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Digital Nomad vs. Self-Employed Expat: What’s the Difference?

With the advancement of technology, many individuals are looking for ways to explore the world while continuing their careers. Two common options that frequently come up in the conversation are digital nomads and self-employed expats. While they may seem similar, there are a few key differences that set them apart.

Firstly, a digital nomad is someone who utilizes technology to work remotely while continuously moving from place to place. They often have no set base and can work from anywhere with a reliable internet connection. In comparison, a self-employed expat is a person who moves abroad to live and work in a foreign country while being their own boss. They have a set location and typically stay in one place for an indefinite amount of time.

Another difference between the two is their approach to work. Digital nomads are often known for their adaptability and flexible schedules. They can work from their laptops at cafes, co-working spaces, or even on a beach. Meanwhile, self-employed expats typically set up their own businesses, which require them to follow a more structured schedule and plan around regulated business hours.

Besides that, there are differences in cost and lifestyle preferences between the two options. Digital nomads often prefer to live minimally and on a smaller budget while traveling, while self-employed expats tend to have higher overhead costs due to the nature of setting up a new business. They may also prefer living more traditionally in a foreign country instead of solely focusing on traveling.

Both digital nomads and self-employed expats offer a unique approach to working and traveling simultaneously. While the lifestyle of a digital nomad is more fluid, a self-employed expat typically has a more permanent base and structured work schedule. Consider your preferred lifestyle and work habits before choosing which option is best for you.

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