Imagine sitting in a small cosy café in Paris on a sunny spring morning; typing away on your laptop while enjoying a café au lait and a fresh croissant. Or picture yourself sitting under the shady leaves of a huge palm tree, the sound of waves in your ears and the scent of saltwater in your nose. You boot up your tablet, put a smile on your face, work for a couple of hours and earn enough money to tackle the next step of your journey. Welcome to the life of a digital nomad!

What exactly is a digital nomad?

The answer is simple. Digital nomads are people earning money with an online business. Hence, they do not need an office, a storage room for physical goods or a car to drive from one client to the next. A computer with internet access is their only hardware. Then, of course, they need an idea on how to make money on the WWW and the skills to do so.

Is it really all sunny beaches and easy living? A reality check

The good news: This way of life is not science fiction or the daily routine of a lucky few. It is a real possibility for all those who are ready to embark on a new adventure and have the courage to leave the security of a fixed employment behind. The other good news is that there are many more so called digital nomads out there, than you even thought possible. And that 95 % of these people are very supportive and embrace the international bond they share with their fellow nomads. You even have digital nomad academies and regular meetings where you can get new ideas, expand your network (which is another essential tool you’ll need as a digital nomad) and – of course – have a great reason to visit a new destination. One example of a meeting like this is the “Switzerland Digital Nomad Meetup” taking place in Zurich. Here, single gents can use the service of a fellow digital nomad. The owner of one of the most exclusive internet based escort service discreetly arranges dates with beautiful escorts in Switzerland.

The not so sunny side …

… of living the life of a digital nomad is just as real. And scary. Sometimes frustrating and often the reason for many to go back to the security of a 9 to 5 job. The term “digital nomad” only describes the life / work style, but not the actual way to earn enough money to survive. Literally! You need to cover your travel and living expenses. Having an international private health insurance will be your only true luxury. Working on the beach might look great on a photo, but is totally unpractical. Heat, humidity and fine coral sand are poison for your laptop. You will often be working in dark hotel rooms or noisy local areas. Shared office spaces are cool and trendy, but renting the needed space during a bad month is just not in the budget. In short: Being a digital nomad can be – at least in the beginning of you career – filled with uncertainty on how to make enough cash for the next week. That is, of course, depending on what online skills you bring into this adventure. If you take an IT expert for example, the transition form an office based job to becoming a financially secure digital nomad is done in a jiffy. But if you are the regular Jane or Joe working behind a cash register of a super market or driving a truck, things become a bit more challenging. Writing and / or translating for instance are quite common jobs in the realm of digital nomads, making the competition immense and in consequence resulting in dumping prices for your work. Thus, you must be really good in what you do and you need to calculate with at least a year of running your online business before you can live from it … more or less.

But if you tackle these challenges and after you took the first step on your beautiful, exciting, mind opening and rewarding journey as a digital nomad, you’ll be one of the happiest campers on the planet!