16 July 2024

Forbes: 3 High-Paying Freelance Jobs For Digital Nomads In 2024

Did you know that there is currently an estimated 40 million digital nomads globally? Of that number, almost 50% (17.3 million) are American workers.

At the same time, freelancing is also increasing in popularity. An estimated 64 million Americans representing 38% of the U.S. workforce performed freelance work in 2023, up from 60 million last year, according to a 2023 report published in December by Upwork.

It’s no surprise that many successful freelancers are turning to digital nomadism as their new office headquarters. Nothing quite beats the thrill of hitting the road, hiking the trail, or flying across the continent to explore somewhere new, while having the freedom to work on your own projects and earn a high income while doing it.

What is a digital nomad?  

In their research report The Digital Nomad: Buzzword or research category, Müller defines digital nomads in the following way: 

“The term “digital nomad” describes people who no longer rely on work in a conventional office; instead, they can decide freely when and where to work. They can essentially work anywhere, as long as they have their laptop with them and access to a good internet connection. This means that their workplace might be in a shared office in Berlin, Germany for one month, and a month later they will be working on the same project in a café in Chiang Mai, Thailand.” 

The term was originally coined by Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners in their 1997 book titled Digital Nomad, which pretty accurately predicted the nomadic lifestyle we are now witnessing. 

The definition and evolution of digital nomadism can’t be separated from the development of technology. The paper The History of Digital Nomadism helps us trace the evolution of the term, noting, for example, how the first telecommuting jobs gave rise to the first surge of backpackers in Thailand in the 1980s. 

It’s also important to note that the term digital nomad might be entirely replaced by the term  “location-independent entrepreneur”, which communicates all the nuances that make up the lifestyle more accurately. 

The difference between digital nomads, remote workers, and expats 

The term digital nomad is often confused with two other similar terms — remote workers and expats

To best illustrate the difference between digital nomads, remote workers, and expats, we can take a look at the scalar definition of the term digital nomad developed by Ina Reichenberger in the article Digital Nomads — a quest for holistic freedom in work and leisure:

“Digital nomads are individuals who achieve location independence by: 

  • Conducting their work in an online environment, 
  • Transferring this independence to mobility by not consistently working in one designated personal office space, but 
  • Using the possibility to simultaneously work and travel to the extent that no permanent residence exists.”

Read more here https://pumble.com/learn/digital-nomad-visa/statistics/

Written by Rachel Wells

LinkedIn Top Voice. Silver winner of the London Chamber of Commerce’s Young Business Person of The Year 2024.

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