Have you ever thought “there’s no place for me in the remote landscape”? You’ll be surprised to see just how many different digital nomad personality types are successfully traveling and making money. Some without even a laptop!
Depending on your personality, skill set, lifestyle type, and career goals, you’ll fall into one of these 9 kinds of digital nomads. Wondering where you fit? Take a look at these vastly different traveling worker bees that I’ve come to know in my travels.
Doing what they love, working any hours they want, and having the satisfaction of being able to do it anywhere. This type of digital nomad thrives on using their imagination and turning those ideas into a reality.
All creatives take pride in the process of creation, with a great love for innovative evolution. They can take a single idea and bring it through to the final product. Seeing their natural talents published in stores or digital marketplace as their reward.
As a traveler, these types excel immensely. They need to have this type of flexibility in their daily lives to succeed. For instance, it shouldn’t be expected that creative juices flow naturally 8 hours a day between the hours of 9am-5pm. Their work and quality of life vibrate on a higher frequency when they can work when and where they choose.
Between world renowned art museums, urban graffiti walls, to Rasta bungalows with hammocks, creativity sparks much more organically and out of the box thinking comes fluidly. A location independent lifestyle should be a prerequisite to those empowered by the right brain.
Don’t be fooled though. To succeed, this role needs a ton of discipline, dedication, and time management. The creative process is most fulfilling, but we have to keep to deadlines to get the job done.
A Creative Entrepreneur in the Real World:
My friend Christina for example is a creative entrepreneur who has a niche business in horse training. She has a blog, YouTube channel, hosts retreats in Iceland, and sells her horse illustrations on shirts and sneakers to her channels. When not working on her own business, she’s creating photos and video for the top horseback riding tour operators around the world. Talk about dedication and time management through all creative outlets.
common jobs: web and graphic designer, illustrator, photographer, fashion designer.
The Innovative Thinker
These quiet digital nomad types are often found somewhere in the corner of a coffee shop in Rome. They may be writing their novel, formulating a thesis on climate change, or preparing a speech at an upcoming event. Similarly to the Creative, they turn their imagination into a reality. This time into words and excel when they’re free to roam about the planet.
This type has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. They get their satisfaction from language-based activity such as reading, writing, sharing ideas and creating theories. Since they communicate best in writing, the remote world grants them loads of job opportunities. For instance, ghost writing, content blogging, and copy writing in every form.
The art of crafting written work is usually what’s most satisfying. They’re hardly ever working on just one thing. This type enjoys the flexibility of different projects that provoke different thoughts and perspectives. They all have their niche, from writing quizzes to online course scripts. Some may write speeches for lecturers, while others get up on stage, go on tour, and inspire the world.
An Innovative Thinker in the Real World:
My friend Elisa is a fabulous writer. She spends her days ghostwriting a book for a client, training to become a book editor, and in the midst of writing her own novel. A slow traveler who spends her year between England and Italy and spends her days on her balcony and plays the guitar to her own written songs at night.
If you ever come across these types, don’t take their time for granted. They have a certain mystic and brilliance about them that becomes intoxicating. They have a different approach to life, knowledge and viewpoint on every topic. Once engaged, you’ll possibly have the most mind-elevating conversation of your life.
common jobs: lecturer, inspirational speaker, consultant, writer, historians, journalist.
The Tech Wiz
They build the extensions in your chrome bar, outfits on FortNight, and can do much more than build an app. Some come from the top software companies of the Nation (try Google, Twitter, and Tesla to start). Others have adapted their talents through vigorous Udemy courses.
This digital nomad is a combination of the Creative and Thinker with a touch of numbers and code. Meaning, they don’t enjoy the process of design from scratch, but enjoy creating order out of the chaos. A typical pairing of these two are a web designer and web developer. There’s a reason why it takes these two to tango for website creation. Both are highly creative, but in very different ways.
They love to stay busy, work methodically, and have great attention to detail. They’re task focused, like a systematic order, and spend many hours on technical processes that would make others deranged. They can be perfectionists and real sticklers for following procedures. This nomad is sure to get every detail just right, making for a very happy client on the other side.
A Tech Whiz in the Real World:
I once met a guy living in Koh Tao who was designing an entire hospital (floor plan and all) from start to finish. In code, in CAD, and whatever his 3 screen setup displayed. That is where this fine attention to detail and processes are of the utmost importance.
