Working Nomads - New nomadism
and the rise of nomad work
The new nomadism is here to stay, numbers don’t lie. We have been working nomads for 9 years now and we have seen cities completely transformed by the nomad wave.
Working remotely, at least part-time, is already a reality for 15% of the world working population (3 billions), which means almost half billion people around the world can start having a nomadic lifestyle.
Although we have worked and traveled for the last 9 years, our digital life only started 3 years ago. You don’t need to be digital savvy to become a nomad. But it surely makes your traveling life easier. 🙂
Working Nomad – What are your options:
#1 Digital Jobs
#2 Digital Business
#3 Local Jobs
Find online work, either freelancing or landing a remote work position.
You can also convert your office job into a remote one that allows you to be anywhere.
Launch your business idea or follow dozens of proven business models to start your own enterprise and make your income. Income can be active or passive, read more about this later on.
Get local work that allows you to save good money while moving to live and work in a new country.
We have our share of experience and will tell you how to.
Let’s check them out one by one adding our own experience.
Do you want to know more about how to work and travel the world! Connect!
#1 Digital Jobs
Unlimited nomad work in dozens of remote job boards
15 years ago, online jobs boards were already popular and I remember scrolling them endlessly to only find a couple of remote jobs. Remote work was almost non-existent.
In 2018, more than two-thirds (70%) of organizations offer some type of telecommuting, either on a full-time, a part-time and/or an ad-hoc basis, up from 62% last year and 59% in 2014. (source)
These numbers show the sheer explosion of remote work in conventional companies, and prove that there are a lot of digital jobs that have nothing to do with internet companies.
Regarding work done online, there are several definitions that may be confusing, so let’s clear that out first:
Remote work Vs Freelance Vs Digital Nomad Work
The core distinction is the type of contract:
Remote work/job – you have a traditional contract and permanent relation with an employer that allows you to work partially or fully from home or from anywhere in the world although normally with some restrictions (timezone, presential meetings, etc.).
Freelance online – you work on time-limited projects, you have no benefits and you are not traveling.
Digital nomad work – same as freelance but you have a nomadic lifestyle
Digital business – you have your own business, you’re an online entrepreneur, and if you travel you are also a digital nomad. More on this in the next chapter.
We have done a lot of freelance work online, from translation to content creation of all sorts, and after years we settled with the one we think is the best to start your journey: Teaching English Online.
It’s flexible, pays well and there’s no discussions or extra work related to what you are doing. If you have done other freelance work you know what I’m talking about.
Check our article and give it a try.
In this chapter we’ll talk about remote work and freelance as the main categories of online work. There may be other expressions online but they all move around these ideas.
There are dozens of job boards focused on flexible work, including freelance and remote work, Flexjobs is probably the biggest and oldest out there.
Unfortunately (or not) FlexJobs does charge a fee to access their jobs database, which may not be to everyone, as the market has many free alternatives.
Some websites may use the term freelance for remote work (remote.co, for example), but the majority follows the definitions above.
Free alternatives to Flexjobs
Flexjobs was the first major job board for more unconventional style of working, a mix of remote work and freelance.
They are still on top of remote work job boards’ list but their business model is different, as they charge the users with a membership fee.
Some argue it is worth it because of their curation, and they also guarantee their jobs are scam free. This is a very important claim, as jobs boards are full of scams that very frequently make you work for free.
But for those who still prefere not to pay or just want to browse the options, we recommend the best alternatives, as there are many free options but not all are worth checking out.
Ultimate list of job boards
We have researched online for the best job boards, and we have used many of them.
We love to do databases, so to save you time we share ours here.
We have curated the list so that you know what type of jobs you will find.
If you know of a decent job board not mentioned here in this list, please tell us.
Airtable is a heavenly gift to anyone that wants to organize information. We love creating databases using Airtable, and because they are so easy to use and share, and allow crowdsourcing the information, we use it for everything that needs a database organization and stability. They also embed really well on websites so we use them intensively here on our page. Check them out here.
Remote social media jobs for the unskilled
For the last 3 years, we have seen small businesses becoming more aware of the need of social presence, and with it came the exponential growth of work opportunities in the social media niche.
