The term ‘digital nomad’ is gaining popularity day by day. First, it became famous with the development of network technologies. Then it had a boom with the pandemic and lockdowns. Now, it is becoming a lifestyle.
“Very soon now, it might not matter where your body happens to be… as long as you maintain a presence in the networks.” - 1984, Steven K. Roberts, The First Digital Nomad
Describing the Cyber Lifestyle: What is Digital Nomad?
Let’s start with the definition of Wikipedia; “Digital nomads are people who travel freely while working remotely using technology and the internet.” The basic definition actually hides more of the context.
In basic, digital nomads are people who are working remotely, generally in several fields. Most digital nomads live in temporary houses, hotels, or recreational vehicles. And most of them work in public areas such as cafes, co-working spaces, and libraries.
Most digital nomads describe themselves as digital content creators. Either as programmers, designers, or developers, they are creating digital materials defined as digital works. They can be social media influencers, skilled programmers, or copywriters. They can be freelancers or employees.
These are general facts. But there is more to discuss. Some digital nomads stay in the same country for years in their own properties. And some of them travel country by country. In both situations, they have large communities to help each other.
As we look from far, they can seem like they are remote-work lovers with travel enthusiasm. But actually, there is more than the general overview. Just like nomads and 80s hippies, most digital nomads have minimal material possessions and desires.
Preparing DIY Guide: How to Be a Digital Nomad?
In basic, you will only need work that can be done remotely, required equipment, and residence. This trio will be enough to consider yourself a digital nomad. But, is being a digital nomad enough? You should get the core idea of living as a digital nomad.
As a digital nomad, you will have various opportunities, in return for the same amount of various drawbacks. But for now, let’s define the main requirements for being a digital nomad.
• Get Proved and Approved Badge: As a digital nomad, you will have a wide amount of rivals. Either working as a freelancer or employee. So, you have to start working before being a digital nomad. You have to create a portfolio that defines your POV and your abilities.
• Get Well with Multi-: Culture, Dimension, and Task: You will be working in and with various places and people. You won’t have to communicate in person with your colleagues or clients. But you will be meeting new people nearly every day.
Also, your life will be blurry between work and life. So, start today by washing dishes and thinking of a new blog idea at the same time.
• Big in Japan? Maybe…: If you are willing to be a traditional nomad, you will be traveling country by country. You will face different cultures, traditions, and more.
To be well with different, you have to have a road map or at least self-confidence. We advise starting with looking for countries with digital nomad visas.
These are key factors for living like a real digital nomad. Your first experiences in this new lifestyle can be described as surviving. But after the newbie period, you will start to get the benefits of digital nomad.
Digital Dream: Why People Become Digital Nomads?
Most digital nomads choose this lifestyle because of the desire to travel and location freedom. With the same criteria, they also get a lower cost of living as they don’t need anymore to live in expensive metropolitan cities.
They want to do the same job while traveling, or while in their desired location. They want to experience a different lifestyle, wherever they want. Typically they don’t have any other benefits from normal workers, but freedom.
Digital nomads also have more flexibility in their time schedules. Most of them, especially freelancers, can choose the time they work.
In 2020, research showed that people describing themselves as digital nomads increased by 49% in the US. As it is obvious, the biggest reason behind this was the pandemic. During this period, lockdowns made companies start or increase remote working. Later, workers saw the opportunity to live as full-time remote workers, or maybe digital nomads.
Cyber Sadness: Drawbacks of Being a Digital Nomad
As the term gain popularity, more fields are starting to work on it. Psychologists started to examine the modern and digital versions of problems workers face. Especially digital nomads, nearly all modern technology workers face these problems.
Fear of Missing Out (FoMO)
The fear of missing out (FoMO in short) is defined as “a pervasive worry that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”. Yes, it is a problem older than digital nomads, especially originating from the existence of social media.
The FoMO is a widely known issue among digital nomads. Think about yourself. You are working in a company. And because you don’t have to exist there as you are working remotely, they are having wonderful working environments, maybe parties.
This issue is also getting more popular as social media spreads wider. Nearly more than half of digital nomads have or associate work with social media.