They are individually the most extraordinary human beings you can come across. They have a superpower of turning lime green numbers on a black screen into something that hasn’t been invented yet. They’re building hospitals and saving lives. They are without a doubt the Einstein of our century, and some of my most favorite location independent workers.
common jobs: software engineers, developers of all kinds (web, games, front and back end) or something with a mysterious acronym
The Ambitious Analyst
Logical problem solvers who are usually found wearing blue light blocker glasses staring at carefully crafted excel sheets of numbers. Their finances are always in order, are up to date with the stock market, know the best credit cards and travel hacks, and budget their monthly expenses to a tee.
You may find this digital nomad very opinionated and stuck in their ways. That’s because these types are well, analytical. They fact check everything and don’t make assumptions before arriving at a practical course of action for the task at hand. This digital nomad relies on the facts necessary to achieve their goal and expect others to follow suit. So you’ll have to excuse them when they can’t possibly imagine there’s another way of doing things when there’s no data to back it.
They have a natural thirst for knowledge. For instance, on their most laidback evenings, they can be found taking part in masterminds and games of codenames. You won’t find them binge watching Netflix. They’d rather be checking off every book for personal and business development in their goodreads library.
They can be incredibly ambitious, decisive, and highly focused. Goal setting is just one of their expertise along with writing their own annual review. They are believers in the “quantified self” documenting their financial gains, losses, and personal patterns in habits spanning health, finance, productivity, sleep and more. As a result, they like security and often come from the corporate world. Some may have remote 9-5s, have their own consulting business, or do finance and budgeting for others.
An Ambitious Analyst in the Real World:
My friend Ben for example is a certified financial analyst. He also does business development for a block chain fundraising platform, runs his own mastermind program, and built the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform in Thailand. All while traveling the world, blue light blocker glasses in hand.
Common jobs: financial analyst, tax consultant, credit card writer, S&P,
The Adventure Seeker
The adventurer, like other remote workers, gets their satisfaction from memorable experiences. They especially love anything that gives them an adrenaline rush and higher sense of freedom. This digital nomad tends to live in their own dream world. They’re brave, curious, and not afraid to try new things and adapt to change much more easily than others.
These digital nomad types found an adventure sport along their travels, fell in love, and decided to stay (or go). Most common ones are diving, surfing, skiing, kite surfing and skiing. Luckily for them, there are enough locations for them to pick up new jobs in a new destination. There’s some restriction here, but 3-4 months hoping from one tropical island or mountain peak to the other sounds like a pretty nice life to live.
They’re considered the locals to some of these places, and in most cases love to be your tour guide. Of course they’ll teach you a thing or two about what they love doing most, so you best take your free lesson! If you come across one along your travels be sure to friend them. They are of the most friendliest and giving nomads out there and love to greet travelers as they pass through. They don’t need a computer to make an income, just their courageous nature and innate teaching skills to pay the bills.
An Adventure Seeker in the Real World:
I’ve had the luxury of becoming good friends with my scuba diving instructor in Thailand, a Finninsh guy who I later ran into in Bali. Him, his wife, and two adorable children ride the wave and follow the tropical aquatic world and relocate 3 times a year. Their kids attend international school, and will have the best childhood memories island hopping than any of us will have.
Common jobs: dive, surf, ski, kite surf, skydive, rock climbing, instructor and operations
The Remote 9-5er
Not the dreamiest of jobs since they are still required to be online on specific hours. They still have some flexibility though and can choose to live wherever they want, but this lifestyle comes with an asterisk. Some work through the night so they can enjoy their day, while others choose a closer time zone and still work a “9-5” but in an exotic location.
Usually the kickoff to the digital nomad lifestyle, these types found a means to let their current employer let them go remote, still make a competitive salary, and have all the usual benefits such as a retirement plan and equity. Job security is important to them and makes them be able to enjoy their lives living abroad more easily.
These types like to have a schedule set for them unlike the Creative and Thinker, have helpful applications get them through their to-do lists, and slack to communicate with co-workers. They don’t want to be doing something that they couldn’t do alone and enjoy working with a team. It also helps the night owls to not feel lonesome at night while the rest of their friends are dreaming.
A Remote 9-5er in the Real World:
I’ve come across many remote 9-5ers as they span across all job industries. The hardest thing for them is the great deal of FOMO that comes with their strict hours as a lot of digital nomads create their own schedule. That means they could potentially miss every sunset beach meetup, afternoon day trips, or nights out at the disco. Eventually, they tend to go out on their own and choose a more entrepreneurial path, or they ride out the perks, save up their U.S. salary and live like a king in Thailand.
