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What is a Digital Nomad?

Location independent jobs are not a new concept, but have been growing in popularity the last few years. People who have these types of careers often label themselves as ‘digital nomads’. This means they may hold true to the old ways of roaming or not having a base, but they are connected digitally through their online work.

According to recent research, by 2025 remote workers may outnumber those who work from an office worldwide. Those working from ‘home’ for a company full-time has increased 140% since 2005. With the rise of job that can be done from just a laptop, this type of lifestyle is appealing to many. Engineers, web developers, marketers and even language teachers can all have a successful income while living on the road or in another country.

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Here’s what being a digital nomad entails so you can decide if it’s right for you.

Perks of Location Independent Jobs

Being a digital nomad can mean freelancing for yourself or working remotely for the company. This can be full or part-time. The freedom of not having to go into an office everyday is one of the best benefits of this lifestyle!

Otherwise, it can also open up possibilities on where you can live. Some digital nomads choose to live in more rural areas, as they don’t need to be in or close to a city for opportunities. Others will make a more drastic move, by relocating to another country that allow remote workers (such as Thailand).

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Digital nomads who have location independent jobs enjoy many benefits. Commute expenses tend to be non-existent, as well as the worry for business wear in a professional setting. Hours are usually more flexible, so personal vacation time and errands/social calls during the day are easier to take. Taxes might be slightly more complicated, but there are supplemented healthcare benefits and other perks digital nomads can take advantage of with proper commitment and research to the experience.

Ways to Embrace the Lifestyle

No matter if you are a digital nomad full-time or simply have a remote work position, these opportunities can align nicely with a move to a new country.

Before doing any major changes, make sure your current goals, career and personal, align with this type of work. Also, do some research on the best expat enclaves for people who do remote work that are conducive to your desires.

Before making the move, consider cultivating some helpful remote work habits. Without a boss or office structure in your vicinity, your motivation remains your own responsibility. Have a way to organize your days and maintain a routine regardless of where you get work done.

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Resources for Digital Nomads

If you’re happy at your current position, consider speaking with your boss about an international or remote transfer. Many large businesses are becoming more open to the idea of remote workers – just know you might still have to keep their office hours if you’re in another time zone!

Beyond that, here’s a few more things to help learn more about location independent jobs and careers.

  • Here’s a good list of resources for finding remote work and preparing for the change.
  • If launching your own business or looking to take your remote position to the next level, this is an excellent podcast with great information from Tandem Nomads.
  • Invest in good hardware, such as a sturdy laptop extra battery packs and a roaming Wifi hotspot.
  • If you’re an American citizen, these are countries you may be able to do a working holiday. Check the work visa rules for your specific citizenship, and if a company will sponsor you.
  • If you’re new to the idea of remote work, consider a structured program such as Remote Year to get started.
  • Once you’ve made the leap, don’t forget KITnDO to stay connected and discover new things in your new location!

Would you ever consider working remotely? Would you move to a new country to work digitally?

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6 Benefits of Living Abroad for a Year (or More!)

Whether you plan to be living abroad for a year or hope to be an expat more permanently, there are endless benefits to trying out a new place. People worldwide will leave their ‘home country’ to experience other cultures, enjoy new job opportunities, study abroad or simply change their lifestyle. Not only is it exciting, but it’s also good for you as a person to gain a fresh global perspective, learn to adapt and possibly even master a second language. Here’s some wonderful positives of being an expat and living somewhere else.

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Improves Your Mental Health

According to the Harvard Business Review, people who choose to try living abroad for a year or longer can experience benefits to their mental durability. The study mostly deals with a sense of strong identity and self-awareness. Other benefits include things like reducing group biases, career success and enhancing creativity.

Improves Your Physical Health

Not always, but sometimes, when living in a new country, you may have different transport situations than at home. Perhaps walking to work or cycling is more accepted in a new city or rural destination. People who move to new countries often have to find new friends, which could lead to joining more intramural sports and activities. Also, in new countries, expats are inclined to try new, fresh foods that are local and delicious. All of these things can promote better health.

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Helps you Appreciate Your Home Country

You don’t know what you have until it’s gone, right? Sometimes a move, especially a drastic one, can help you understand where you’re from on a deeper level. People who move abroad sometimes will miss ‘home’ and seek out ways to re-connect with their culture of birth. Furthermore, people who’ve lived in multiple different countries will see differences clearly and appreciate the beauty in each place.

Cultivates Intelligence

Moving to a new country often means having to learn a new language – or at least the basics! This challenge can lead to lots of benefits, including enhanced creativity, learning about new cultures and even more job opportunities. Simply having to adapt and learn how to get around a new place to live can be a refreshing way to stimulate the brain.

Enhances Communication

Even outside of learning the local language, you usually have to be very clear in your communication. Slang words, colloquialisms and simply different customs all require deeper thought. Communication and respect are key when living abroad for a year or more, which can be great for your job, home life and overall relationships.

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Leads to the Travel Bug!

If nothing else, some time spent living abroad will most likely have you wanting more! People who are expats or move elsewhere often prioritize traveling and exploring. Living in a new country feels like the ultimate trip in itself.

Want to know more about living abroad for a year or longer? Stay tuned, we’ll be covering lots of important expat tips and guides in the coming months. If you’ve already made the move, check out the KITnDO homepage to connect with your culture in your new home!