This is very popular with travelers because the opportunities for Instagram-friendly photos is endless, and also because it’s one of the easiest unskilled jobs you can find.
I’m not talking about growing your own following, but rather working for other businesses or individuals, as a social media manager.
Not just that, you also continuously meet new businesses and products and with that you might find an opportunity to pitch your help in kick starting their online presence.
Most of the people we met found their social media gigs that way. So, if you are traveling (or even if not) then look at everyone you meet, or any business you have contact with, as a potential social media job.
Check their social media presence, and if non-existent or weak then consider offering your support, explaining how you could help.
Remember, a no is the worse you can get.
But I don’t think you’ll need to use them, as all the other main job boards allow you to niche down on social media jobs, and they have, by far, more options.
So, if you have some time and know how to use social media well, consider becoming an expert in the field and make money from it.
#2 Digital Business -
How to start your own business and travel the world
I used to believe that we should all start to work for others, learn the trade, understand what it means to manage a business, and then open your wings and start to fly alone.
I’ve worked for many businesses, different industries, had many bosses, and a couple of years ago I felt I was ready to start my own gig.
But I’m old, when I started to work in 2004, the internet was very incipient and college degrees where necessary to get access to serious business knowledge, as most companies were brick and mortar.
The world of business has changed, new business models have been invented, and digital businesses have bloomed like daises.
Anyone with the right entrepeneural skills and some time to study and explore the current business opportunities can start an online business and make a lot of money.
I’m not saying we don’t need college degrees anymore, of course we do, I’m just saying that there are other ways more accessible than before, and all thanks to the internet.
We have seen so many success cases, from people doing enough to keep traveling to others making the money of their lives.
But of course, many unsuccesseful cases too, the main difference is that most of the time the invested capital is very small compared with traditional businesses. The real risk is much lower.
If you follow this path, bear in mind it will be the riskier of all, but with more potential of ataining the underated goal of passive income.
We will share different business models, by inviting experts in those fields. Starting with one of the most common and easy to do: affiliate marketing.
Our guest writer, Victoria, is an expert in online business and, in this article, she reveals one of the easiest models to start making money online.
Affiliate marketing is a comission-based business model where you review and recommend services or products and obtain a cut from future sales.
There is more to it than this so check out the article.
#3 Local jobs -
Find work that allows you to travel and live around the world
Maybe you don’t feel very comfortable around computers, or you do but don’t imagine yourself spending countless hours in front of one. Either way, rest assured that finding jobs to travel is still pretty much possible.
We did that for almost 7 years before switching to digital work for convenience. But to live in certain countries, digital work exclusively is not possible because of visa limitations.
In the Cayman Islands, for example, the only way to stay more than 30 days is to get a local job, otherwise you will have to leave. It’s a small island so not that easy to avoid law enforcement.
Check out our Guide to find a local job in the Cayman Islands.
Most countries only allow you to stay for a limited time period without working, which means a local job may be the only way that allows you to stay for a longer period of time in these places.
We share here our experience and the jobs we had that allowed us to travel the world and work for many years:
The dark side of being a full-time working nomad
Look at this last photo, look at our smiles. This is the problem of beeing a Nomad.
Everyone sees our Instagram photos, our Facebook shares, we are always happy and in a different exotic place.
This is not the reality. This is far from the reality.
For every 5 minutes of photographic happiness there are countless hours behind a screen in a budget hostel room.
Success follows many trials and errors, and many bad decisions.
The right mindset:
– Don’t try to change all at the same time – don’t just quit your job right way like many incite you to. You will do it for sure, but plan it before-hand. If wanting to work online, try to do it on the side first, see if you like it.
– There is no clear path to achieve freedom, there are many ways, but you have to find yours by yourself. You learn the skills and you apply them, you fall down, and then you stand up again.
– Go all the way – when you decide to go, do it all in! You have to be commited, you have to have grit. It’s a bumpy ride, so if you are not 100% in, you will fail. Only full commitement delivers full results.
Good luck! And if you want to learn more about our journey, subscribe!