Common jobs: customer service, tech and marketing, nurse practitioner, project manager, HR, and remote recruiters.
The Female Founder
The headstrong entrepreneurial woman that’s building her empire. You’ll most likely find her in Bali busy working at one of the many instagrammable cafes, and yes her instagram feed is on point. The words FOMO mean nothing to these types and would never let a villa party, or trip to a waterfall stand in the way of their path to 7 figures.
Their background usually comes from the corporate world where they were chasing the ladder and realized, hell I can do this better, faster, and make more money. They’re over working for egotistical men, gossiping women, and politics that come with the office. And I have to say, I’m with her.
As remote workers, they’re not much for travel and prefer to stay put. While they definitely leave home behind, they find a place that suits them and take trips back to say hello once a year. Traveling as a digital nomad would just interfere with their ongoing personal and business development and vision board of goals hanging on the wall.
Some have their own blogs, youtube channels, podcasts, or all three. They carry their digital camera around with them, have a virtual assistant, pinterest manager, and are carefully planning their membership site after their online course launches.
A Female Founder in the Real World:
My friend Johanna for example runs group coaching that trains women how to be a social media manager, has a course Monetize your Influence, a blog, podcast, AND writes news articles for influencer clients– all while shooting content with a tripod and keeping her online presence in impeccable shape.
These digital nomad women are about to take over the world and the next generation is close in line. So before you judge someone taking a photo for their instagram account, think again, because they’re most likely cashing in more green than you, all while living in villa that comes with an ocean view.
Common jobs: social media manager, course creator, ebook author, marketing strategist, affiliate marketer, educator, and anything that says, I’m doing it all.
The Wild Card
We can’t put them in a box, they go where the wind takes them, or where it stops them. They’re the people you always wonder if they have a job and how they make money, yet they do actually work. Some on their laptops, while others are more involved with community acts, or simply make money as a snuggle buddy wrapped in a rainbow onesie.
They wear their hearts on their sleeves, live for deep emotional connections, and are most satisfied when they are free to be spontaneous and express themselves. This type hates feeling constrained by rules or people who frown on their lack of inhibition. They like to throw themselves into different experiences and test every water out.
You’ll most likely find them at music festivals, camping, road trips, or Koh Phengang. They thrive on group environments and embracing their inner child with other like minded people dancing in the sand. Some like to say they are the “industry workers” of the digital nomad world, where to make ends meet you’ll find them teaching yoga, english, ecstatic dance, putting feathers in your hair, and hula hooping with fire.
A Wild Card Nomad in the Real World:
I’ve come across many wild cards along my travels as they can always be found in a group setting. One in particular was a girl who taught english online, taught yoga on the beach, and belly dancing shows at music festivals. I’ve seen many wearing onesies, and I’ve participated in drum circles as the sun went down in Maui.
When you come across these types you’ll know it. Be gentle with their kind hearts, look them in the eye when you’re in conversation, and never judge them for the lifestyle they have chosen, for we all wish we had more wild card in all our nomad souls.
typical jobs: life coach, activist, professional cuddler, vibration consultant, belly dancer, artisan, and anything that sounds like it’s not a real job fits here
The Traveling Activist
These selfless types volunteer their time, unite and lead a community, and make the world a better place. These remote workers usually come from a corporate background, have strong leadership skills, know how to run a team of people, and use their powers for good.
They have a deep desire to make every country they land in a better place before they leave. Typically, slow travelers are conscious of their carbon footprint. So they dip into each and every poverty organization and come forth with a solution to bring smiles across every face for those that need it the most.
A Traveling Activist in the Real World:
I’m lucky to have two very close friends that put their life’s work into giving back worldwide. They’ve set up all the proper systems that make it seamless for a traveler to give back. My friend Sean’s Charity Makeover is a hackathon event where remote workers contribute their skill sets to improve the functions of local charities. My friend Tarek’s Nomads Giving Back organizes social-impact themed trips, culture and language exchanges, skill-sharing programs, advocacy events, and volunteering access to charities worldwide.
If you come across them, or any other charitable program, be sure to volunteer your time. To volunteer alongside other digital nomads can be one of the most rewarding, not to mention favorite experiences you may have in your travels.
It’s important to not forget that we are the privileged ones, and by giving back one day of your time can immensely help the local community. When your 8 hours can add up to a month’s food for a local family, you’ll understand the loving hearts of these World Activists and possibly travel the rest of the year with them.