What Is a Digital Nomad?
The ability to digitally communicate quickly and effectively from all over the world has opened up opportunities to embrace a nomadic lifestyle without sacrificing steady, dependable full-time employment. Digital nomads are workers who conduct business for themselves or their employer fully remotely and take advantage of the freedom to travel. Publicly available Wi-Fi and coworking spaces are some developments allowing the digital nomad lifestyle to grow in popularity.
Remote work has grown in popularity in recent years, accelerated in part by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. While all digital nomads are remote workers, not all remote workers are digital nomads. Most remote workers thrive by finding their comfort level in their home office, but a growing number have gone a step further and taken remote work on the road. Just as a company that converts its workforce can save on overhead by reducing office rentals, a digital nomad can choose to give up having an established residence while moving as they wish to wherever they want to explore next.
The digital nomad jobs have spread globally. Living as a digital nomad means borders are no longer a constraint to being able to work. Instead of being concerned about what country they will work from, most digital nomads and their employers only need to coordinate sharing a time zone for business purposes. Digital nomads in Latin America have the opportunity to work for employers in the United States, Canada, and all over the globe, thanks to time zones.
There are three main subsets of a digital nomad:
Entrepreneur Digital Nomads
Self-employed entrepreneurs who work solely from a computer can adopt a digital nomad lifestyle. They could even have a multi-employee company with other remote workers and digital nomads.
Some people elect to become digital nomads while working in freelance positions. This is significantly riskier than being self-employed or working in a full-time position. If you have a dry spell where it becomes difficult to line up work, you run the risk of being stuck somewhere unfamiliar without an income.
Digital Nomad Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistant jobs are in high demand. Many companies have discovered the benefits of utilizing virtual assistants for everything from appointment setting, customer service, and even digital marketing.
Virtual Latinos offers positions with many appealing aspects for digital nomads and anyone considering a digital nomad lifestyle. Some benefits include:
- Long-term positions: You’ll be developing long-term work relationships with a company.
- Regular payment: No need to depend on someone to pay your freelancing fee or maintain your income.
- Team experience: You’ll have a network of resources within the company you work for.
- Continuous training: You’ll improve your skills and acquire new ones that can lead to continuous income growth.
What Is a Digital Nomad Lifestyle?
It wasn’t all that long ago that the notion of large portions of the workforce shedding their commutes to work remotely seemed preposterous. The disruption to the status quo came suddenly and, once it did, many people had no desire to go back to battling rush hour traffic or crowded public transportation to earn their living.
Technology has been the key to opening the door to droves of remote workers, especially digital nomads. Where high-speed Internet was once a luxury, it is widely available in many places, including hotels and campgrounds where someone with nomadic tendencies may tend to frequent. Coffee shops, libraries, and communal working locations with free or low-cost Internet are more common now than they have been at any time in history. Even wireless hot spots can provide a dependable option in a pinch.
In addition to the technological improvements and better internet infrastructure in cities around the world – many rural locations – the comfort level with doing business electronically has steadily increased across cultures. Many meetings that used to involve significant travel commitments can now be executed through a video conference. Platforms like Zoom and Skype have existed for much longer than their common business uses. What once was a personal service mainly used by distant family and friends now forms the backbone of many business operations.
While, for some, the term digital nomad conjures the image of someone answering emails with their toes in the sand of a tropical beach, computer or phone on one side and frosty beverage on the other, being a digital nomad often means having a demanding schedule. Particularly virtual assistants and others with full-time employment, tend to work traditional business hours. Entrepreneurs and freelancers may have more leeway to set their hours, but it still takes a strong sense of time management to maintain employment as a traveler.
While adapting to a digital nomad lifestyle, it becomes important to identify daily, weekly and monthly schedules for when to work and when to travel. Some stay in the same place for months to years at a time while others move almost constantly. To accommodate work schedules, travel often has to occur during the night or on weekends.
If you’ve been contemplating life as a digital nomad, it’s important to consider the skills necessary to earn a living working remotely and traveling. Being computer savvy and literate in valuable digital skills is essential. Researching where you will be living and where your internet source will be for your working hours is necessary to avoid falling out of touch during crucial time periods. It also implicitly requires a certain level of energy and motivation to travel frequently while holding down a productive career.
