The 3 Types of Digital Nomad in 2024

If this is your first visit here, I’m Patrick and I’ve been a Digital Nomad for over 15 years.  

What is a Digital Nomad? Let’s start with the basics: the term is made up of two parts: 

  1. Digital – indicating a person who works remotely and 
  2. Nomad – a person who is on the move, sometimes called ‘location independent’. 

There has been a boom in people who work remotely, many of them from home, particularly since the pandemic.  

20-something beach nomads

You might have seen pictures of people working from beaches and calling themselves ‘digital nomads’ – they are a kind of digital nomad, for sure! But don’t feel restricted in calling yourself a nomad if you’re not 20-something, or working from a hot beach in Bali!

The pandemic proved to businesses and workers that the projects they needed to complete could be completed remotely, if workers had access to the systems they need – at a minimum, access to a laptop and a good wi-fi connection.  

That idea was one already embraced by the first wave of Digital Nomads, people who ran their businesses remotely, bloggers and writers, coders and designers who often worked as freelancers on specific definable tasks for their clients.

What differentiates a remote home worker from a digital nomad is the element of travel: the choice and the ability to move between locations whenever you want. 

3 Types of Digital Nomad

The world of digital nomads has, I think, evolved into at least 3 groups: 

  1. Digital Nomads who work remotely for an employer who doesn’t mind where their worker is, as long as they get the job done according to the employer’s schedule. 
  2. Digital Nomads who run their own freelance business, selling their skillset as a designer, programmer, language teacher or dev ops specialist to multiple clients and setting their own timetable. 
  3. Digital Nomads who run their own web-based ecosphere, perhaps a blog or YouTube channel about their life and travels, combining SEO knowledge, affiliate marketing, film and photographic skills with top-notch writing and design. 

While keeping the schedule of clients and coworkers in mind, Digital Nomads can travel at will, experiencing places around the world while working there.  

Where do digital nomads live?

Nomads often have a flexible lifestyle, with no fixed address, and may use coworking spaces, cafés, or other remote locations as their office.

While escaping the office and the ties of home might seem like a dream to many, it’s in fact not as easy as it sounds.  Digital nomads can find themselves in communities that flex and move a lot, meaning stability is harder to find.  

Plus travel is fun when you do it occasionally, but when it’s every weekend, you’re spending your downtime getting a plane, train or ferry with associated delays, stresses and new unfamiliar accommodation. 

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Having said that, I don’t think anyone is crazy for wanting to try a different lifestyle, whether for a year or for life.

Yes, there are balances to find that make your life function how you want it to, but full-time travel as a digital nomad satisfies every curiosity that you have about the world and introduces you to people and cultures all over the world in a way that truly expands the mind. 

Related Articles

Here on Patrick Explores, I’m exploring the fundamentals of how to live life as a Digital Nomad with practical Travel Tips, designed to help you if you’re just thinking about it or you’re already on the road.  

Use the Destinations tab to review places you might have thought of visiting as a digital nomad – I’ve been to over 60 countries and I’ve got some *very* honest opinions about places I loved (and those I wouldn’t go back to).

When you’re ready to make some bookings, I’ve pulled together my top Travel Resources into one page that will help you get organised.

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