Different Types of Nomads

And The Many Paths to Location Independence

You've heard of digital nomads…

People who leverage technology to travel and work from anywhere.

You might imagine:

  • A millennial, nestled in a coffee shop, hacking away at a software project on their Macbook…

But this is NOT the only image of freedom in the digital age.

Here are the different types of nomads and their routes to location freedom:


Seeking wild and remote locations, these nomads travel by land.

“Nobody can hear me fart out here…”

Often in their own 4x4-equipped vehicles:

  • RVs

  • Buses

  • Converted vans

  • Off-road vehicles

These vehicles have amenities for sleeping, cooking, and a workspace for remote jobs. Overland Nomads travel light and emphasize raw freedom over comfort.

As the name suggests, they spend a lot of time in nature, camping, and visiting national parks. But for more adventure, you can find a national forest or BLM land for dispersed camping.

“I swear I just heard someone fart”

The lifestyle requires careful planning, route selection, and resource management. Power, water, and internet are all on you. Vehicle maintenance skills are crucial, especially when your transportation doubles as your home.

All that's left to do is sign up for satellite internet and head for the wilderness!

Urban Nomad

Engrossed in the pulse of the city, these nomads live in the heart of metropolitan areas.

“I had to start selling feet pics to make rent but otherwise the city is great!”

Moving from one city to another, they're characterized by:

  • Living in apartments, sublets, or shared housing

  • Using coworking spaces or coffee shops for work

  • Walking, biking, or using public transportation for mobility

Urban Nomads strive to experience diverse cultures, cuisines, arts, and nightlife. They maintain a lightweight lifestyle, reducing personal possessions and adopting minimalist principles.

Urban Nomads often work in industries like technology, design, writing, or consulting. (Jobs you can do anywhere with a strong internet connection.)

Knowledge about the cost of living, safety, and public transportation systems in each city is essential. It's all about blending in and becoming part of the urban fabric.

Ride-share apps, a backpack, and an up-to-date passport are your best friends for city life!

Home-Base Nomad (Digital Home-Ad)

“I’m packing light this time I only have 3 suitcases.”

These nomads balance the stability of a home base with the desire for travel.

Their lifestyle usually includes:

  • Maintaining a permanent home or leased property

  • Taking regular trips to new cities or countries

  • Working remote or picking up local contracts while traveling

When I was considering making the leap to full-time nomad, I followed this lifestyle. It allowed me to test out cities before completely uprooting.

This lifestyle allows you to balance the thrill of exploration with the comfort of sleeping in your own bed. Pack your bags and embrace the freedom of the open road, knowing that you always have a home to return to.

It's crucial to manage your time and finances. It's easy to fall into a routine and forget about traveling. It's also easy to spend way too much money on vacation. Balance is key for a Digital Home-Ad.

This is a great first step towards becoming nomadic and it can stop you from making a terrible mistake... Moving to Miami.

Seasonal Nomad

These nomads let the changing seasons dictate their destinations.

“New office is nice. No A/C but the view is pretty sweet.”

Living a life that revolves around:

  • Choosing destinations based on the weather and time of year

  • Temporary accommodations, from lodgings to seasonal rentals

  • Finding flexible work such as remote or seasonal employment

Seasonal Nomads might choose to soak up the summer on California's beautiful beaches. (Like me!) When winter rolls in, I'll head for the snowcapped mountains of Lake Tahoe to ski and snowboard until Spring.

This lifestyle lets you experience your favorite places in their prime time. The sunny beaches of Bali in the dry season, the ski slopes of the Swiss Alps in winter, or the vibrant fall foliage in New England.

Understanding each area's climate and tourist seasons is required. The last thing you want is to be caught in a monsoon or in a crowd of tourists when you were hoping for solitude.

Taking seasonal jobs at ski resorts or summer camps can provide the financial backbone to support this lifestyle. Especially if remote work is out of the question.

Pack your swim trunks and your ski pass, research the best travel times, and get out there, nomad!

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Til next time, Nomads. ✌️

- Jack Ross

Jack Ross (Data Engineer, Nomad)

If you're interested in seeing more, follow me on Twitter for regular updates, and subscribe to my YouTube channel for travel vlogs, tips, and insights on nomadic living.

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