote work creates an unparalleled sense of freedom that traditional office jobs can’t offer.

This lifestyle isn’t merely about sightseeing; it cultivates adaptability and resourcefulness, essential traits for personal growth and success in today’s gig economy.

Since we are in a new rental every few months, my workspace is also new.

Sometimes I am lucky enough to have a desk while others times I am working at the dining room table or breakfast bar in the kitchen.

And let’s not forget the bonus—ditching long commutes for more time exploring or working on passion projects. We have a blog and Youtube channel.

Working remotely

A laptop and notebook on a wooden table in a peaceful cafe.

Meeting new people

Embarking on the digital nomad journey, one of the most exhilarating parts is meeting new people.

We have met SO many people on our travels. Just sitting at restaurants and casually talking to people or those working at local shops and cafes.

Everyone has been very welcoming and excited to learn about being a nomad.

They want to follow us on our journey and most are interested in pursuing a similar lifestyle.

We keep in contact with the neighbors we’ve gotten to know after staying in a location for several weeks.

The same goes for the hosts of our vacation rentals.

These are all wonderful people we would not have met if we have not decided to become nomads.

Local coworking spaces also become a hub for cultural exchange and networking, where you can connect with fellow travelers and entrepreneurs from all corners of the world.

This endless carousel of faces and stories fuels personal growth and enriches your experience beyond measure.

I revel in the diversity that comes with each encounter, gaining insights into different lifestyles and perspectives.

It’s not just about adding contacts to LinkedIn; it’s about forging meaningful relationships that could open doors to unforeseen opportunities or even lifelong friendships.

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Engaging in community groups or exploring hobbies while traveling serves as more than just fun—it’s a gateway to building a supportive network wherever I go.

In Florida, Pickelball is such a popular sport, my husband and I are planning to pick it up while traveling.

It’s easy to play anywhere and requires very little gear so it does not add much to our travel trailer.

Lower cost of living

A digital nomad works in a tropical co-working space with bustling atmosphere.

Living the digital nomad lifestyle affords me a surprising benefit: a lower cost of living.

Having fewer expenses is not just refreshing, it’s financially savvy.

I own less, which means my overhead costs are significantly reduced compared to a traditional lifestyle tethered to one location.

We consider ourselves luxury nomads.

We do not travel in an RV.

Instead, we rent vacation rentals either through AirBnb or VRBO.

These allow us to have a yard for our dog and a full kitchen.

Since we were living in a high rent area in Charleston, SC, the monthly cost is actually less for the vacation rentals than what we are paying now.

Also, the vacation rentals include:

  • Wifi
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Trash
  • Cleaning services before and after we leave

I’ve discovered that controlling my cost of living is one aspect where this lifestyle truly shines.

The choices I make about where to live and work directly impact my expenses.

For now, we are digital nomads in the US so that we can drive from place to place.

We chose this for several reasons but being digital nomads with a dog was definitely a factor.

We can choose where we want to stay and know that seasonality affects rates which helps us stay on budget.

Also, the longer you stay in a rental, the lower the cost. You often receive a monthly discount when you stay for a month or more.

When traveling internationally, spending time in places with a favorable exchange rate stretches my dollar further without compromising on quality of life or work efficiency.

Pursuing hobbies and interests

A person hiking in the Scottish Highlands surrounded by stunning landscapes.

My nomadic lifestyle opens up opportunities to indulge in hobbies and interests that I might never have considered if I were anchored in one place.

Even though we tend to focus on beach locations, we are considering spending time in Colorado next year.

I’ve never skied. However spending time in a place with snow would allow me time to learn this new winter activity.

This balance between work and play not only enriches my life but also ignites a sense of adventure and exploration that comes with discovering new passions.

The flexibility of working from anywhere means I can plan my schedule around surf sessions on Florida beaches or join ski lessons on the slopes of Colorado.

Each destination offers unique experiences that allow me to grow both personally and professionally, meeting fellow enthusiasts who share similar passions or even teaching me something entirely new.

No tedious commutes

A serene lakeside dock with a laptop and coffee mug.

Imagine waking up each morning, and the longest commute you face is from your bed to your coffee machine.

As a digital nomad, I’ve kissed goodbye to rush hour traffic jams.

Previous to our nomadic lifestyle, I was a housecall veterinarian.

I loved it but it meant that everyday I was in the car driving from patient to patient.

I was at the mercy of traffic and planning my day around certain commute hours.

Instead of losing hours every week in the car, I channel that energy into my work—or better yet, exploring my latest travel destination.

I miss my patients and clients very much but I do not miss the hours in a car.

