I wasn’t always living the life of a digital nomad, but getting used to this particular lifestyle took less than I thought it would – much, much less. You’re either cut out for this… erm… line of work(?), or you’re not, and I’ve been agreed with on this point with the vast majority of my peers. In fact, my transition from what I used to call my ‘regular life’ into the nomadic existence of a curious traveler was met with little difficulty, where I found the majority of related hardship boiling down to what I take with me on my travels.
A digital nomad is a way of life that’s still in its infancy, owing to the fact that all the technological innovations required to live this way have existed for little over a decade. This list features items that I’ve found not tremendously helpful, but necessary for a digital nomad, and are, as such, things that I love having at my disposal.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 12 MP Micro Four-Thirds Mirrorless Digital Camera
This mouthful of an item is something I bring along wherever I go. Let’s get something clear first: while you, as a digital nomad, are in equal parts a traveler and a professional, having a $1,000 smartphone isn’t, and will never be, a replacement for a good camera. The thing with this piece of technological wonder from Panasonic is that it’s way lighter than all the professional Nikons and Canons, yet it offers an arguably identical quality. Significantly cheaper and perfectly capable of producing breathtaking photos, this digital interchangeable lens system camera beats every smartphone by a long shot.
Yep, iPhone! A reliable and powerful phone goes a long way on travels (pun intended). Sure, there are many powerful alternatives among Androids, some of which even offer identical battery life, but an iPhone is guaranteed to meet all your requirements head-on. Sure, it’s expensive, it might even be overpriced, but can you really put a price tag on something that can (sometimes literally) turn out to be a lifesaver? Make sure that your iPhone is factory unlocked so that you can swap SIM cards as you go, and no matter how desperate you are about maintaining a sleek look with your gadgets, find a rock-solid phone case. I opted for the 256GB version – just in case.
AKG N60NC Wireless
You have no idea how awesome having on-ear wireless headphones is until you’ve tried them. I know that there are a lot of options available out there, but active noise cancellation has become beyond necessary for me on long flights. I bought these awesome headphones in Australia a couple of months back, and I am beyond amazed – as a part-time musician who listens to everything from RnB to melodic death metal, I can tell you that these are a perfect choice.
Yep, I’m still with Apple here. With reliability as their main selling point, Apple has managed to come up with their lightest MacBook yet that is perfect for digital nomads. Sometimes, I think that they actually came up with this model solely with our breed in mind. It comes with a built-in SD card reader, which means that you can store all your necessary files. Oh yeah, and do get a laptop stand – just trust me on this one.
Transcend StoreJet 2TB USB 3.0
Better have a sleek 2TB-external hard drive to complement your MacBook Air than get a bulky laptop – it’s simply more convenient. The best thing about the StoreJet isn’t its size or its capacity, not even its fast USB 3.0 connection; it’s the military-grade shock resistance that it offers, which makes it a perfect companion for digital nomads.
Anker PowerCore 10000
I went on a month-long trip without a reliable portable power pack, and I’ll never do it again! Granted, I was still a newbie nomad back then, but, the lack of battery life (and my resolve to buy a power bank back home) cost me two part-time jobs, made me miss 6 deadlines and turned what was meant to be a blissful, month-long Pacific-wide excursion into a 30-day constant battle with stress and anxiety. The Anker PowerCore 10000 offers 10,000 mAhs, and it is the smallest device in its league.
Honorable mention: GoPro
I’d feel guilty if I failed to put the GoPro on my list. I am so grateful for owning this marvelous piece of video technology (I got it for my birthday last year)! The amount of videos that I’ve made since receiving it is simply tremendous! I remember using it during my first parachute jump, on the headstock of my bass guitar on a gig and during many excursions. I don’t go anywhere without it!