What if today, after a long day at work, you closed your laptop and went to bed, only to wake up in the middle of a snow-peaked mountain chain?

Or would you prefer a remote beach with white sandy shores? How about a bustling town full of shops and trendy restaurants with fresh food? 

Well, if you were a digital nomad, then that could be your reality. A digital nomad travels wherever the wind takes them, and they do it while working remotely full-time.

Adventure awaits! Are you ready to rise to the occasion? Read on to learn how to make it all possible. 

What is a Digital Nomad?

A digital nomad is a remote worker without a specific home base. The digital nomad works, typically from a laptop, and moves from place to place, usually staying in short-term rentals or living on the road. 

A digital nomad might work as an online freelancer and travel in a van across the U.S., for example, or they could hold a remote job while residing in foreign countries for 3-6 months at a time on tourist visas.

Digital nomads are empowered and sustained by technology: a reliable and safe internet connection, a laptop or smartphone, headphones, etc. Many digital nomads opt to join coworking spaces wherever they are living so they have a place to work while they are traveling that is dependable.

Why Choose the Digital Nomad Lifestyle?

With the gig economy and remote work becoming more common every day, many people see becoming a digital nomad as an opportunity to embrace the adventure and freedom of no longer depending on a single physical location. 

People who perhaps always wanted to travel but never had the chance because of work can now continue working and earning a consistent income while also traveling and experiencing new ideas, people, and cultures. 

Being a digital nomad also offers more personal freedom and an interesting work-life balance. It allows you to live anywhere you like while earning in currency from your homeland. 

A digital nomad could be working for a marketing company in New York City and earning a competitive salary while maintaining 9-5 hours, and simultaneously be living in a beach town in Mexico where they surf every morning and skydive on weekends!

What Are the Benefits of Being a Digital Nomad?

Many workers are seeking out the digital nomad lifestyle for several reasons. Some of the benefits of being a digital nomad include:


It allows people (and perhaps their families and partners as well) to explore new destinations and lifestyles. It can be the chance to visit places you’ve always dreamed of going.

Finding community

It allows you to tap into an international community. Digital nomads come from all over the world and tend to congregate in similar places, meaning that many digital nomads find themselves networking with interesting groups of travelers from all over the globe.


Nature lovers may be attracted to the digital nomad life as it allows them to take their big-city jobs with them while also exploring the world’s natural marvels. 

Experiencing cultural diversity

Those who are curious about other cultures and ideas love the chance to open their minds as digital nomads and enrich themselves culturally

Lower cost of living 

If you are a remote worker in a big city, then becoming a digital nomad allows you to live somewhere with a lower cost of living, which means you can save more of your income and enjoy more financial freedom while maintaining a similar (or better!) lifestyle. 

Happiness – When workers go remote, they get happier. According to one survey, 93% of respondents reported an increase in life satisfaction when they started working remotely. 

Better business outcomes

Remote work is good for business as well (perhaps because people who enjoy work tend to be more productive). According to the survey linked above, 90% of people report becoming more productive when they start working remotely.  

New & Unique Opportunities

Through traveling, you may also be surprised by economic opportunities that others may miss. You may see the chance to start a local business, buy a property in a location that is new and growing, or even start an online business that caters to this expanding digital nomad market.

What are the disadvantages of being a digital nomad?

The digital nomad lifestyle is more popular than it’s ever been, but still comes with some downsides.


According to a survey by Passport Photo Online, 40% of digital nomads feel lonely “often or always.” However, the same survey found that the number goes down the longer people have been digital nomads, meaning that over time, people find ways to connect with others after getting over that initial slump. 

Tax season complications

No one likes filing taxes but it’s a particular thorn in the side of digital nomads. In the same survey cited above, 84% of digital nomads also report that they’ve had problems with taxes at least once. 


People sometimes experience something called “road fatigue” when they get tired of traveling and crave the stability of one location.

Navigating border security and customs

The above issue can be compounded by visa difficulties. For example, many countries decide how much time to allow on your tourist visa when you arrive at the border. This can complicate things when trying to book an apartment, and you don’t know if you will be there for two weeks or six months.

