The first documented use of the word “digital nomad” was back in 1997 by Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners in their book titled Digital Nomad.
Since then it has quickly fallen into everyday use as a way to describe a person who works remotely using technology from anywhere in the world, often changing their location.
BUT, did you know that there are now different personality types of digital nomads?
They are evolving!
But like any other personality type, digital nomads can be a mix of multiple types, or they may start off their digital nomad life as one type and grow into another.
We’ve categorized the different digital nomad personalities giving you a little insight into the pros and cons of their lifestyle and what makes them tick.
Read on to discover which type most accurately describes your current digital nomad-ness or which digital nomad you aspire to!
These particular nomads may travel for one year with the help of some savings (or parental help), usually just before starting college or just after. They’ll have a grand old time and then head back to “normal” life when the year is up.
They tend to be a very young crowd of surfer types and party animals looking for some fun life experience before things get too serious.
Strengths: All play and very little work
Weaknesses: Ummm…all play and very little work!
May evolve into: Nomad Beggars
They travel with some savings, maybe for a year, maybe more. During this time they’ll try to visit as many countries as possible. They’ll build a travel blog, Instagram account, or YouTube channel hoping to make enough passive income to live on and fuel their travels for a little longer. This lifestyle tends to attract young couples, newlyweds looking for the next adventure, or young single “influencer” types.
Weaknesses: Traveling can become more of a competition rather than a joy. It’s also a really saturated market, so can be super tough to really make this work.
May evolve into: The lucky ones turn into invest-nomads, the unlucky ones will probably go home.
Or lazy travelers? Only kidding! These guys just like to take their time. They’ll stay for months in the same country and will spend hours researching the best place to go next. They like to experience things slowly and don’t care about visiting all the must-see stuff.
They don’t usually have a deadline for their journey, they are more interested in experiencing life as a local, enjoying the culture, and soaking up the atmosphere.
Strengths: Super organized.
Weaknesses: They may miss some of the things that others consider essential.
May evolve into: An Expat
A digital nomad who cares about the environment and the ecological footprint they will leave on the places they are visiting. They will try to travel between destinations in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
They love to get involved with the local communities and may do some volunteer work along the way. This usually attracts those who are vegans, Yoga lovers, yoga teachers, pet lovers, etc.
Strengths: A caring person, eager to learn from the local culture while having a positive impact on the communities they visit.
Weaknesses: Trying to stay carbon neutral or zero waste while traveling can be really time-consuming.
May evolve into: An Expat in Bali
They used to be sabbatical nomads or instanomads. They don’t want to go back home so they will do anything to keep on traveling, often spending all of their money to do so. Eventually, they will collect enough money for a flight back home from various means, such as crowding funding pages.
Strengths: Brave, not afraid of taking risks.
Weaknesses: Perhaps a little irresponsible?
May evolve into: Scamnomads
These digital nomads travel constantly, barely stopping to take a breath. They look for a cheap flight, take the leap and just keep going!
They travel light with no worries and no attachment to places or people. They feel comfortable anywhere anytime. They have had this hunger for adventure since they were kids. They know all the tricks, all the good deals, and all the best places to stay.
Strengths: Super independent and self-motivated. Exciting, fast-paced life ticking countries off your list.
Weaknesses: This lifestyle can get a little lonely at times and you may find that you miss out on a lot of the good stuff a country has to offer.
May evolve into: Kickstartnomads
They have an idea for a business that will allow them to live as a digital nomad and travel around the world. They kick the 9 to 5 job, buy a ticket to absolutely anywhere, it doesn’t matter where! They just want to start living the adventure. They are likely older than nomad beggars, in their mid-30s. Eventually, they will start a local business when they find their soul-mate-country.
Strengths: Spontaneous and adaptable – they will literally make it work anywhere.
Weaknesses: Business is their first, their last, their everything!
May evolve into: Expats
Now, you may argue that an expat isn’t a digital nomad, but hear us out! While an expat may have settled down in a new country and aren’t traveling as such, they do share many of the same digital nomad experiences.
They have to adapt to a new country, learn the language, and get to grips with the local customs. They may also grapple with that common digital nomad feeling of being far away from home.
And, they often work remotely which does technically put them in the location-independent bracket…they just choose to stay in one location!
They may have their own business locally or even in their home country, or both. This tends to be an older crowd, in their late 30s, 40s, or even 50s.
Strengths: Get really immersed in a new culture and have a comfortable life while having the constant feeling of being on holiday!
Weaknesses: May experience FOMO.
May evolve into: Slow Travelers
Are these the bad guys of the digital nomad crowd?
They try to make living teaching other people how to become a digital nomad. They may have gone traveling in the past and are still riding that wave. They have been back in their home country for a while now, but man- the things they learned…
Strengths: Got some great stories to tell!
Weaknesses: Money, money, money …
May evolve into: Nomad beggar
They made it! These digital nomads are funding a luxurious lifestyle from passive income. Traveling has been and continues to be part of their DNA except now it’s mostly in first class!
You can find them as speakers at summits, conferences, maybe even a TED Talk or two.
The big concern for this lot is where to invest all their money?
Should I buy an island or a private jet? 🤔
Strengths: Having a platform to share your wisdom and have people listen.
Weaknesses: It can be easy to lose touch with reality. Don’t forget the little people!
May evolve into: An expat…in the Bahamas
So, there you have it…the 10 Digital Nomad Personality Types
Did you recognize yourself?
Find what type of digital nomad you want to be?
If you think we missed a certain type, then let us know in the comment section below!