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Looking for the best digital nomad books? I’ve been a digital nomad for the last five years, and these books have inspired and helped me succeed in my nomadic journey.
Whether you are a seasoned digital nomad or an aspiring nomad, there is a lot to learn, and you can never read too much.
There is a wealth of inspiring books for digital nomads that give practical tips on how to balance work and play, how to start your own business, get out of the 9-5 lifestyle, and how to be more efficient in your work so that you can spend more time having fun.
Because that is why most of us choose this life, right? To have more time to travel and do what we enjoy the most.
I have read many digital nomad books that have inspired me and guided me in the right direction to create the life of my dreams. Here are some of my favorites for your reading list!
Best Digital Nomad Books
#1. The 4-Hour Workweek
Often referred to as the digital nomad bible, no list of books for digital nomads can go by without mentioning The 4-Hour Work week by Timothy Ferris.
Challenging the status quo and a 9-5 work day, Ferris gives actionable tips on how to escape the rat race and instead build up a passive income so that you can spend your time doing what you love.
He uses the acronym DEAL which stands for Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation. This book has been a big inspiration to me and many other digital nomads I have met.
Many of the ideas in the book have become staple ideas in the digital nomad community. If you have not read The 4-Hour Workweek yet, add it to your list.
#2. Digital Nomads: How to Live, Work and Play Around the World
This is one of the best digital nomad books that pretty much rounds up everything about this lifestyle. This book gives hands-on advice about cheap places to live and travel, where to apply for residency, and how to meet other people with the same lifestyle.
The authors of Digital Nomads: How to Live, Work and Play Around the World, Esther Jacobs and André Gussekloo have basically created a complete digital nomad instruction book where you also get tips on productivity and travel essentials.
This is a good book for anyone starting out as a digital nomad, considering the lifestyle, or as literature on the flight to their first digital nomad destination, but just as well for seasoned nomads as it covers a broad area of topics.
#3. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Another classic is 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, which has been read by millions. While it does not focus specifically on remote workers, there are a lot of incredibly useful tips in this book on how to adopt an efficient lifestyle.
Getting more efficient with work tasks means a lot more time to do what you love, and as a digital nomad, it is so valuable to get that extra time to explore every new destination you visit.
The book has been on the best-seller lists for 30 years, and the last updated version includes takeaways from Sean Covey on how to use these tips in our modern times.
There is also a workbook to take action on the tips from the book.
#4. Start with Why
One of the best books for digital nomads starting out with their own businesses or feeling like their business is going in the wrong direction is Start With Why by Simon Sinek.
It is a simple and easy-to-read book with a lot of a-ha moments. The author basically pulls you back to your why, the reason behind why you started your business in the first place.
It shows examples from real-life leaders like Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs and why they got the followers they did so that you can do the same with your business.
With actionable steps, this book helps you look back at why you started your business and use this passion to make others fall in love with your mission too, and as a result, grow your business.
#5. The $100 Startup
This is a great book for digital nomads that want to start their own businesses from the ground up on a low budget.
This $100 Startup is an inspiring book where author, Chris Guillebeau, looks at multiple case stories of businesses that have grown their profit from zero to 50.000 dollars with an initial investment of under 100 dollars.
After reading this book, you will likely have a lot of energy to get started with all the right tools to succeed.
Anything by Chris Guillebeau is generally a good read for digital nomads. His book The Happiness of Pursuit was one of the main inspirations for why I started traveling full-time!
Vagabonding is a great book for aspiring digital nomads as it talks about leaving your “normal” life behind and how you can travel long-term.
While it was written in 2002, long before the digital nomad lifestyle became so popular and the internet so reliable, it still has many excellent takeaways regarding long-term travel. It was one of my first inspirations to pursue this lifestyle!
In a way, author Rolf Potts takes us back to the basics of why we want to live this lifestyle in the first place, and the fact that we can work online is just a bonus to make it easier.
#7. The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck
The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck is a straight-up honest book by Mark Manson that does anything but sugar-coating.
Supported by academic research and sprinkled with ruthless humor, he basically tells you that you will not get anywhere by thinking positively all the time, but you must learn to know yourself and your limitations. And accept them.
It is a truly refreshing book in the sea of positive feel-well books you find on the shelves these days. But most importantly, you will come out on the other end with the tools to use your energy on what really matters and stop wasting time on what does not matter to you.
While I think everyone would benefit from reading The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck, I believe it is an excellent book to read for digital nomads.
You often meet other nomads that are more successful than you, and it is easy to think that you are a failure or not good enough. Many digital nomads do not have a boss or colleagues that can reassure them that their work is good enough.
This is just one example of when it is great to know how to not care about who earns the most – but keep working on yourself and your own achievements. I love this book and even met Mark Mason at the travel blogging conference TravelCon and had the book signed by him!
