Want to be a digital nomad from a beach hammock in Bali? Do you dream of being a freelance writer in Panama, taking sales calls in Bermuda or having a lunch break in Laos. You can do just that with these top jobs that allow you to work from anywhere. With more and more businesses operating online, you no longer have to spend your career sitting at the same desk every day. All you need is a good WiFi connection and a laptop and you can be one of the many digital nomads making a living from anywhere they want in the world. According to Forbes, in 2020 “the remote job market is growing faster than ever before”. Read on to find out how to be a successful freelancer.
What is a digital nomad anyway?
The term digital nomad is used to describe location independent workers in the internet age living a nomadic life. Although the term was first thought to be used in 1997 as the title of the book ‘Digital Nomads’, it only gained real popularity in the late 2000s with National Geographics ‘Digital Nomad’ blog. Along with the rise in remote work opportunities with technology companies in Silicon Valley. This type of work is popular with many communities like full-time travellers, refugees and entrepreneurs, but most notably appeals to the younger generation of tech-savvy workers. Although there are definitely a few exceptions to this rule.
Where is the best place to be a digital nomad?
Remote working jobs can take place absolutely anywhere. In a cafe, on a beach, in the pub. There are entire websites with databases full of the best places to live and work for digital nomads (like Nomad List). It’s an ever-expanding nomadic community with just one rule; they are jobs you can work from anywhere. Some of the best digital nomad destinations are Chang Mai, Medellin, Tulum and of course Bali. Ubud famously became a mecca for remote work after installing fibre-optic technology, now it’s one of the biggest communities for digital nomads in the world.
What’s the difference between a freelance job and having an online business?
If you are just starting out there is one big difference with these two ways to be a digital nomad. Timescales. While online businesses like dropshipping and blogging are fantastic ways to travel for a living, they take time to set up and become profitable. Often blogs can take up to two years to start making a good enough return to live on. While travelling for free is possible, working is much more comfortable for most of us. Freelance jobs, however, can be started right away. They are existing jobs that let you work from anywhere. All you need to do is apply. Ever wondered how to be a freelancer without any experience? In fact, you may already have a job suitable for being a nomad and not even know it. If you could work from home half of the week, why not work online full time? If you have skills with customer service or admin why not offer your services online? Are you good at teaching? Work online as a teacher.
Jobs that allow you to work from anywhere
These top digital nomad job ideas come from people that are actually living location independent through their work. No more office commute, no more boring cubicle, no more tea breaks spent hearing about Brenda’s new diet. Freedom to work when and where you want.
Freelance Content Writer
Rachita – Meander Wander
It’s been 4 years now since I started working as a freelance content writer and made decent money while doing it. What started as a part-time job has become my full-time profession now and honestly, I love being a freelance content writer. The best part about this job is that I have the flexibility of work and my work location. So, I can be travelling in Vietnam or chilling in Goa and still be able to work from there. While there is no security, I often find several clients every month and a few times long-term clients as well so it’s pretty feasible.
Moreover, I make more money than what I would in my IT job and I have to work just 15 days a month now to earn the same amount or more. Apart from that, I have learned so much in this field by writing on different topics than I would have on my own. Honestly, as a freelance content writer, I have not only grown but am also able to properly enjoy my life and that’s truly amazing.
Video Editing / Videography
Chris – Global Shenanigans
It can be easy to forget that some of the skills you possess, that may seem so simple to you, are actually incredibly time-consuming and complicated for others. This is especially true when it comes to video editing. Some of the more basic editing features are only available if you have certain pro software, meaning if you are looking to get a one-off job done it is usually easier to hire out than buy software and learn the process yourself. That’s where I come in!
Making simple cuts, combining 5 videos into one seamless edit with smooth transitions, nice music and a logo in the corner. That can be a nightmare for many people or an afternoon’s work for others. This type of digital nomad job can really be done anywhere, as all the files can be sent back and forth via cloud transfers.
Your value can then be compounded by offering to get the footage yourself too. This could be done using stock footage, generic clips or if you’re really lucky, finding a client who will fly you out to a destination to film. The possibilities with video really are endless, the only thing limiting it is your creativity!
Teach English Online
Cass – Cassie The Hag
Although not the cool job people necessarily associate with jet-setting around the world, teaching English online remains one of the most common jobs for full-time nomads. While getting a TEFL is recommended to make the most of your English language skills financially, there are other options too.