Finding decent WiFi

50% of nomads say that their biggest issue while traveling is finding reliable WiFi. While this statistic specifically points out WiFi, it can be tough while traveling to keep up with all of your tech. Maybe you could lose your laptop charger and can’t order a new one while you’re hiking in Patagonia! In situations like these, we recommend investing in a membership at a coworking space, where they offer office supplies, reliable WiFi, and a community of people all working in one place. You’d be surprised by how many locations are available. 

But keep in mind… 

Despite these issues, 94% of nomads surveyed intend to continue being nomads, so the pros must outweigh the cons! 

How Do You Become a Digital Nomad?

If you are a remote worker, then you are already halfway to becoming a digital nomad! Some people continue working their regular jobs as employees while working remotely and traveling, while others are freelancers, entrepreneurs, or business owners. 

After that, many people decide to rent out their house or even sell their current home and put their things in storage or donate them. That allows them to become location-independent and travel and live where they like. Some people stay in Airbnbs, co-lives, hostels, or rental properties. Some people even go completely mobile and stay in a camper or van.

What Tools and Skills Does a Digital Nomad Need?

“Always be prepared” applies just as much to digital nomads as it does boy scouts. Digital nomads typically rely the following tools to meet their objectives while on the road.

  • Internet-based communication apps (if you move to different countries and change your phone plan frequently, then you’ll end up instead using apps like Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.)
  • Project management software and online collaboration platforms to stay in touch with coworkers
  • Some form of portable WiFi, even if it’s just your phone’s hotspot with a local SIM card
  • A credit card that collects mileage points is a huge plus
  • Sound-canceling headphones help you work anywhere
  • A translation app that works without WiFi
  • A portable battery
  • Adapters for foreign outlets
  • Durable suitcases and backpacks
  • Basic clothes for all weather
  • As a general rule while traveling abroad, always have, at the very least, enough money in your bank account to buy your return flight

Being an effective digital nomad will also mean developing essential skills like:

  • Time management and the ability to prioritize
  • Communication with work and family back home
  • Adaptability
  • The ability to stay cool under pressure (Scenario: The WiFi’s out, and I have an important meeting with a client coming up? I’ll figure it out.)
  • A complete lack of entitlement 
  • Minimalism (The urge to buy 30 pairs of boots may wane when you realize you have to put them all in a backpack and carry them across the country.)
  • Self-discipline (It’s one thing to work a nine-to-five, it’s another thing to work a nine-to-five when one of the wonders of the world is right outside your home office window.)

Coworking spaces and flexible offices can give you that stability and space that you’re looking for while traveling. There are many coworking providers that even give you the chance to pay one monthly fee and then gain access to all of their locations and offices

Tips for Living as a Digital Nomad

Ready to take your work-life on the road as a digital nomad? Keep these tips in mind before you depart.

Give yourself some structure

Establish a routine and stick to it. It can be taxing on the nervous system to travel so frequently, but you can adapt more quickly to new places when you have a routine that you can depend on.

Don’t go it alone!

Find ways to make friends and build community as soon as you arrive in a new location.

Stay focused

Don’t let your travels interfere with your work and productivity.

Check in back home

Maintain connections back home and stay in touch.

Step outside your comfort zone

Embrace the chance to live in a new place; get out and get involved. Maintain an open mind and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. 

Make you have a safety net

Once again, as a reminder from the previous section, while traveling abroad it’s good practice to keep at least enough money in your bank account to afford a trip home.

How Industrious Can Help

The number of digital nomads in the US went from 4.8 million in 2018 to 16.9 million in 2023. At that rate, this could be one of the fastest-growing demographics in the United States.

People who become digital nomads tend to be very happy with their decision to do so. That said, it isn’t a lifestyle that is easy to fall into and maintain, so anyone considering it should be fully committed before starting out. 

By working with Industrious offices, digital nomads can access flexible workspaces all over the USA and the world that come with benefits like:

  • The chance to meet other professionals and work together
  • A safe and secure WiFi connection
  • All-inclusive amenities
  • A work-centered environment outside of the home that allows you to focus

With a Global Access Membership, digital nomads can pay one monthly fee and access all Industrious offices across the world. Learn more about how Industrious can help you adopt the nomad lifestyle of your dreams!


Siobhan Brier is a writer, editor, and translator. She has been a digital nomad since 2019, predominantly in Latin America.