Sure it’s a great slogan to have emblazoned on your favorite coffee mug (which is why I have two), but what does it mean to live “wild and free”? And can it really apply to your professional life of never-ending Zoom meetings and dishearteningly unchecked to-do lists?
Ask the digital nomads. These pioneers of the work-from-anywhere movement have built careers that are wild and free… and are most definitely good things. But that’s not to say that digital nomads are free-range hippies drifting from one odd job to the next. They are skilled professionals with the experience and expertise to land high-paying remote work that supports a lifestyle of travel, discovery, and unbeatable work/life balance.
You might be wondering if you could become a digital nomad, and the answer is almost always (with the right mix of passion and planning) a resounding “yes.” But there are a lot of myths that still persist when it comes to the digital nomad life that keep some professionals at a distance, or make them think it’s not for them. Let’s bust those myths, and find out how we at First Page promote a culture of remote work for our wild and free friends.
Digital Nomad Myths: Busted
Myth #1: Being a digital nomad is only for the young and carefree.
Nope. This is an easy one to bust, because in this case, the numbers don’t lie. A strong majority (54%) of digital nomads are over the age of 38, which runs counter to the common misperception of gap years and fresh-out-of-college 20-somethings with nothing to tie them down. In reality, most digital nomads are seasoned professionals, and many of them have partners, children and pets (31% say they travel full-time with a spouse). And before you ask, no, it’s not a case of mid-life crises. Digital nomads are committed to the lifestyle, and they take the steps necessary to make it work, at whatever life stage they’re in.
Myth #2: It costs money to travel, and digital nomads can’t make much.
Supporting a lifestyle of traveling the globe may seem like a reach, but it may be more accessible than you think. Co-working communities are cropping up all around the world, offering digital nomads temporary office space, and also providing accommodations at reasonable rates. Plus, in the wake of the coronavirus, many countries are now looking to boost travel by tempting digital nomads with a host of incentives. Besides that, 16% of digital nomads earn more than $75,000 a year, and U.S.-based nomads are more likely to earn six figures than their counterparts in other countries. There are many ways to earn income as a digital nomad, but it might require some out-of-the-box thinking.
Myth #3: There won’t be enough jobs for digital nomads after the influx of remote workers.
While more adventurous professionals are joining the ranks of digital nomads, there will always be work to go around. In fact, with the shift to remote work over the last 12 months, there are likely to be more employers that are receptive to hiring digital nomads. The field will become more competitive, but with the right approach, digital nomads can find work that supports their lifestyle and pays the bills.
Myth #4: I’ve been working remotely for the last year, so I’m already a digital nomad.
Hey, I’m not here to step on your gown, but the act of working remotely does not a digital nomad make. Being a digital nomad has a lot to do with mindset, and while you don’t have to be constantly globetrotting to be a digital nomad, frequent travel is a core component of the lifestyle. A recent HubSpot report outlined the difference between remote work and working remotely, and we agree that they are not the same. Working remotely became a necessity for many professionals in 2020, often against their will. Being a digital nomad is a choice. However, many workers over this last year have been bitten by the work-from-anywhere bug, and they may now be looking to make a major life change. If that’s you, welcome! You’re about to discover a whole new world (literally).
Myth #5: Being a digital nomad isn’t a “real” career.
Au contraire. The entire team at First Page proves this myth is simply untrue. Our digital and growth marketing experts are scattered around the world, and have each established a thriving career that allows them to work from wherever they choose. While most have a home base, most of them also make travel a priority – and one that doesn’t interfere with their professional growth. Some of our members are married, have children, have homes, and still invest themselves in the digital nomad lifestyle… all while delivering results to our clients. Why? Because the 8-hour workday is a thing of the past, and we’re glad to put it in the rearview mirror.
So, what myths did we miss (say that five times fast)? Hit us up with your perceptions of the digital nomad lifestyle, and let’s start a conversation about what it means to be genuinely wild and free.