The Irish have a reputation when it comes to travel. This small island has sent people to every corner of the globe. We’ve travelled to escape difficult conditions at times and also to embrace adventure. Once upon a time, people left having little idea what awaited them at their destination. Today, we are more likely to leave with a university place or job lined up. But is that essential? Is there a way to satisfy the wanderlust that seems to be part of our DNA without having a position secured somewhere? Can we hit the road and live freely without a Lotto win or massive inheritance to pay the bills? More and more people are doing just that.
Yes, you can indeed live and work abroad, travelling and earning. Some countries such as Australia offer visas that allow you to work casually in agricultural jobs such as fruit picking. It’s hard work, and the pay is usually not great. Teaching English is another well-established path to working in far-flung destinations. You do need qualifications and a keen ability to gauge how solid or profitable specific programmes really are. But technology has given us another option. Today being a digital nomad isn’t some fringe thing to terrify parents worried about the security of their just about grown children. It’s a way of life that allows you to blend a serious career with serious adventure at any age.
What Is a Digital Nomad?
As the internet has spread around the world, the ways we work have changed. While many jobs do require staff to be all together in one physical location, the range of options for working remotely has grown tremendously in the last decade. The tech industry is the biggest option for remote working, which is hardly surprising. Computer programmers, bloggers, SEO experts and web designers can all work remotely. But so can accountants, many sales people and those who do data entry. Personal assistants and secretaries can often work remotely. If a laptop serves as your office, all you need is electricity and a fast, reliable internet connection to take that office anywhere. If you can do your job from the café in town, you can do it from a café in Paris or Cape Town or Hong Kong.
The cost of living is a huge factor in taking your job on the road. Your income determines where you can afford to live. Life as a nomad is significantly cheaper. You can easily give up having a car, and it is senseless to pay for housing back home that you aren’t using. Instead, you can find a cheap, safe town to set up your base where you can rely on the internet. Then you can travel to exciting new places every week and explore the whole area from your home base.
If you are going to set up a home base in a location with a low cost of living, you might not want to depend on local market for the household essentials that matter to you. Do you need your desk? Your favourite armchair? Maybe having your familiar pots and pans will make it easier to adjust to life in a new place. Whatever you need to bring, you can have it shipped to your new base. Then you can head off exploring knowing you have all the comforts of home waiting for you in your home-away-from-home base.