Although we do spend hours driving from one destination to another, it is only every few months and the excitement of a new adventure outweighs those few hours.

Minimalist lifestyle

Embracing a minimalist lifestyle is more than just having fewer things; it’s about gaining the freedom to pursue what truly matters.

As a digital nomad, I choose experiences over possessions, finding joy and value in simplicity.

This approach not only clears my mind but also saves me money.

We love to visit local markets while traveling.

However we are very selective about what we purchase.

We know that we do not have a lot of room to carry items.

This means no impulse buys and very few purchases.

We travel with a 5′ x 8′ trailer pulled behind our Kia Sorento.

We carry our beach cruisers, suitcases, travel desk and lots of kitchenware.

My husband needs a specific desk for his work so we found a great travel desk.

We are definitely not the most minimalist travelers.

So if the idea of living out of two suitcases scares you, there are many ways to be a digital nomad and still downsize.

For us, this type of minimalism works great.

It keeps us mobile but we still have the comforts of home.

Also, the more we travel, the more we appreciate the minimalist lifestyle.

Every time we unpack, we try to get rid of a few things we realize we do not need.

It’s liberating to know that everything I need is right there with me – essential gadgets for remote work, a few versatile outfits, and some personal keepsakes are enough.

This conscious choice to live lighter allows me to move easily between locations without the hassle of packing up an entire household every time wanderlust calls.

And…one of my favorite little perks is I no longer have a junk drawer.

There is no clutter. It’s a great feeling!

Building a supportive community

Finding your tribe of fellow digital nomads can be a game-changer as you embrace this wanderlust-fueled lifestyle.

supportive community offers more than just advice on the best coffee shops or co-working spaces; it’s a network of encouragement and shared experiences that helps smooth out the bumps in the road.

I make connections by engaging actively on platforms like LinkedIn, where opportunities and practical tips flow freely amongst those who are also working from anywhere.

By forming these friendships, I find myself part of something bigger, a collective experience that echoes the freedom of our chosen path while bolstering resilience against potential loneliness or uncertainty.

Embracing the digital nomad lifestyle unlocks a world of unparalleled flexibility and cultural experiences that will enrich your life, both personally and professionally—dive deeper to discover how this freedom can redefine your everyday reality.

How to Become a Digital Nomad

A person working on a laptop in a busy outdoor cafe.

Embarking on the digital nomad journey requires careful planning and a strategic approach.

Assessing skills and experience

Before becoming a digital nomad, it’s important to evaluate your skills in working remotely and time management.

Knowing your strengths, like managing tasks online or writing, helps you find the right remote jobs and makes the transition easier.

Financial planning

To maintain the digital nomad lifestyle, it’s essential to manage finances well.

This includes saving for uneven income periods and budgeting for expenses like travel insurance and living costs.

Additionally, it’s important to monitor currency exchange rates and use financial tools like low-fee international accounts to handle payments in different currencies and avoid financial surprises.

Choosing a destination

Picking the right spot to unpack my laptop and get to work is a thrill in itself. I always consider what I’m looking for in a living environment – maybe it’s bustling city vibes or tranquil seaside towns.

But it’s about more than just pretty views; I dive into research on each potential location to ensure it aligns with my lifestyle and work needs.

Local cost of livinginternet connectivitycommunity presence, and accessibility are top factors that guide my decision.

The freedom to select from a world map holds immense power; not only does my choice shape daily life but also impacts financial plans like budgets and savings.


Building a strong network is like creating your own web of opportunities.

As I travel from one place to another, I’ve discovered the immense value in connecting with fellow digital nomads and locals alike.

I try to meet with local businesses when we arrive at new places.

This way, I can immediately start making contacts and I also get local recommendations.

As a travel blogger, I want to be able to provide great tips for my readers.

As a traveler, I also want to explore the city like a local.

Setting up these meetings accomplishes both goals.

These connections can lead to new projects, insights into local cultures, and sometimes even lifelong friendships.

Whether it’s through co-working spaces or online communities designed for remote workers, making those personal connections can open doors that you never knew existed.

Researching and applying for remote jobs

Diving into the remote job market requires focus and a strategic approach.

  1. Assess your skills and experience to ensure they align with the roles your interested in.
  2. Crafting a tailored resume that highlights my ability to work independently and manage time effectively is crucial.
  3. Reach out directly to companies that embrace the digital nomad culture, proving that despite not being in an office, you can excel at tasks and contribute significantly.

With governments introducing visas for remote workers, it’s clear this trend isn’t slowing down; rather, it opens up a world of possibilities for employment without borders.