Most digital nomads have a free soul. They live abroad with their goals on their way. But sometimes, they remember something.
Their families, friends, and other face-to-face relationships. Nearly half of their life is consisting of virtual platforms.
It is not a common issue like the FoMO among digital nomads. But, it is the reason behind most early give-ups in digital nomads. As always, freedom comes with a price.
Always, the location is a hard decision to make in our lives. Traditional digital nomads face this problem more often. Types of visas for digital nomads, residence permits, housing, and all other problems due to the location are seen as the biggest problem.
Experienced digital nomads already overcome this problem. They created large communities. Newcomers have easier starting processes for now. It is expected to be further easier in the near future.
But, there are some hints and tips that experienced digital nomads do while choosing their next permanent or temporary location.
Where You Belong or Where You Want to Be: How Digital Nomads Choose Their Location?
Digital nomads generally live abroad. So, when they are choosing their next destination, they first look for the visa types and residence permit restrictions. There are countries with visas and residence permits suitable for digital nomads. But, especially starting from the year 2022, several countries started to special visas and permits for digital nomads.
For traditional digital nomads, temporary residence permits can be enough. They only need a remote work visa and short-term residence options are suitable for it. Some countries even started more specific programs. For example, Spain offers a freelance visa.
While choosing their next location, they also take into account the tax rates. Tax benefits and obligations are one of the biggest considerations. With a fault, you may be taxed two times. One from your origin country, and one from your current country of residence.
According to the surveys, there are some countries that digital nomads think are more advantageous. The list starts with Spain, Portugal, and Malta, and then goes on. These countries are more suitable for experienced digital nomads.
The most underrated country suitable for digital nomads is Turkey. Multicultural and welcoming locals, low cost of living, and required networking environment are all available in Turkey. In addition to being suitable for digital nomads, Turkey is one of the top-ranked countries to live and work.
Become Digital Sultan: Why Turkey, Istanbul is Ideal for Digital Nomads?
Even though it is a developed and stable country, the cost of living in Turkey is lower than in most European countries. Yes, even in the largest city, Istanbul. The amazing city of Istanbul is becoming a digital hub with each passing day.
Turkey has a unique location that is suitable for living as a digital nomad. Turkey belongs to an ideal time zone for digital nomads. You may work remotely from anywhere, whenever in all parts of a day.
Also, the list of best places to live in Istanbul is very long. The city consists of 39 districts and each one of them can be suitable for anyone.
The cities used by remote workers and digital nomads are sometimes referred to as ‘workation’. The definition got its name as the remote workers’ understanding of location and workplace got blurred.
According to the research made by Holidu in 2021, Istanbul is among the best 5 cities in Europe for digital nomads. In the table below, you may find Europe’s top cities for digital nomads.
|Rank||City||Average WiFi Speed||Number of Co-Working Spaces||Average Price For a Coffee||Number of Sunshine Hours||Mid-Level|
As seen in the table, Istanbul offers the best combination of the low cost of living and popularity. Actually, the top reasons to live in Istanbul are also mainly highlighted by these aspects. The city is ideal for both temporary and permanent choices.
As a temporary residency, Istanbul is great. The wide variety of amenities and opportunities at low costs make it one of the most famous cities. Also, the infrastructure of the city is developed very well.
To get along with the location, there needs to be more. Both Türkiye and Istanbul provide it. Real estate in Istanbul is very profitable.
While starting to live as a digital nomad in your property, you will be able to purchase it for a very low price. The prices for real estate are relatively lower than in other European cities.
And, when you decide to maybe to another country, you won’t lose your investment. Also, owning real estate in Istanbul will help you to get a residence permit in Turkey. Although getting a residence permit in Turkey is easy, owning a property will make it easier.
In conclusion, living as a digital nomad comes at a price. You may face various problems, both mentally and financially. It is advised to start with an advantageous and ideal country. Turkey and Istanbul are unique places suitable for digital nomads.
“The most delicious freedom comes from venturing beyond the assumptions that other people have made about you.” - Steven K. Roberts