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The Rise of the Digital Nomad [How To Have An International Lifestyle]

April 3, 2014

‘Digital Nomad’ is a term we use a lot here at CurrencyFair. It refers to those lucky people who manage to weave work around an internationally mobile lifestyle.

For some people, the first inkling that there was even such a thing as a digital lifestyle came when the Best Job In The World campaign shot to prominence. The competition was an amazing campaign and it rightfully garnered the attention of mobile-minded people around the world.



Digital lifestyles are on the rise.

How To Become A Digital Nomad?

If you like the idea of making a living whilst travelling the world with only your bag and a laptop (and perhaps a loved one), your two best bets for making it happen are:

  • Freelancing
  • Creating an outsourced online business.

Let’s take a look now at both options (and share some handy resources).

How To Become An International Freelancer

If you decide to go down the freelancing path, the world is truly your oyster.

In this CurrencyFair blog article on 50 companies that are changing the world we listed a number of online companies that you can use to start your freelancing lifestyle (we also listed a number of other handy sites that will make any digital lifestyle cheaper and easier).

Freelancing sites described in the article included Task Rabbit, AirTasker, Mechanical Turk, oDesk, Elance and others. You can see them listed here.

Top 10 Types of Freelance Work

A couple of years ago the Co-Founder of International Freelancers Day produced a major report into the many statistics and aspects of freelance work (you can download it here). According to the report, here’s the top 10 types of freelance work:

  • Designers
  • Writers
  • Editors/Copyeditors
  • Copywriters
  • Translators
  • Web developers
  • Marketing professionals
  • Business consultants
  • Virtual assistants
  • Illustrators

It’s also interesting to look at the reasons why people decide to freelance. The report said:

“Freelancers are a passionate group! When asked why they chose this path, 28% said they wanted to have more freedom and flexibility. For 23%, it was mostly about following their passion. And

13% said they wanted to be their own boss. For 29%, their freelance career was not something they planned; they either fell into it or chose this path after being laid off or downsized.”

Freelancing is probably the easiest way to get started on your exciting new nomadic lifestyle.

Create An Outsourced Online Business

The other main option (other than becoming a highly paid, highly stressed corporate executive or becoming an international rock star) is to create on outsourced online business.

Many of our customers are international nomads (lucky things!) and so we like to keep an eye on the rather exciting world of international online businesses.

You might like to check out this excellent article by Mark Johanson of the International Business Times. In the article, Mark shares some rather fun examples of online businesses that allow the owner to work from anywhere. In his first example, Mark describes one such lucky business owner who was working out of a co-working space facing a gorgeous grassy field in the hill village of Ubud in Bali.

Another example of a true digital nomad is an up-and-coming online software developer, Bertrand Diouly. Starting with absolutely nothing, Bertrand has gradually built a 100% online business with 12 employees spread out across the world. Bertrand’s business produces simple graphic design software products for small businesses. The following infographic gives a great outline of his world (scroll down below the infographic for more online business ideas).

Online Business for Digital Nomad Life

Impressive for one guy who started with nothing but a laptop eh?

How To Find An Idea For An Online Business

The best thing to do if you’re looking for an online business is to take a look at this CurrencyFair blog article which is looking for the Best Startup Business 2014.

You’ll discover the key to coming up with a good business idea: look for a problem . . .

Problems Are The Key To A Successful Startup Businesses In 2014: At CurrencyFair, we work hard every day to solve a particular problem (getting rid of the exorbitant costs associated with sending money abroad). Therefore, we have a natural leaning to support companies that are being innovative and proactive towards solving problems faced by people and businesses around the world.

Check out the article now on good online businesses. Also, here’s some more inspiration for you . . .

Start An Online Business To Be A Digital Nomad

So there you have it – some great ideas for starting your international nomadic life!

Have fun and send us a postcard! And why not follow us now on ?

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