Websites for Remote Job Opportunities

Here are a few places to start your remote job search so you can be on your way to becoming a digital nomad.

Here are five websites where you can look for remote jobs:

  1. FlexJobs (FlexJobs.com): Offers a wide range of job categories and provides a support system for job seekers. While it requires a subscription fee, it offers services like career coaching and hand-screened job listings to ensure legitimacy.
  2. We Work Remotely (WeWorkRemotely.com): Touted as the largest remote work community, it offers various job listings in categories like customer support, sales and marketing, programming, and more. It’s free for job seekers and doesn’t require creating an account.
  3. Remote OK (RemoteOK.io): A robust platform with over 44,000 remote jobs, focusing on programming, software engineering, marketing, customer service, and design. It offers a freelancer directory and is free for job seekers.
  4. Jobspresso (Jobspresso.co): Known for its hand-picked job listings to ensure quality. It offers jobs in programming, marketing, customer service, and more. Job seekers can also create profiles and post resumes for employers to find.
  5. Working Nomads (WorkingNomads.co): This site provides a newsletter service delivering a curated list of remote jobs directly to your inbox, which can be tailored for daily or weekly emails.

These websites offer a range of remote job opportunities in various fields, making them useful resources for anyone looking to adopt a digital nomad lifestyle.

Common Jobs for Digital Nomads

A woman working on her laptop at a bustling cafe.

The digital era has flung open the doors to a multitude of opportunities that are ripe for the picking, wherever you may be with your laptop in tow.


Freelancing offers the freedom to choose projects that match your skills and interests, enabling a lifestyle where work can be done from anywhere, be it a beach or a foreign city café.

This not only allows for a blend of work and travel but also saves money on traditional office costs, providing a cost-effective way to explore the world while managing work on your own terms.

Digital marketing

Digital marketing is an ideal career for digital nomads, offering the ability to work from anywhere in the world with just a laptop and internet connection.

This field is dynamic and flexible, allowing for personal and professional growth, and aligning well with a lifestyle of travel and adventure, as more tech companies are open to remote work.

Web development

Web development is an ideal job for digital nomads, providing the freedom to work from anywhere in the world.

Many countries welcome tech-savvy individuals who can work remotely, and web development offers a stable income and a sense of connection, even amidst the challenges and excitements of experiencing new cultures.

Writing and editing

As a digital nomad, I’ve discovered that writing and editing are the perfect travel companions.

This can involve crafting engaging articles or polishing manuscripts.

Through writing and editing, you’re able to share stories that cross borders and create content that resonates on an international scale—all while embracing the mobility that defines the digital nomad lifestyle.

Virtual assistance

A virtual assistant (VA) provides administrative support to clients remotely.

They handle tasks like scheduling appointments, managing emails, organizing documents, and sometimes even handling social media or customer service.

Essentially, a VA helps with various business operations, working online from a remote location.

Final Thoughts

A laptop and notebook on a mountain peak with scenic landscape.

We love the digital nomad lifestyle.

For now, the freedom and ability to see new places every few months is wonderful.

The beauty of this lifestyle is that we can stop at any time and revert back to a more traditional way of living.

Choosing to be a digital nomad does not mean you have to constantly be on the road.

You can mold a nomadic way of living so that it suits you. In my opinion, the benefits are numerous and outweigh the few downsides we encounter.

Let this be the future of your work-life balance – exciting, empowering, and boundless.

I highly recommend giving it a try, you never know what adventures you may find along the way!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Who can become a digital nomad?

Anyone who works remotely, like employees working from home or freelance writers, can become a digital nomad and work while traveling.

2. How do digital nomads handle their money on the go?

Digital nomads often use banks that are friendly to travelers, manage their finances online, and ensure they have access to different currencies if needed.

However if you stay in the US, you can often keep you current bank if you use on of the larger nationwide banks such as Bank of America.

3. What should I consider for healthcare as a digital nomad?

It’s essential to invest in good health insurance that covers you internationally so you can travel without worrying about unexpected medical expenses.

4. Do millennials need special preparations for becoming digital nomads?

Millennials just starting out may need to focus on practical things like health insurance, travel insurance and ensuring they have a reliable sim card for consistent internet access while exploring new places.

Dr. Shannon Barrett

Dr. Shannon Barrett

Veterinarian/Travel Writer/Digital Nomad

Dr. Shannon Barrett is a veterinarian and digital nomad. She owned a housecall practice, Island Veterinary Care, for over a decade and now travels full time. She lives in different beach towns and then writes travel guides based on her time there. If you’re looking for resources on travel destinations or how to become a digital nomad, then you’ve come to the right place! Love to bring your pets with you? Even better!

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