What is a digital nomad? – About the liberties of perpetual traveling
When people ask me what I am doing for living I often answer: I am a digital nomad now. But what is it actually?
According to Wikipedia digital nomads “are people who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their life in a nomadic manner”. The very radical ones only have one backpack of stuff and are not even registered in their home country anymore. Those people are also known as PT. PT stands for perpetual or permanent traveler. One can also interpret it as prior taxpayer, since one is – if done right – not any longer liable for income tax anywhere in the world. In my case PT might even stand for paranoid traveler :-)
Advantages of a nomad life
There is a whole variety of advantages you have when you leave you unregister in your home country and start traveling permanently through the world. Not all advantages might be interesting for everyone but here you get a list of such advantages you could have:
First and foremost, it’s the ability to choose where you want to live. You just stay there where you like it the most. You choose your own weather, your own nature and your preferred culture. And if you don’t like it (anymore) you just switch the location. How would you like two months of Caribbean instead of two weeks of holidays at your aunt’s lake house? The world offers just too many interesting people, places and attractions to just stay your whole life in your village?
Doing it right you don’t even need to pay any taxes on your work anymore. Also, your company can be free of any taxation. Why tax on labor and companies is economically absurd anyway I have explained in another article. Of course, you may still pay enough duties because of consumption taxes and taxes which are hidden in the prices of products. Yes, you might be able to get your sales tax (VAT) back in some countries under certain conditions. But still the tax burden is too high to be justified by the main competences of a state. But at least you can eventually flee from the de facto 70 percent tax which we have for example in Germany.
You can manage your company as you find it reasonable. You don’t have to pay unemployment creating minimum wages. You can hire who you consider being qualified. Discriminatory quotas or duplicitous anti-discrimination law don’t apply anymore. The accounting you can do if wished only for yourself and according to your logic. Tax declarations and yearly reporting are if implemented correctly not mandatory any longer.
You are much more efficient if you don’t have to waste so much time for bureaucracy and earning your tax payments. But you can invest this time in your own business.
As a nomad, you can work and live wherever you want. Just take 2 minutes to pack your backpack and you are ready to go. If I like to go to Thailand today I just book a flight – of course always within the scope of my budget. You are also more flexible in regards to special offers and last minute flights. Because you can fly even if there are no school holidays. You don’t have to apply for leave anyway since you can do all your work on the road.
As a permanent tourist, you are a great profiteer of globalization. You have your clients in countries with a high standard of living and where you get high wages. And you yourself live and buy in countries with a low-price level. So, the 4-hour work week becomes possible for everyone.
As a freelancer, you are of course more flexible with your time than an employee. As a PT, you are even flexible with your location. So, you can always go to different places during the best or cheapest times.
If you are a cosmopolitan you surely will get to know more and different people as you would be staying in your place of birth. Therefore, also the range of choices increases. For example, it is said that Asian women are not as feministic than Western ones while in the wide world there are still many men who treat women with respect, are loyal and want to provider for their family. There should be someone for anyone ;-)
Free education of your children
If you make it – and many did it already – you can even travel perpetually with your family. This means that there is no state anymore which interferes with your education of your children. Unlike in Germany you may home school your children like it is still possible in many other countries in the world. An indoctrination by government through compulsory schooling is not possible anymore.
The German passport is currently (still) the best of the world. But the future for Europe doesn’t look very bright. As a PT, you can think about getting a second pillar for your life somewhere else. There are many citizenships which you might get very easily if you happen to visit the country sometimes. But how should you make it with only a few days of holiday during the year? If you don’t want to sacrifice your own passport you still can get many permanent residencies in several countries.
As you might know there are many excellent medical facilities nowadays everywhere in the world which are even much cheaper than at home. But unfortunately, it is not economically smart anymore if you have to book for example an expensive ticket to Thailand and back to get your treatment. But what if you are there anyway. You then might be able to stop by for some cheap deals.
In many countries cash will be banned soon. Everywhere you hear about negative interest rates. Banks are unsecure and banking confidentiality is gone anyway. However, it is not like this everywhere around the globe. Why not opening an account somewhere offshore?
Many Germans think that you are screwed outside of the German welfare state. But it’s quite the opposite! For example, I have found a very good and cheap health insurance which covers me permanently in the whole world. But if I would be still registered in Germany I couldn’t get this insurance due to legal reasons. And when I know as a privately insured person visit Germany I don’t have to wait months for a doctor’s appointment and get a better treatment than publicly insured Germans in addition to that.
As a tourist, you get treated better everywhere. You are suddenly a foreigner and many people are interested in you. You might even get invited to stay at someone’s house. In Sri Lanka, I have even experienced that the police during a traffic control was so happy about the encounter that they started a small talk instead of controlling me. Then they let me just move on driving. In Thailand tourists even have their own police. After all you bring a lot of money in their country as a tourist therefore you might get better protection. As a German for example you might even get treated better than the locals regarding human rights and free speech. You won’t imprison a German citizen as quickly as your own since it might have diplomatical consequences. However, it might also run in another direction. You might get kidnapped more likely as a German citizen than a local person. You just have to know where you are going!
Freedom of speech
Since you are not ready at the government’s hand you might use your freedom of speech much more than if you were residing somewhere permanently. I might even write on this blog what I want and don’t need to be afraid to pay a fine because of supposed hate speech (or maybe soon even the spreading of fake news or whatever our government will invent). After all I am not writing this in Germany right now.
The possibility of return
A return is of course never impossible. Until then a perpetual traveler will have many valuable experiences, friends and maybe even some money.
Generally, the many opportunities and new (even time-wise) freedoms help you to become more relaxed. Whoever has less stressful times and less negative thoughts will be much more optimistic and will be able to accomplish more things.
Everything is legal
And the best is, it is all legal. Liberated.blog is very serious about keeping the laws. Even though most laws nowadays are unjustified and true morality is enforced less besides all moral aspects it is even pragmatically better to obey the law.
Becoming a digital nomad
I am convinced that (almost) everyone can enjoy these advantages and start traveling as a nomad around the world. Nowadays it has become so easy to find cheap accommodations and flights. Private and commercial matters can be widely digitalized. One backpack with notebook and smartphone gives you many opportunities to build your online business. In another article you will learn how to earn money location independently. For all (future) nomads and online entrepreneurs I have compiled a list with valuable online tools. When you want to receive regularly information and ideas for a location independent life and business you might want to subscribe to the Liberated.blog newsletter. If you are diligent and somewhat penny-wise in the beginning it should be possible for you to be traveling throughout the world as digital nomad soon.
So… what are you waiting for? What is still keeping you back? Do you have any obligation which bind you to home? Or have you maybe successfully overcome obstacles which first seemed contradictory to a life as perpetual traveler? I am curious about you experiences. Please share them with us and write a comment below!