Sites like Cambly and Palfish offer the opportunity for fluent English speakers to teach the English language through casual conversation with adults! Though both sites offer their highest rates to tutors who sign up for their Kid’s Courses, anyone who prefers a fully flexible and casual approach to work should consider signing up to be one of their conversation tutors over Skype or phone call. You don’t even have to choose your hours in advance! I go in-depth about how to teach English conversation and how to land a job without a TEFL here. Cambly conversation was a great way for me to earn cash on the road. And honestly pretty easy.
As someone with anxiety, this approach is also less pressure for anyone who feels too nervous teaching children or using a lesson plan. However, take it seriously when looking for a job all the same! You’ll need fast WiFi, a plain (or teacher-friendly) background and ideally a comfortable headset. A plain t-shirt that covers your shoulders is fine if you don’t have ‘office wear’ on the road! You can also read my blog above for tips on filling out your application to Cambly – and sending your short video introduction (which isn’t as scary as it sounds, promise)!
James – Wanderus Living
I have always wanted to work remotely while travelling full-time. Being a Legal Videographer has allowed this dream to come true. A legal videographer is not a typical videographer that uses a camera to record something. I work 100% from my laptop and use Zoom or other meeting software to hold a deposition. I am technically a sole proprietorship, which means I can work, or not work whenever I want.
I use two laptops and a black magic recording device to host a deposition on zoom and also record it. A deposition is used for legal cases, with Medical malpractice being the most common form. Everyone joins the zoom meeting from their house or office. I don’t even have to speak during the actual deposition, as I am just recording it. All that I require is a good internet speed above 10mb download to be able to work from anywhere at any time.
Online Sales Rep
Maddie – Wanderus Living
I am a huge Jeep fan and off-road enthusiast, and my job of selling Jeep accessories fits me perfectly. I work 100% remotely as a sales rep for Extreme Terrain, which is an aftermarket Jeep outfitter. All I need is a laptop and headset to be able to take calls, fulfil orders, and keep in contact with my team. My job is a typical 9-5 but I choose to only work 4 days per week. This gives me and my boyfriend a 3 day weekend all the time, which is great! We travel full-time in our RV and are able to explore the area Friday through Sunday, which gives us tons of freedom and flexibility.
Are you an avid reader? Think you could pen your very own novel? If you fancy yourself as the next J.K. Rowling but don’t quite have the plot worked out yet, ghostwriting can teach you a lot. There are people out there with amazing stories to tell, but they can’t quite get it down on paper. That’s where you come in. The job requires great interview skills, a lot of patience and attention to detail. Also, there’s the small matter of your ego. Your name won’t appear in print (that’s what you’re being paid for) but you will gain some fantastic experience in writing. And usually get paid upfront too. Take a ghostwriting course on Udemy to get a head-start on the competition.
Deb – The Visa Project
Here is the thing: when you think about freelancing as a digital nomad or having a job that will allow you to be a nomad, becoming a software engineer does check all the boxes. In my case, I have a degree in Engineering and had worked in an office as a software engineer for almost six years before making the switch to working remotely that would allow me to be anywhere in the world. So I already had the skill-sets and the technical expertise before starting out my life as a digital nomad on an Ecuador professional visa.
And there are many coding boot camps and organisations that teach women coding for free or for a cheap price. Once you feel like you have the skills, you can start networking with other coders. You can take freelancing projects on Upwork.com, Freelancer.com, Fiver, and other similar websites.
Facebook Ads Specialist
Jenny – Campsite Vibes
Prior to becoming a travel blogger, I worked as a Facebook Ads Specialist. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Communication with an emphasis in Advertising and Public Relations. When I graduated from college, I started on the organic side of social media marketing with managing accounts for clients. I was responsible for growing their following, posting engaging content, and engaging with their audience. As I gained more experience, I moved into running paid Facebook and Instagram Ads for a variety of clients.
As a Facebook Ads Specialist, my job was to understand who my client’s audience is and create Facebook and Instagram ads that will resonate with that audience and increase sales. Part of the job is understanding the sales funnel, understanding how to speak to that specific audience, how to get them to engage with your brand, and ultimately how to get them to buy.
This role involves understanding analytics, testing different ad campaigns to see which will work best, writing copy, creating the images used for the campaigns, monitoring the sales funnel, and the user experience to constantly optimise so clients see the best return on investment. This role does allow creativity but is also very data-driven.
Graphic Designer / Fiver
Daniel – Layer Culture
I’ve always been interested in design and anything visual. When I first started to travel I had to find a way to travel for longer whilst sustaining myself on the road. Knowing that that are many jobs that require travel that exist, I had to find a way to put my digital skills to use. I discovered Fiver back in 2017 but didn’t really think of it as a place to offer my services. I never liked the idea of selling a logo for five dollars and thought it was absurd that anyone would do that.
