Are digital nomads the new-style expats

Are digital nomads the new-style expats

Are digital nomads the new-style expats

Digital nomads are the latest group who’ve upped and left their home countries to explore new opportunities in distant lands, but should they be considered as expats?

Expatriates come in numerous shapes and sizes as regards locations, professions and aspirations but all have one thing in common – they’ve all ex’d from their patria. The new kids on the block are digital nomads, a product of these changing times and the planet-wide influence of the internet. Traditional expats who move overseas and stay put until they die may well consider digital nomads as a separate species, but they’re driven by the same dreams as the Europeans who roamed the world looking for new trading opportunities in centuries gone by.

The ability to travel anywhere you please may well remove any desire to return home at some point, and digital nomads have the advantage over entrepreneurs and retirees in that they can pay their way wherever they are. Nowadays, it’s not just about writing travel blogs as there’s a good choice of other internet-inspired options out there, all of which can ensure the average digital nomad isn’t short of money. Remote workers don’t have the financial disadvantages of office rentals, commuting costs and paying tax on their earnings, and can live life as they please with just a laptop and backpack.

One favourite is web or app development, with tech jobs now top of the tree on the remote working scale. Time constraints don’t matter any more, with code able to be written at any hour of the day or night. Blogging and affiliate marketing are popular, although the sector’s competitiveness makes it tricky as regards a regular financial injection. Some specialists are very successful at generating income, but others just scrape by, taking advantage of the low costs of their way of life.

Online marketing, including social media marketing, is good for those specialising in search engine optimisation, with good money to be earned working with top brands. A fairly recent innovation in the digital nomad world is online teaching, especially suitable for native English speakers with a talent for working with children. Those with relevant degrees will earn the most, followed by expats with a TEFL qualification, and some websites don’t mind if their teachers have no formal qualifications. Online work as a Virtual Assistant is suitable for those talented at organising, and mostly involves data entry, managing social media accounts, dealing with email inboxes and suchlike. Highly motivated types with PA or similar experience can do well.

Graphic design is a niche discipline easily converted to online working and includes website design and commissioned artwork for book and album covers. Plenty of work is available, but the necessary combination of software can be expensive although rewards tend to be higher than in most other sectors. With a wide choice of specialties and an even wider world in which to practice them, digital nomads don’t ever have to go home, making them expatriates in the true meaning of the word.

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