Traveling across national borders has legal ramifications to be concerned about. Tourist visas do not permit working and earning an income while you are in the issuing nation. A growing number of countries are recognizing the prevalence of this type of work and have begun issuing digital nomad visas for this purpose.
When compared with remote workers, who enjoy the benefits of working from home but otherwise maintain the same status and lifestyle living in one place, digital nomads enjoy the dual benefits of working remotely while living or traveling anywhere.
Remote Jobs for Digital Nomads
There are numerous roles for which companies staff virtual assistants (VA’s). Some are more conducive to living as a digital nomad than others, but all offer the chance to work remotely. With enough focus and client’s approval, VA’s could also become digital nomads. VA’s find careers as:
- General Administrative and Executive Assistant
- Branding and Graphic Design
- Email and Automation
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- Customer Support
- General Digital Marketing
- Project Management
- Writing and Blogging
Working as a VA means having an area of expertise in which you can contribute high-quality work. It also often requires some understanding of the industry in which you are working. Someone who has experience taking customer service calls from appliance companies will be doing drastically different work than a marketer for real estate. Knowing your skillset and having a marketable knowledge of your industry makes you valuable to employers.
Certain types of employers may not be comfortable accommodating a digital nomad due to the sensitivity of the work. Law firms and healthcare organizations that work with highly personal information and other sensitive files could justifiably be concerned about trying to work with a VA whose network access could be unsecured or compromised. There are, however, many industries where a VA may be ideal, including:
- Software as a Service
- Marketing Agencies
- Web Development
These and other similar lines of work still require dedicated and diligent work and strict adherence to schedules, but the concerns of unsecured internet connections or other security concerns are likely to be fewer.
Virtual Latinos are very specific about matching VA’s with roles in which their expertise is the perfect fit for the client. Look at some specific tasks our VA’s perform and see if there is a job that matches your experience and skills.
What Are the Challenges of a Digital Nomad Lifestyle?
Digital nomads each have their own reasons for selecting this lifestyle. For some, it’s the freedom from being rooted in one place or committed to the structure of an office environment. Others become a digital nomad because they want to travel, explore new cultures, and want to see as many new places as possible. The independence involved in being a digital nomad is a constant thrill for the most enthusiastic converts to this way of living.
There are challenges, however, that can quickly become downsides. Regardless of location or obstacles that arise while traveling, the quality and timeliness of your work have to be guaranteed. Access to the internet and proper equipment is critical. If your computer breaks shortly after arriving in a new location, you must have a backup plan in place.
If a digital nomad’s travels span time zones, they have to be mindful to maintain working hours in the time zone of their employer and any customers of the employer with whom they maintain contact. Having a routine that accounts for both productivity and the employer’s time zone is necessary to make life as a nomad manageable.
Working remotely has shown a tendency toward producing rapid burnout, and the pressure of traveling frequently could contribute to even more stress or exhaustion. Before committing to becoming a digital nomad, it’s worth learning the signs of burnout, and how to combat it.
In addition to keeping track of visa status while traveling, a digital nomad must track their finances, exchange rates, and the specific tax rules of each locality in which they worked.
Can Virtual Assistants Live a Digital Nomad Lifestyle?
The short answer is: Yes. Virtual Latinos is proud to contract Latin American professionals in a variety of positions. If the only thing holding you back from pursuing a digital nomad life in Latin America is steady long-term employment, this could be the perfect opportunity for you.
Diligent communication and maintaining a strong internet connection are two essential requirements for succeeding as a VA while living as a digital nomad. If you can offer that level of dependability, then working for entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Canada may offer better pay and flexibility than local employers in Latin America.
Virtual Latinos offers opportunities ranging from entry-level employment to mid- and expert-level positions. We’ll work with dedicated employees to provide improvement to open the door to advancement and higher-paying positions.
Best of all, Virtual Latinos is not a project-based platform. We will link you with a long-term job. If you have researched our positions and think you have what it takes to perform tasks for well-paying employers in the U.S. or Canada and become a virtual assistant, fill out our online application.