Tips & Guides / Digital Nomads

What Is a Digital Nomad?

By Landing | Mar 18, 2020
Digital nomad works from a laptop.

A digital nomad is, in essence, someone whose job enables them to work from anywhere, whether it’s in a coffee shop, coworking space, or the comfort of their furnished apartment. It’s those who aren’t bound by normal conventions, who want to travel the country, explore new horizons and experience a culture outside the confines of the office. All you need is an internet connection, your laptop, a beverage of your choice and you’re ready. 

Want to learn more about what it’s like to be a digital nomad? Keep on reading as we explain the lifestyle.

What does the lifestyle entail? 

Yes, being a digital nomad is having a job that gives you the freedom to travel. But it’s so much more than that. 

The digital nomad lifestyle is for the restless ones, those who live to travel and travel to live. It’s waking up, slipping into your dressing gown and writing two hours’ worth of computer code without having to get dressed. It’s being able to slip out at lunch for your favorite sandwich down the street, but knowing you’re the master of your own time, how you work, and when you work. The freedom of a remote job allows you to move to another city whenever you want, making furnished apartments the ideal home for the working traveler.

Digital nomad remote jobs

Digital nomads come in every shape and form, from software developers to copywriters to e-business entrepreneurs trying to earn a quick buck on the side. Typically, a digital nomad will rely upon a set of skills they use to offer a specific service. More often than not, the work can be managed solely through a laptop, which means they can work anywhere there’s reliable internet. 

For the digital nomad, think graphic designers, copywriters, marketers, language teachers, and software engineers. The digital nomad’s type of work has no confines—it’s merely a job that can be done remotely. 

Better yet, there’s a growing trend in companies to embrace remote working. A survey by the New York Times in 2017 found that 43% of Americans spent at least some time working remotely. Today, digital nomads can also be full-time employees. 

Here’s a list of the typical jobs digital nomads have:

  • Software, Web, and App Developer – These are by far the most common of all digital nomads. Since all that a developer needs is a computer and an internet connection, many are free to work remotely, often for companies based in their native country. 
  • Graphic Designer – Those with a flair for digital art and design are in demand as freelancers across the country. 
  • English Teacher – Certified English teachers can earn up to $20 an hour teaching English online, and even more for contracted work with an online school.
  • Translation – There are numerous platforms that offer professional services such as this, with an army of workers across the U.S. providing translation services ad hoc.
  • Taking Online Surveys – No prior skills needed here—just a knack for sharing your opinions on products and projects to help brands with their customer research. 

Where to find remote work

If you know where to look, it’s surprisingly easy to find remote work. You could first find out if your existing job supports remote working, or even apply to potential employers to ask if they have remote work positions available. There are several job search platforms to find contracted remote work, such as:

If you’d like to truly embrace the digital nomad lifestyle, be your own boss, and manage your own time, perhaps freelance work is for you. If you have a set of skills you can offer as a service, the platforms below can help you network and meet clients remotely: 

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What if I don’t have a professional skill?

Worried that you might not have the skills necessary to work remotely? Not a problem, these days there are tons of different in-demand skills that you can learn yourself. For example, there are online courses to learn web, app, and software design—although sometimes expensive, web development and software engineering can be extremely lucrative forms of remote work. 

The point is no matter where you are in the world, there are various workshops online for all sorts of different skills. Want to be a copywriter? A graphic designer? A translator? You don’t have to go back to academia. You have free, valuable resources at your fingertips. 

Home for digital nomads

There are those who like to live constantly on the move, chasing the adventure, laying their head where they can. But there are various lifestyles that someone with a remote job can live. Part of what makes these lifestyles so appealing is being able to earn enough money to enjoy the comforts of home, yet not have to compromise on work-life balance. 

