A “slomad” or a slowmad is an individual who works remotely but moves around at a more leisurely pace than other digital nomads.
These adventurous individuals do their jobs online and travel extensively, but unlike their digital nomad peers, they tend to stay in one place longer to really get to know the local culture.
The Rise Of Slomading
This growing community of slow-traveling digital nomads is all about embracing a more relaxed and mindful way of living.
And with many countries now offering special visas for digital nomads, it’s easier than ever to live and work abroad.
And it’s not just solo travelers who are joining the slomad movement—around 70% of workers are parents bringing their families with them.
The Slomad Trend
The pandemic has turned the world upside down, forcing many of us to work from home and creating a shift towards remote and flexible work.
Staying in one place longer allows to truly immerse in the local culture, cuisine, and environment.
Advantages Of The Slomad Lifestyle
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, here are some more advantages of the slomad lifestyle:
If you’re a digital nomad looking to save some money, the slomad lifestyle is the way to go.
When you stay in one place for a longer period, you’ll find that accommodations become much cheaper. Whether you choose Colivings, AirBnbs, or a lease, you’ll get a substantial discount for a longer stay.
Reservations of 28 nights or more are eligible for the monthly reductions offered by AirBnb, and the discounted price (which can be up to 50% off) will be prominently displayed alongside the initial rate in search results.
Related: How To Get A Discount On Airbnb
Another advantage of staying longer is the chance to choose a residence with kitchen facilities. This means you’ll be able to cook your own meals instead of eating out all the time, saving you a lot of money.
One of the biggest advantages of being a digital slomad is the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in local culture.
A two-week visit is great, but it’s often not enough time to truly understand a country, especially if you have to work during the week and only have weekends to explore.
And yes, while it’s possible to see major attractions, eat local cuisine, and wander around in just a few days or weeks, it’s simply not enough time to meet locals, attend local events, and truly experience a place.
For digital slomads, travel is all about enrichment: soaking up the culture, gaining a deeper understanding of the local customs and mindset, and even learning a bit of the local language.
Slow travel allows you to engage with the community, make meaningful connections, and create lasting memories that will stay with you long after you leave.
One of the most significant advantages of being a digital slomad is the opportunity to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
To reduce your environmental impact you can limit air travel, by staying in one place for an extended period and exploring nearby areas using alternative transportation methods such as boats, trains, buses, or shared or leased automobiles.
You can also reduce your impact on the environment by choosing eco-friendly accommodations, supporting local businesses, and reducing your consumption of single-use plastics.
Productivity & Routine
Having a routine is key to productivity for most people, and being in one place for a long time allows you to build a routine that works for you.
This is especially important for digital nomads, who need to maintain a dedicated work schedule to stay productive.
When you’re traveling as a digital slomad, it’s important to strike a balance between work and leisure.
You can create time for everything when you’re not in a hurry and stay productive while living life on your own terms.
Building Friends Network
Traveling alone can be isolating, and it’s easy to feel disconnected from others when you’re constantly on the move.
You might meet fascinating individuals while on the road, but after a few days or weeks, it’s time to move on to the next place, leaving little time to build meaningful connections.
Slow travel allows for deeper and longer-lasting social interaction.
It’s especially good for solo travelers, who might find it challenging to meet new people.
You also have more time to attend local events, participate in community activities, and get to know the locals.
Contributing To The Community
When staying in a place for only a short period, there is usually limited time for anything other than work and exploration.
However, by spending money on local services like meals, coworking spaces, lodging, transportation, and more, digital slomads may help the economies of the places they visit.
Although conventions and rules vary greatly by country and visa type, some slomads pay income taxes if they hold citizenship or resident status and make income in a region, making a positive impact and creating a good reputation for the nomadic community.
By taking a slow approach, slomads can devote a few hours to simple acts of kindness, which are an excellent way to give back to the place you choose to visit and show the locals that you care.
How To Become A Digital Slomad
If you’re looking to become a digital slomad and experience slow travel, follow these simple steps:
The first step to becoming a digital slomad is to save money.
Aim to keep at least six months’ worth of expenses in savings.
This ensures that you can survive without income for up to six months, and also helps you prepare for unexpected situations such as lost flights, lost items, or sudden cost hikes.
While six months’ worth of expenses may seem like a lot, it’s still a fraction of what you would spend living at home, especially if you choose to live in a cheaper destination.
Locate Your Source of Income
The next step is to find or transition to a remote job or develop an online source of income.
Start by asking your employer if you can work remotely or start freelancing on websites like Fiverr or Upwork.
Although transitioning from a traditional job to freelance work may result in a decrease in income, many freelance and online jobs pay just as well, if not better.
While you might have to settle for a lower salary to begin your new life, your cost of living can be reduced if you choose your next destination strategically.
When packing for your digital slomad journey, remember that you may not have access to everything you’re used to at home.
Prioritize items that are essential for your trip.
If you’re going to be spending most of your time in warm climates, pack light and breathable clothing.
Store Your Belongings
If you plan on returning to your life after your nomad journey, consider storing your belongings in a storage facility or with a relative.
Also, if you own a home, you could rent it out to make some passive income to help pay for your trips.
Get Your Visa and Go
Lastly, get any visas or travel documents you need, choose where you want to go, and start your slow travel journey as a digital slomad!
How Long Do Slomads Stay In One Country
Some digital nomads opt to spend a whole year in a single location, while others relocate every few weeks or months.
According to statistics, the average length of stay for digital nomads in a single place is 70 days.
And slomads spend an average of eight months in a single location.
Best Visas For Slomads
Digital slomads often prefer countries with longer tourist visas, allowing them to stay in one place for an extended period.
The community tends to stay closer to home than traditional digital nomads, with popular destinations including Thailand, the United States, Spain, Japan, and Portugal.
Suitable Jobs for Digital Slomads
There are plenty of remote work opportunities and jobs for digital nomads and slomads. Here are some options:
- Virtual Assistant
- Freelance Writer
- Graphic Designer
- Website Developer
Travel Advice for Digital Nomads
- Decide how much time you want to spend in each country
- Prepare beforehand and look for flights
- Look at multiple booking sites for hotels before deciding on one
- Avoid committing to a lengthy stay in a location you haven’t seen personally
- Plan your trip and make all your reservations using credit cards that offer rewards for your transactions
- Purchase travel and health insurance
- Give yourself a 25% budget overrun
As remote work becomes more accessible, more people are embracing this lifestyle.
It’s particularly attractive to younger individuals who find it difficult to own property or save money in their home country due to the high cost of living.
Moving to a country with a lower cost of living is a good idea if you want to live a full life while still being responsible with your money.