#8. Rich Dad, Poor Dad
This is a great digital nomad book because it teaches you a lot about how to use your money wisely to create wealth. It tells the story of author Robert Kiyosaki and how he grew up with two dads. One rich and one poor.
It tells you how you can have money working for you instead of working hard for money. While it was not intentionally written for digital nomads, many nomads find it challenging to handle their money on the road – often because both income and expenses might come in a different shape than what they are used to.
This book gives a lot of tips and a-ha moments that will change the way you look at your money.
#9. The Wealthy Freelancer
A lot of digital nomads work as freelancers, and if that is you, this is a great book to read. With 12 proven and actionable steps, the authors give you the tools to work less and earn more.
It crushes the myths that freelancers have low income, work day and night, and barely get by from month to month. If this sounds familiar, you can surely take advantage of the tips in The Wealthy Freelancer.
By taking the steps into action, you could create a life with a lot more freedom for yourself.
#10. Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life
If you live the digital nomad lifestyle and move often, you know how important minimalism is to this lifestyle. Authors and best friends Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus left their 6-figure corporate jobs to pursue a minimalist lifestyle.
This book is eye-opening to how most people embrace things instead of actually embracing the moments and the people they share them with.
It is a great book to inspire you to go more minimalistic even when you are nomading – most of us travel with too much stuff that we find hard to detach from. After returning from my year-long backpacking trip, I gave away half the things I had stored.
#11. Deep Work
Deep Work is an essential book for digital nomads. With all the distractions of the internet, social media, and being in a new exciting place, focusing on your work tasks can be daunting.
Author Cal Newport breaks it into four key points for better concentration, and by following them, you will learn how to focus on your tasks without getting distracted.
This results in getting work done much quicker and leaves a lot of extra time for play and exploring your surroundings in any new area you travel to.
#12. How To Travel The World On $50 A Day
How To Travel The World On $50 A Day by budget travel expert and fellow digital nomad Matt Kepnes is a fantastic book with practical tips on how to travel smarter so that your money last longer.
He basically crushes the myth that you must stay in expensive luxury resorts and go on expensive tours to travel.
This is a great book for new digital nomads that need to watch their expenses while building up a reliable income and still want to travel to new places as much as possible.
With years of experience as a budget backpacker, Matt Kepnes has tested out a lot of money-saving hacks, which he will be sharing with you in this bestseller. I read this New York Times bestseller book before going on my first around-the-world trip, and it really helped with my budget!
#13. The Power of Habit
Of all the digital nomad books on this list, The Power of Habit is a life changer. Especially as you are traveling to new places and exploring different exciting destinations, it is hard to stick to the habits you did when you had a house and only traveled when you went on vacation once in a while.
Author Charles Duhigg makes it clear – you are the one that decides the actions you do and not. If you sleep in every day because you do not have to set an alarm for work, maybe that is fine. But if you feel like you should get up early and start your day early with exercise, yoga, or meditation – but never do, then this book will greatly help you.
It is so easy to get out of routines when traveling full-time. But this book tells you that you decide what your routine is and is not. And you are the only one that can change it. Even though you change places often, you can build up daily habits that will make your life a lot better.
#14. Eat that Frog
With so much excitement going on all the time and traveling to new places frequently, procrastinating can be very easy as a digital nomad, and work tasks keep piling up.
This short and concise book is great for anyone that can relate.
Eat that Frog is a metaphor for an old saying that says that if you eat a frog the first thing in the morning, you have done the worst part of your day.
In real life, you are obviously not being challenged to eat an actual frog. But if you take on the biggest task of the day first, it will be much easier to finish the smaller tasks afterward.
Author Brian Tracy gives you great actionable tips on how to get past procrastination and get the most important things done while leaving out the things that do not bring any value.
A top digital nomad read for anyone having difficulty getting their workload done – and making time for fun.
#15. Choose Yourself
Although it is commonly believed that working for someone else and climbing a corporate ladder is a safer approach than being a solopreneur, this book shows you that the opposite is true.
Choose Yourself by James Archer shows how the world is changing and what we thought was “safe” no longer is. He encourages you to choose yourself instead, showing how new tools and economic forces are creating more opportunities to generate real inward and outward success, using case studies, interviews, and examples that will inspire you.
I read this book before quitting my 9-5 and embarking on my solopreneur journey, and it really helped me confirm that it was the right decision (and five years later – zero regrets).
I love a good hardcover book as much as the next person, but carrying a bunch of heavy books around makes zero sense for the digital nomad lifestyle. I use and love the Kindle Paperweight, which allows me to take all my favorite books on the road with me.
That’s it for my favorite digital nomad books! I hope this post could give you some new ideas for your reading list. Each of these books has helped me in someway, and there are many I read again and again.
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