However, when I did some research I began to realise that I could get started by offering smaller assets such as web icons, social media kits such as Instagram templates for a small price (between $5-$20) then offer extras and other related services, such as custom logo designs, for a higher ticket price. I began to get orders and started to see myself grow as I had finally found a way to not only sustain myself travelling but afford to do more activities as my income increased over the space of 18 months. There was a lot of work involved in the beginning but I quickly realised that as the Fiver platform grew, I was growing with it. For anyone with any type of digital publishing skill that involves graphics or desktop publishing, you can create it into a gig on Fiver and start to promote it in order to level-up on the platform. Why not get started today?
Insurance/ House sitting
Vicky – Buddy The Travelling Monkey
I’ve been a digital nomad for three years thanks to my remote work for an insurance company and house sitting. My job wasn’t always entirely remote; when I first started with the company I was working in the office three days out of the week and remotely for two.
Eventually, however, I wanted to work completely remotely. I didn’t think my boss would be OK with that, though. I walked into his office and told him I was quitting, but he wasn’t having it. Instead, he proposed that I transition from full-time to part-time and said I could work 100% remotely. So, for the past three years I have been working remotely as a part-time employee for the company.
I’m an Invoice Specialist, which means I handle everything that has to do with putting invoices together and sending them out to our clients. I prepare everything for the invoice; I verify billing information, enter the amount due, and write out an itemised account of what the client is paying for. The beginning of the month is the busiest, but the last two weeks are usually pretty slow. That’s when I try to plan most of my travels. So even if something comes up for work, I’m able to log on to my computer from some pretty awesome places.
Lucile – Lucile HR
I am an online yoga teacher and digital nomad. I have been a yoga teacher for three years and decided to move things mostly online to reach a wider audience while I am travelling. I teach live and recorded classes, so this means I need to have a very good internet connection, as well as travel with video equipment. My favourite part about this job is that I get to help people from all over the world understand their bodies and feel all the benefits of yoga. I really enjoy that I can reach a population that would not have enjoyed going to an in-person yoga class in the first place.
Teaching yoga adds to my travels, since I always feel good after teaching a class. It is also a great way to keep sharing my practice with others in a very concrete way. It is definitely a rewarding job and having an internet presence helps me find more clients when I decide to settle down in a place for a while. If you are considering being an online yoga teacher too, you should know that you will need to train for it and treat it both as a passion and a business.
Slavka – On2Continents
If you love foreign languages and are good at two or more of them, you might consider becoming a translator. To clarify, a translator is a person transforming a written text from one language to another. Then there is the other half of the profession – interpreting – which involves working with the spoken language, e.g. simultaneously interpreting a speech of a foreign language speaker for their native language listener at international conferences. Interpreting is a highly stressful but rewarding profession that allows you to travel as well.
More suitable for digital nomads and location independence is translation. To become a translator, you should aim for a master’s degree in foreign languages with a specialisation in translation and interpreting. After university, you should get some practice by translating as much as possible and then take a professional association’s exam.
Another option without a linguistic education is science such as medical and engineering or law. But you must have an excellent command of two languages to become a specialised translator in any of these fields. Specialised translators are high in demand, they can work from anywhere and no amount of AI can beat them. The beginning stages take a lot of effort, but then you have the freedom of being your own, location independent boss.
Are these the best remote working jobs from anywhere in the world?
There are so many great platforms to get started on like Upwork and Fiver. If you can turn your current profession into an online career that allows you to travel, why not get started today? These jobs that allow you to work from anywhere give you the freedom to live life by your own rules without the risk of setting up your own business. Even if you have absolutely no experience there’s a digital nomad job for just about anyone. Subscribe to Lost Wanders to get tips and updates on living a nomad lifestlye.
How to travel better for less
Booking.com – I always book with this site if looking for cheap accommodation as the filters are so easy to use. Become a genius member after five bookings and get great discounts too!
Air BnB – Sometimes you can find great local places to stay on Air BnB. In some countries, like Cuba, it’s the only way to book!
Transferwise – A debit card you can use all over the world and get great exchange rates with no hidden fees. This bank has saved me £100’s in bank fees!
Monzo – A similar travel card to the above with additional features like joint accounts and bill splitting.
Ethical Superstore – My go to site for cleaning products, eco clothing and even groceries. All ethically tagged and delivered free from plastic packaging. Plus eco friendly alternatives to your toiletries.
Omio – The place to go for all of your public transport needs in Europe. Save a bundle!
G Adventures – A sustainable, fun, responsible travel company. I’ve travelled with them many times and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of their amazing trips.
Contiki – The day job. Group travel for 18/35 year olds and memories to last a lifetime.
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Travel like a pro
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