Become a Digital Nomad and Work from Anywhere in 2023
The digital nomad lifestyle has become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more people are looking for ways to work from anywhere in the world. If you’re one of those people, then this blog post is for you. In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about becoming a digital nomad, including how to find a remote job, what countries offer digital nomad visas, and how to stay safe while traveling.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your next adventure today!
The Digital Nomad Lifestyle – Freedom, Flexibility, and Adventure
What could be better than getting paid in the destination of your choice? According to a steadily rising number of people, it’s a pretty tough deal to beat.
Given the recent advent of remote work, the digital nomad lifestyle has been booming in popularity — with an estimated 35 million digital nomads circulating the globe today! While some choose to continuously be on the move, hopping around from place to place every few weeks, others prefer to choose a destination and stay put for months or more. No matter what the setup, the gig comes with its perks and setbacks.
If you’ve been considering becoming a digital nomad — or are just curious about how it works — read on to learn all about the ultimate form of remote work.
What exactly is a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is not to be confused with the traditional remote worker, who generally works from home within their country. A digital nomad is any professional who works remotely while traveling, either within their own country or outside of it. Typically, digital nomads opt to spend time in whichever place calls to them the most, but just like with any other stint abroad, there are visa requirements that come in tow with the lifestyle.
While many digital nomads work abroad on tourist visas, that’s not exactly legal. Technically, you need an approved work visa from whichever country you’re visiting that acknowledges you’re making money while there — which can be, admittedly, prohibitive (especially if you don’t plan to be there long). The beauty of the digital nomad visa is that it allows non-citizens to legally perform remote work in the country they’re visiting for a specified period of time!
Digital nomad visas last longer than tourist visas, usually staying good for up to a year. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the list of countries that offer these visas has exploded, with no signs of slowing down. The pandemic was the perfect storm to push countries into legitimizing digital nomads because it both limited tourism and forced companies to offer work-from-home policies.
While there are pluses to bringing digital nomads into local economies, there are also some downsides. On the one hand, these people aren’t actually poaching any local jobs, since they aren’t allowed to, and they’re helping make up for lost tourism revenue from COVID-19. On the other hand, digital nomads can substantially drive up the price of local housing and take up vital space in neighborhoods. As always, make sure to travel responsibly!
What are the pros and cons of the digital nomad lifestyle?
This whole thing sounds pretty tempting, right? There’s a reason why so many people are opting to become digital nomads — after all, it allows for long stints abroad with a stable source of income. (In the past, travelers were forced to take odd jobs or save up for long periods of time.) Remote workers can now experience new cultures, individuals, and growth while potentially living at a lower cost than at home.
But don’t get caught up in the magic just yet, because the digital nomad lifestyle doesn’t work for everybody. For starters, having a remote job is mandatory — which knocks out many professions — and those jobs must also offer flexibility in the way of hours, especially if you’re moving from timezone to timezone. It can also be difficult to find reliable, calm places to work from when you’re staying in loud hostels or tiny rooms.
In and of itself, movement is stressful. Some people thrive in it, while others find themselves feeling overwhelmed by the lack of stability and connection. It can feel impossible to form meaningful relationships on the go. On top of that, this lifestyle can also become expensive if you move around too much; constant flights, trains, and hotels really add up over time.
What do I need to make it happen?
Ready to go for it? Keep in mind that getting a visa is always trickier than you’d think, so you need to plan in advance. While some digital nomad visa applications have moved online, you’ll still need to produce the proper documents to be approved. These typically include proof of remote employment/income, a passport, proof of insurance, etc. Many countries will also take the time to do a background check, which can take anywhere from days to weeks — so be prepared to be flexible.
What countries offer digital nomad visas?
Finally, the question we’ve all been waiting for – which countries offer digital nomad visas?
Only recently did Spain launch its own digital nomad visa, which is valid for twelve months and open to extension. This is a great option for those who want to learn Catalan in Catalonia or bask in the Basque country!
What could be better than soaking up la pura vida? Costa Rica’s digital nomad visa is one of the most accessible in the world, with low application fees, income requirements, and job qualifications. Visas start at one year and can be extended for an additional year.
Taiwan is one of the most popular destinations in the world for techpats. While it doesn’t technically have a digital nomad visa, it does offer something called an Employment Gold Card Visa (which is very similar). With up to three years of validity, this is a great option for those who want to be based in Asia.
Yes, Germany does have its very own Freelancer Visa — but it’s only available to self-employed people in the arts, and you’ll need to put in the time to get it. While it can take between 2-4 months to gain approval, the visa is good for up to three years, and Germany is a wonderful country to be based in.
Portugal’s Temporary-Stay Visa is also relatively new. It begins at one year and can be extended for up to four, and the application fee is very reasonable. With an affordable cost of living and friendly people, anyone would love working from the country of Portugal!
These are only a few of your options, so do your research on specific country requirements before you apply. If you’ve ever wanted to work from another part of the world — now is your time!