Who Can be a Digital Nomad?

Posted on Jun 28, 2019 | 0 comments

Who Can be a Digital Nomad?

Picture a group of digital nomads: Youthful people in their 20s, technologically savvy, backpack-clad as they wander about the planet. Is this lifestyle really only suitable for young professionals?

We recently blogged about the potential for offering a digital nomad life as a means to recruit and attract millennials. This group has shown a firm belief that they don’t want to wait for retirement to travel, and combining work and mobility can be a powerful lure for this demographic. However, the idea that travelling the world while working from a laptop is something that appeals only to the younger generation is increasingly being proven false. According to Forbes, most digital nomads are over 38. Forbes also predicts that by 2020, freelancers could comprise half the workforce; older workers may find they have options they’d never considered previously.


There is growing evidence that people from all age groups are taking advantage of technology to work as they travel and live in different countries. Many report that age is no barrier; one seasoned traveler, Keith, began working location-independent after he turned 40 and points out some benefits of becoming a remote worker in one’s later years:


Budgets: Things that may seem like luxuries to a younger, less established worker may be easily achievable for a more seasoned professional. For example, older nomads usually insist on accommodations that are quiet, private, comfortable, and that offer fast, security wi-fi. Older workers may be less concerned about money running out.


Immigration & Security Issues: From most observations, it seems much less likely to get stopped at immigration, customs or security lines and interrogated as you get older. Countries like Thailand become even easier to access. Retirement visas are available to people over 55 years of age as long as they can prove a regular income.


Life Experience:  A long life means more time to develop skills for handling both personal and professional issues. The challenges of living in a new country may seem more resolvable to workers with more experience.


New Perspectives: Another blogger points out that leaving a familiar environment for a new one can be intimidating, but is also rewarding and refreshing and can help people retain flexibility, open mindedness and spontaneity as they get older.


Older digital nomads (I’ve even seen them called “silver nomads!”) may have considerations their younger counterparts don’t, such as ensuring a certain level of health care accessibility and reliable travel insurance for ongoing health issues. Some older workers have eschewed the trusty backpack and are willing to pay extra for baggage handling.


Interested in hearing some success stories? This article talks about “gray nomads,” the term Australia gives to its retirees who decide to travel and work along the way. Keith offers a nice collection of interviews with older nomads who’ve found success. #LiveWorkAnywhere offers specific guidance for how baby boomers can work remotely from anywhere so that they have options for working and traveling.


As this portion of the global workforce continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how its demographics change. If you can’t move your job at the present moment to a new country, it may be something you can look forward to in the future, rather than an opportunity that has been missed.


Interested in learning more about how to move your job to another country?

Passport Career provides more detailed career information and extensive resources about networking, finding an international job or internship, country-specific business protocol and culture, alternative career opportunities, writing country-specific resumes/CVs, cover letters and interview strategies for other countries. If your university/college, organization, company, embassy, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios and global career training program (50,000+ pages of expert content for 90+ countries and 275+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please click here to contact us (or send email to: global@passportcareer.com) regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career. Individuals making a career transition are also encouraged to contact us for a free demo of our portal.


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