Digital nomads are individuals who use telecommunications technologies to perform their work duties and, more generally, conduct their life in a nomadic manner. Such workers typically work remotely—from home, coffee shops, public libraries, and even recreational vehicles—to accomplish tasks and goals that traditionally took place in a single, stationary workplace.
Nomadic entrepreneurs and professionals often work as freelance writers, photographers, video makers, affiliate marketers, web designers, software developers, graphic designers, and other types of knowledge workers who can perform work duties irrespective of physical location. They use new technologies like wireless internet, smartphones, Voice over IP, and cloud-based applications to conduct business, work remotely, and earn an income wherever they live or travel. Digital nomads also often use coworking spaces, cafes, house sitting agreements, and shared offices in major cities around the world.
More and more digital nomads are traveling internationally and moving abroad, while they continue to work with clients or employers. This sort of nomadic expatriation does present challenges such as maintaining international health insurance with coverage globally, abiding by different local laws and sometimes obtaining work visas, and maintaining long-distance relationships with friends and family back home. Other challenges may also include time zone differences, the difficulty of finding a reliable connection to the internet, and the absence of delineation between work and leisure time.
The growth in the digital nomad movement has increased in velocity, with the first international conference for digital nomads (DNX GLOBAL) scheduled for Berlin, Germany in 2015 and sites like Nomad List providing digital nomads with real-time cost of living and other data to help them choose where to visit.
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