What’s the difference between being location independent and being a digital nomad?
Let’s talk about the similarities first:
- Both make money by working online
- They travel to different areas
- They’ve got jobs that work WITH their lifestyle
- They’re not chained to an office (but they could have one if they wanted)
- They hustle, learn, and work!
How can you start being either/or? Which one works best for your lifestyle? Which one’s better in general?
I knew I wanted to become a location independent copywriter and content strategist when I started The Quirky Pineapple Studio. I wanted a job that worked with me, could adapt to my lifestyle, and still provide for me with various income streams. Becoming a digital nomad was never my plan – but I decided to give it a shot with others, through Job Trippin’, and let me tell you what I’ve learned about giving both a try!
My definition of being location independent means:
- You work online
- Offices can be from your home, an actual office, cafés, or coworking spaces
- You return to your home base after traveling
- Moving every few months isn’t really part of the plan
- You could prefer to travel for short periods of time and then return back home
Although I love traveling, I knew I didn’t want to do it full-time and constantly; moving from one location to the next. Of course, everyone moves at their own pace – but I definitely prefer to move slower. I love having my home base and returning to “my bed” after traveling!
Because I’m a copywriter and content strategist, most of my work only requires a stable Internet connection, a few tools and systems to keep track of projects, client communications, and my backend processes for The Quirky Pineapple Studio. My clients come from three different niches: hospitality, tourism, and gastronomy – allowing me the opportunity to meet them in their cities/countries, while I’m on the road, or through networking online!
A tool that I love using to have client meetings in different cities and countries is through the app Croissant. You’re able to pay a membership fee to the application and have access to coworking spaces all over the world (hello, perfect for someone who’s location independent AND a digital nomad)! I’m able to try out different spaces in my own city and any other city I visit – which is great because I love switching up my workspace!
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By being location independent – I have the opportunity to travel and work, work and travel, work, travel, and still enjoy the opportunity to discover my home city! I prefer feeling extremely integrated and immersed somewhere, which is why building connections and relationships in one place is the core of how my network really works for me.
Who knows if I’ll be a digital nomad (one day)! For right now, I love being location independent and having the freedom AND flexibility to move and stay where I please and coming home to my own space (and inviting all of my new friends to my home)!
What being a digital nomad means to me:
- Working online
- Offices can be from your apartment, a coworking space, or cafés
- You don’t have a home base – it’s wherever you’re living for the time being
- You move every few months, from different cities to different countries!
- Working and traveling is part of your everyday life
After trying a location independent lifestyle, an opportunity presented itself to travel with a digital nomad program for a few months in Latin America. Although working and traveling is something I generally don’t like doing – I decided to try the digital nomad lifestyle. I left my home base in Madrid, Spain and decided to move from one month to the next in two different Latin American cities.
My work allowed me to take my client work on the road and my schedule is flexible enough that I can organize my days to match the activities and traveling that I wanted to do! I made sure that my client communications were set-up and prepared for my travels, set expectations, and kept details honest and transparent – so my clients knew that work would continue to be completed according to our timelines! Of course, because I work in the hospitality, tourism, and gastronomy industries – living in one place for a month gave me the opportunity to really build relationships with local businesses. Businesses that I would have never been able to fully connect with if I wasn’t living in different cities around the world.
By being a digital nomad – I have the opportunity to travel and work, work and travel, work, travel, and enjoy the opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture and space! I still prefer feeling extremely integrated and immersed somewhere, but having a few “intensive” and “stimulating” months comes with new and different opportunities!
Could I be a digital nomad forever? Right now, I prefer to be location independent and have the freedom and flexibility to become a digital nomad if an opportunity comes up!
So, which one is better?
What’s the better option?
Honestly, I can’t tell you!
But, if you do decide to take on either of these work and travel lifestyles, here are a few things to consider before:
- How will you generate your income and revenue – not just for your travels, but being sustainable in the long-term?
- What can be automated and simplified in your processes to take your business on the road without any hiccups?
- What expectations will you set with your clients, what about your boundaries?
- What does your workflow look like?
- Do you know how to manage your time effectively and efficiently?
Having these things in place beforehand are KEY to creating a location independent or digital nomad lifestyle!
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Got any questions about either of these work and travel lifestyles? Drop them in the comments below!
Enjoyed this post? You might like these, too:
Creativity & Entrepreneurship in Latin America
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Live & Work Abroad as a Female Entrepreneur Pt. 1
Live & Work Abroad as a Female Entrepreneur Pt. 2