One way digital nomads are creating structure in their lives is through living in furnished apartments like ours, here at Landing. No longer do digital nomads have to worry about signing rental contracts that might tie them down to a specific location. Now, they can utilize properties—curated and designed specifically for professionals—that offer month-to-month leasing in various locations. Below are some areas that we serve that happen to be a few of the best places for digital nomads

  • New York Every digital nomad will (at some point in their lives) want to take a bite out of the Big Apple. With more than half a million professional freelancers working in the city, the digital nomad is surrounded by like-minded people. New York boasts some of the most innovative co-working spaces, as well as numerous parks, public libraries, and art galleries. With short-term rentals in NYC popping up everywhere, this place is perfect for the digital nomad that wants to quickly call this place home for a while.
  • San Francisco Home to the famous ‘Silicon Valley,’ San Francisco is one of the most popular West Coast destinations for digital nomads (especially for software engineers and web developers). Whether it’s hanging out in Golden Gate Park, sipping a coffee in the Mission District, or taking your board down to the beach, San Francisco caters to various lifestyles. There are also several volunteer-run groups on sites like MeetUp, as well as numerous co-working spaces, where remote workers can mingle, network, and socialize. Digital nomads also can benefit from a variety of beautifully furnished short-term rentals in San Francisco.
  • Chicago – For those who want to escape the higher rents of NYC or LA, Chicago is a great go-between. An international transport and business hub with a reliable network, Chicago feels more interconnected than ever before. You’ll find comfortable, furnished apartments in Chicago, across a number of neighborhoods. So, wherever you feel most at home, you can count on having a place to stay. Add to that its hip neighborhoods of Wicker Park and Logan Square, its breezy midwestern feel, and, of course, delectable deep-dish pizzas, it’s easy to see why Chicago is a popular destination for remote workers of various types.
  • Miami – Glamorous Miami, with its white-sand beaches, Caribbean feel, and stylish Art-Deco scene charms working travelers instantly. But dig a little deeper beneath the surface and you’ll find vast networks of remote workers living in furnished apartments in Miami, but uniting in the city’s cafes, co-work spaces, and parks. Not only do you benefit from the warmer climate in the Sunshine State, but you’ll also get to experience the city’s famous nightlife scene.

How easy is it to make a living?

Now that you understand the lifestyle(s) of the digital nomad, it’s time to consider the practical implications of pursuing the digital nomadic lifestyle. Ultimately, it depends on what kind of work you’re doing, where you live, and the kind of lifestyle you like to lead. Digital nomads, on the whole, tend to be a thrifty bunch, who follow the path as much for the traveling as for the paycheck. If you’re starting off freelancing, expect it to be a slow but organic process.

As your skills develop, typically this will result in a larger paycheck. Additionally, the type of work you choose to do will influence the amount of money you’ll start off making and the ceiling you can reach.  

Why become a digital nomad

The benefits of the digital nomadic lifestyle are obvious: the freedom to travel, choose your own schedule, and in doing so have more time for your own hobbies. 

Findings from a survey released by oDesk in 2014—“Digital Nomads: A Revolution in Work Freedom—show 92% said they’re happier working remotely than they were in their office job. This happiness translates into greater productivity too. In a 2015 CoSo survey, 77% reported greater productivity, while 52% are less likely to take time off than their office-based colleagues. 

The adventure awaits…

The life of a digital nomad is as adventurous as it is rewarding. If you’re a professional that wants to learn how to become a digital nomad and work remotely, then, in reality, all you need on your digital nomad packing list is Wi-Fi connection and your computer. If you’re embarking on this adventure and you happen to be here in the US, here at Landing we specialize in relocation housing. We provide fully-furnished apartments, lightning-fast Wi-Fi, and short-term rental contracts. We know that your heart belongs on the road, so we want to make your pit stops as convenient as possible.

Your next adventure is there for the taking, so what are you waiting for? Book a furnished apartment in your next city!


Ted may be the world's slowest typist and struggle to hold a pen, but he has mastered how to pursue a more flexible lifestyle throughout his airborne adventures around the U.S. Whether you're looking for more information before migrating to a new city or want to find an easier way to rent a nest—erm, apartment—Ted will always be here to share his best advice for where to live and how to thrive.