The rise of the “digital nomad” has bloomed from an expanding desire for freedom and flexibility outside of the traditional 9-5 workplace. Armed with worldwide Internet and platforms like Instagram and Slack, millennials have taken their craving for adventure and turned it into a lifestyle. Working location-independent is quickly becoming a go-to alternative in today’s working world.

After spending nearly two years freelancing and working at an influencer marketing agency in Mumbai, India (one that luckily allowed me to travel quite a bit), I became insatiably hungry for a fresh opportunity that would give me the same freedom I felt while traveling.

That was until I stumbled upon a fully remote position that was undoubtedly a dream manifested. I’m now a newly initiated digital nomad, and while I do work the standard 9-5, I’m given the freedom to work from home, my favorite coffee house, or anywhere else across the country (or world) that I please. And for me, simply knowing that I have that flexibility is everything.

Entrepreneurs, remote workers, and freelancers all fit the profile of the digital nomad. The one commonality between all of these professionals is that they each earn a living while working online — with the freedom to mix up their location and choose whichever atmosphere makes them most productive and creative. The beauty of this concept is that you can choose to work in a way that makes the most sense for your life, specifically.

Sure, it sounds dreamy. But, is it for you?

Don’t be fooled. The digital nomad life can be over-romanticized. It’s not all endless fun and days spent by the beach. Reality is that work still needs to get done and you may get lonely in the process (it happens… often). Remote work calls on an unmatched sense of independence and drive. If and when you’re ready to take the plunge, there are many ways to transition into the digital nomad lifestyle.

Get remote —

You don’t need to quit your job. Instead, strike a deal with your current employer to allow you to work online instead. If that doesn’t work, there are plenty of companies whose teams are fully remote. Your physical presence isn’t needed in the office in order for you to be successful.

Go solo —

Maybe you do want to quit your job and move yourself online for project-based work — there’s nothing wrong with that. The freelance life can be an ideal fit for all kinds of professions whether you’re a writer, consultant, accountant, or somewhere else on the spectrum.

Do your own thing —

Entrepreneurship is arguably the absolute ideal digital nomad profession as it allows you to fully shape your lifestyle, day in and day out.

What are the work perks?

While it may not be for everyone, being a digital nomad does have many benefits. Beyond the flexible lifestyle, there’s room for bettering your health, wellness, and creativity. Eliminating stressful commutes and uncomfortable offices that can often begin to feel mundane allows us to feel more engaged and focus. The most groundbreaking ideas and greatest energy often come alive when we are our happiest, healthiest selves. By taking the alternative, fresh approach to work, employees are granted the opportunity to become more inspired and motivated, instilling an intensified desire to succeed. If you get a taste of this lifestyle and realize that it does work for you, you’ll want to do all that you can in order to hold onto it. (I know that I am.)

Is the future remote?

There is a cultural paradigm shift happening in regard to what we all seem to want out of our professional and personal lives. With employees and companies recognizing the benefits of newfound freedom in the workplace, remote work is quickly on the rise. Workspaces and living spaces are beginning to merge, organizations are implementing remote work policies, and lots of new programs are launching with digital nomads in mind. Here are a few I’ve had my eye on…

For professionals that want to work remotely from cities around the world without planning the day-by-day themselves:

Remote Year curates lust-worthy work and travel programs lasting 4 or 12 months.

For shorter adventures:

The Remote Experience brings together professionals for monthly remote experiences across the globe.

For a co-working/co-living opportunity:

WiFi Tribe and Roam both provide stunning spaces designed especially for flexible professionals.

As long as we want to continue opening our minds while expanding our professional networks, achieve greater global understanding, and develop ourselves as more balanced, centered human beings, the digital nomad lifestyle is here to stay.

Ariana Dickson is a freelance writer, creative, and Influencer Relations Manager. After living in Mumbai, India for two years, she’s now tapping into the nomadic lifestyle and working remotely while staying true to her love for traveling, near and far. Connect with her on Instagram at @arianadickson to follow her perpetual wanderings or talk all-things travel, food, and wellness.

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