When you hear the term “digital nomad,” what do you picture? I’m guessing you see a man cradled in a hammock with his laptop overlooking a Thai jungle, or a woman basking in the sun on a Bali beach.
Sure, there are digital nomads who travel all over the world, working from their laptops in international paradise. But there are others—like me—who journey around the U.S., hopping from state to state while they work.
Don’t get me wrong—traveling outside the U.S. is amazing. However, it’s important to understand some of the difficulties you may face when trying to live full-time in another country.
While there are perks to both lifestyles, here are the top seven benefits of being a digital nomad in the U.S.
1. You don’t need a visa or passport
Living and working abroad means you’ll need a valid passport and visa, which can both be costly and complicated to set up. Most visas, if accepted, will allow you to live in another country for 30 days or up to six months. In most cases, you’ll need to plan out your return home to show proof you will only be living there temporarily.
If you’re traveling around your home country of the U.S., it doesn’t matter how long you stay in one city or state. No one will kick you out for overstaying your welcome.
If you’re like me, you might not have a six-month plan (or even a six-day plan). I have the luxury of being able to make it up as I go, choosing to enjoy where I live and then moving along to the next city when the time is right.
2. You’re in the same time zone (or close enough!) as your work
As a digital nomad, you most likely have a remote job or work for yourself. Either way, it’s important to regularly stay in touch with your colleagues and/or clients. This is the easiest when you’re in the same time zone or are only a few hours apart.
For example, if your company is headquartered in New York but you’re living in New Zealand, it may require you to work very early or very late to accommodate the whopping 18-hour time difference.
The continental U.S. only has four time zones that span a three-hour time difference, making it easy to stay in touch any time of day.
3. Friends and family are only a flight or drive away
As someone who is very close with my family and friends, it’s important that I’m never too far away from them. No matter where I am in the country, I’m only ever a flight or a long drive away from home—as opposed to the several long flights I’d have to take if I lived halfway around the world.
Living around the U.S. will make it much easier to see your friends and family more often. This is comforting (and cost-effective!) when you want to take a trip back home to see family or host your friends for a visit.
4. You can take your pets with you
Want to take your dog or cat with you on your travels? It’s much easier to bring them from state to state rather than country to country.
Each country has its own laws and regulations when it comes to pets. Similar to people, dogs and cats will need their own import permit and vaccinations before they can travel to another country. And some places won’t allow pets at all.
I bring my dog and cat with me when I travel—they’ve gotten used to picking up and moving every few months! While it sometimes means I pay a little extra for pet fees, having them with me is so worth it.
5. You can bring more stuff with you
When traveling abroad, you can typically only take what you can carry on your back. That’s fine for some, but if you want to bring more of your belongings, it’s easier to do so when you’re traveling around the U.S.
It’s even easier if you stay at furnished apartments like Landing. They provide all the essentials you need, like furniture, dishes, towels, and TVs, so you really don’t need to bring much else. I just loaded up my Subaru Impreza with clothes, toiletries, food, and a bunch of plants—that’s it!
6. There’s such diversity in the U.S.
Even though the U.S. is only one country, it doesn’t always feel that way. Between the varying landscapes, food, and people, it can sometimes feel like you’re in a whole new country when you’re visiting a new state.
If you’re feeling bored in one state, try hiking in Colorado’s mountains, eating authentic Mexican food in Texas, or going surfing along California’s coast. There’s always something to do in all 50 states!
7. There’s no language barrier or currency changes
Traveling outside the U.S. can mean running into issues because of a language barrier. For instance, if you go to Span but can’t speak Spanish, it may be harder to meet people, get directions, or understand street signs.
While there are many languages spoken in the U.S., English is by far the most prominent, This makes it much easier to get to know locals and find your way around a new city.
Additionally, you won’t have to worry about navigating a brand-new currency each time you move to a different country.
Living with Landing as a digital nomad
If you’re ready to start your digital nomad journey around the U.S., check out Landing. They offer furnished, luxury apartments in 375+ cities from Maine to California. With a flexible membership, you can easily move from city to city without having to break a lease or deal with excessive fees. I have been traveling with Landing since 2021, and I highly recommend them!