Digital Nomads: Writers, traders & trainers who travel the world, working online

Ever wanted to ditch the day job, bust out of the office and jet off into the sunset? Although it used to be the case that a lottery win was the only way out of the 9-to-5, the age of the internet has changed things dramatically.

Today, professionals are powering up their laptops and working remotely from virtually anywhere in the world. From writing, graphic design, website building, forex trading, and other professions that are location-independent, people are now swapping offices for beaches.

In many respects, the “digital nomad” lifestyle really started to take prominence thanks to bloggers and travel writers. Almost by design, this profession not only gives the writer the freedom to travel, it makes it a necessity. Indeed, as Matthew Kepnes explained during an interview with TheNextWeb, his decision to live the remote lifestyle was merely a consequence of what he was doing. After returning from an 18-month overseas excursion in 2008, “Nomadic Matt” set up a blog as a way of recounting his stories and showcasing his writing skills to potential employers. However, within 12 months the blog had started to attract enough visitors that he could monetise it and generate a decent income. Today, according to Matt, he can “work anywhere he wants”, while he’s dispensing budget travel tips to his readers.

Trade as You Travel: Navin Prithyani

Although travel writers may still be recognised as the original digital nomads, they’re not the only tech-savvy workers out there anymore. One of the more interesting trades to up sticks and set up camp anywhere is forex traders. As Anna Hart has noted, the “rise of the digital nomad” has combined with technology to make remote working popular amongst traders. In the past, it wasn’t easy for the average person to become a trader. Through a combination of access, knowledge and, importantly, money, forex trading was something a closed club. Today, however, things are very different. Thanks to the internet, virtually anyone can set up a trading account. For many, the ability to use something known as leverage is the biggest benefit of trading online. In simple terms, leverage allows you to invest a very small amount in a very large product (i.e. currency). However, as important as this is, the internet’s real gift to aspiring traders is knowledge.

When trading wasn’t something the masses could do, it was hard to learn the ropes. Today, online forex academies not only give you the basics for free, but explain common trading strategies such as the Elliot Waves theory. Using these resources to learn when it’s best to trade and when not to, it’s now possible for amateurs to join the market without going broke. In fact, as digital nomad and trader Navin Prithyani has shown, the internet offers a wealth of knowledge and insights at all levels. Prithyani has been connecting with fellow traders, reviewing daily updates and bouncing ideas off of experts for the best part of a decade. On top of this, he now offers his own advice through various forex platforms. This, in reality, is all thanks to the internet. Indeed, through a combination of learning and communication, Prithyani makes a consistent profit that allows him to live a luxury lifestyle in places such as Bangkok, the Maldives, and Hong Kong.

Teaching as You Travel: Steve Maxwell

Beyond the worlds of writing and trading, teachers have decided to take their product out into the wilderness. Although traditional academic teachers haven’t jumped on the bandwagon in the same way others have, the opportunities are there and personal trainers are a great example of this. Steve Maxwell, a fitness expert for more than 40 years, now lives one of the most nomadic lives of anyone in his profession.

Without a home of his own or a myriad of possessions, Maxwell is able to pack his worldly belongings in a single backpack and travel the world. In fact, what Maxwell has managed to do is combine a nomadic online/offline lifestyle. Part of the 65-year-old’s day involves teaching live workshops around the world. However, on top of this, he offers online exercise sessions, Skype consultations, and diet advice. Additionally, through videos and blog posts, Maxwell is able to improve the fitness levels of people around the world from wherever he is in the world. Although he may have taken things to the extreme, he’s an example of what’s possible with an internet connection and a few simple moves. Moreover, Maxwell has shown that age isn’t a barrier when it comes to the digital nomad life. At an age where many are thinking about retirement, Maxwell is seeing more of the world than those that have given up work.

Whether you become a high rolling professional trader or a part-timer just looking to build some extra wealth, travelling is still something that can be done simultaneously. Travelling can be used as a way to reduce living expenses, increase the quality of life, discover new cultures, new experiences, and reduce stress. Having that flexibility to choose where you work is a luxury that most people do not have. But, if you’re someone that can harness the power of the internet and find a novel way to ply your trade, the life of a digital nomad is one that can ultimately prove hugely rewarding.