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What Is The Difference Between A Digital Nomad And A Freelancer?

What Is The Difference Between A Digital Nomad And A Freelancer?
September 23, 2021

Everything happens at a breakneck pace in our fast-paced environment. The same may be said about technical advancement. This progress also helps create new job titles and positions within businesses (but not only at companies). Furthermore, remote working jobs would not be conceivable without technology. Remote workers have the ability to work from anywhere thanks to tools, IT staffing, software, and specialized technical equipment.


This technical advancement contributed to the evolution of work to the point that people could work from anywhere. As a result, freelancing services and digital nomad Jobs emerged. Despite the fact that both sorts of work involve work from home jobs, they are not the same. They may resemble each other in certain ways, but they are not the same thing.


What's the difference?

A digital nomad and a freelancer have one significant distinction. It's also the way of life. Digital nomads spend at minimum a few months of the year traveling, changing locations regularly (typically every few weeks but up to six months) and earning a living while working online freelance jobs.


They do not own homes and instead rent apartments and hotels for the lowest feasible price everywhere they go. They pack their belongings, tools, and equipment and go to a new country for several weeks or months. Their lifestyle gives them the liberty to work from anywhere in the world, whether in America, Europe, or Asia. On the other hand, being a digital nomad necessitates the capacity to adapt to new cultures and habits.


On the other hand, freelance work online does not imply that you must travel. Of course, if you're traveling, you may bring your job with you. When working from home, freelancers, on the other hand, may stay in the same spot for the rest of their lives or may move. They are, however, more tied to their location and lack the freedom of digital nomads.


Key differences:

Over the last few years, the digital nomad lifestyle has grown immensely popular, with an increasing number of people yearning to set up their laptops away from the office and in front of a gorgeous tropical beach instead—and who can blame them?


Making the transition to digital nomad life isn't as difficult for freelancers because many of you already have the option to work remotely from wherever you want.

If you're thinking about becoming a digital nomad, you should be aware that freelancing has some distinct advantages and disadvantages. We've summarised the most significant differences between freelancing and becoming a digital nomad in this article.



One of the most important and significant differences between freelancing and working remotely when traveling is having to deal with vastly different levels of wifi availability and stability. All digital nomads have experienced the terror of arriving in a more rural region with sluggish wifi and few alternative options.

Before becoming a digital nomad, freelancers who rely almost entirely on the internet to complete their business may need to conduct further study on the regions they will visit.


Comfort of home

Freelancers who do home-based work typically have their own home office, a computer with a large screen to work from, and immediate access to restrooms, tea, coffee, and other home amenities.

What does it actually mean to be a digital nomad? Something a little different. There will be days when you have no choice but to work from a dark hotel room on your bed or an antiquated internet cafe with PCs from the 1990s. Working on the road requires you to adapt to the environment around you, which can range from a beach lined with beautiful cafes with free wifi to a deserted home in the middle of nowhere.


Time zones

Working hours might be fascinating when you're in various time zones with your clients. As a remote worker, you're frequently under pressure to meet deadlines and meet appointments according to your client's time zone. Depending on where you reside, this can mean working late nights and early mornings to fit into your schedule.

The greatest part of being a digital nomad is that you'll have most of your day to explore the beautiful new locations you'll visit because you'll be working late at night or early in the morning.


Limited tools and gadgets

When you're traveling with only a backpack, weight is a major consideration. As a result, the number of equipment and gadgets you may bring with you is significantly more limited than when you freelance from home and have unlimited storage space.

This isn't an issue for freelancers who only need a laptop, but if you're a freelance photographer, filmmaker, or artist, you may find it difficult to fit all of your professional gear, as well as your clothes, within the tight baggage restrictions imposed by many airlines.



When you work as a freelancer in your own country, you're more likely to have clients, coworkers, friends, and family nearby to keep you company when you're lonely or bored. As a digital nomad, you're abruptly cut off from your support system, which might be difficult for some.


Although freelancers must adjust to working alone rather than in a crowded workplace, operating as a digital nomad might be much more isolating. Making new acquaintances in a place where you don't speak the language can be difficult, especially if you're stuck behind your laptop for the majority of your day.

If you are someone who is significantly new to the digital nomad lifestyle, one of the best recommendations we can provide you is to stay in hostels and look for coworking spaces. This might be a terrific way to meet new people and network in your field of freelancing.



We're not going to lie, there are a lot of distractions in the life of a digital nomad. When you'd rather be out visiting new cities and having new adventures, you'll need to be incredibly determined to force yourself to work.

Freelancers must have the same drive to focus and complete work independently, and traveling only emphasizes the importance of willpower. If you want to become a digital nomad, you'll need to be extremely disciplined in order to fulfill deadlines and keep your clients pleased constantly.



As a freelancer working from home, there's a major difference between engaging with clients and as a digital nomad. With exorbitant international phone fees, phoning a client in another country isn't easy—especially if you need to contact a client back home in the middle of the night.


As a digital nomad, you'll rely on online communication technologies like Skype, zoom, and Google Hangouts to keep in touch with clients and coworkers. While it can be inconvenient sometimes, not being able to receive calls throughout the day makes you far more productive at work.


Client acquisition

You are already way ahead of everyone else if you're a freelancer with regular clientele. Getting clients as a digital nomad can be difficult at times since some businesses are put off by your lack of regularity in your work location.

Because you're out of the nation, you may have to work twice as hard to win pitches and gain clients in order to make enough money to fund your travels.


Final thoughts

Are you a digital nomad who used to work as a freelancer? Or are you just pondering it? Making the shift from working from home to working from anywhere in the world might be difficult. For starters, you may try working as a freelancer to determine if it's the type of work you want to perform. It all comes down to working remotely in the end. Even if it's only for a short time, wherever you work as a remote employee, the place you conduct your job is your home.

But as long as you're prepared for the adjustments, it won't be a problem!

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