By Donna Apidone

One couple bought their residence in Seattle and have not seemed again.

This text is reprinted by permission from

May you reside as a digital nomad?

Think about transferring from one nation to the following, perhaps for a couple of days or a couple of months. Once in a while, you verify in together with your work staff. Then it is off to a museum or a ski slope or a seashore.

Brent Hartinger and Michael Jensen have been digital nomads since 2017. They made the choice in response to politics within the U.S.

“I turned to Michael, and I stated, ‘Why do not we promote our home and go away the nation?'” Hartinger stated. “And Michael thought of it for about 5 seconds and stated, ‘OK.'”

A number of months later, Jensen found some intriguing particulars in regards to the life-style. “One Sunday morning, I used to be studying the New York Occasions, and there was this text on this factor referred to as digital nomads. I began studying it, and it was like, ‘Oh, that is what we’re speaking about doing.'”

Co-living and co-working

The article answered loads of questions on sources all over the world, together with co-living and co-working hubs.

The couple dedicated to a timeline, bought their home in Seattle and by no means seemed again.

“Our house is wherever we occur to be on the time, but we work remotely,” Hartinger defined. “We name ourselves SlowMads, which implies we keep in a single place anyplace from one to a few months. We just like the tempo of that. It additionally provides us an opportunity to get to know folks.”

Their web site, Brent and Michael Are Going Locations, is crammed with suggestions, humorous tales and sensible suggestions in regards to the nomadic life-style, together with Hartinger’s thorough rationalization of medical health insurance and entry to healthcare.

Not all long-term vacationers are digital nomads. Those that are retired do not match the definition. Hartinger and Jensen are nonetheless working. Hartinger is a novelist and screenwriter. Jensen is a novelist, too, and has been editor of an internet academic curriculum. As journey writers, they’ve been on CBS’s “Sunday Morning” and CNN.

Pamela Parker has thought-about herself a digital nomad since transferring from the U.S. to the Netherlands in 2014. One among her contracts is with a world religious group based mostly within the U.S. and contains digital tutorial design and adjunct college work.

“I like the artistic freedom of working remotely,” she stated, though there are some logistical mishaps.

“My distant workmates could converse and ship emails as in the event that they had been textual content messages or tweets. This restricted type of communication could cause miscommunication, and far time will be spent merely getting on the identical web page. And plenty of of them combine up or disregard the time zone variations when organizing assembly occasions.”

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Expats and taxes

The nomadic life-style will not be wholly carefree. There’s appreciable paperwork concerned in acquiring visas, healthcare and insurance coverage, and there may be the problem of earnings taxes. Do nomads pay taxes within the nation the place they work or within the U.S. or each? To make certain they meet all necessities, Hartinger and Jensen work with accountants who concentrate on nomad taxes.

“Sure, all U.S. residents are positively required to file a tax return” with the Inner Income Service, Hartinger says in an e mail from London. “We do file and pay U.S. taxes,” he writes. “However most international locations solely require taxes and returns if you happen to keep greater than 180 days, and we at all times journey on vacationer visas (90 days or much less), so there’s by no means been a must file abroad.”

He notes a element of U.S. tax legislation that advantages nomads. America has one thing referred to as the International Earned Earnings Tax Exclusion, which is that this: if somebody is out of the U.S. for greater than 330 days a yr, some or all the earnings they earn on these days in a foreign country — even from U.S. sources — turns into “overseas earned” and is NOT topic to U.S. earnings tax. Expatriate {couples} can exclude as a lot as $112,000 from U.S. earnings taxes of their 2022 return and $120,000 this yr.

“We nonetheless pay payroll taxes, after all, and we should hold cautious observe of the place we’re on the earth,” he provides. To qualify for this exclusion, you have to be in another country for 330 days. not counting any day through which you fly to, from or over the U.S.

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Hartinger stated each nomad he is aware of advantages from the present tax legislation, however he suspects Congress could change the legislation because the nomadic life-style turns into extra standard. “This loophole will most likely be tightened within the years forward: till very lately, I think this legislation was a real loophole, making use of to only a few folks. However nomading has change into a bona fide phenomenon, so the exemption most likely cannot final.”

The attraction of smaller cities

Iringo Szekely, a strategic change adviser and advertising operation supervisor for a world IT firm, has a everlasting residence in Amsterdam, however she works from Greek islands for 3 to 4 months every year.

“I favor smaller locations to take advantage of what I want from distant working, which is having fun with life extra,” she stated. So every year she seems to be for lodging near the seashore, eating places and nature. On this approach, she added, “I can maximize leisure time off being affected.”

Hartinger and Jensen additionally favor what they consult with as “second-tier” cities. “They’re much extra welcoming,” Hartinger stated. “The tempo of life is slower.”

And, he says, there’s a monetary profit. “As a result of we spend a lot of our yr in second-tier cities and in additional inexpensive international locations, our value of dwelling is definitely about half what it was in Seattle.”

The “digital” part of the digital nomad life-style could possibly be a drawback as a result of it might probably forestall private relationship at work, however Hartinger and Jensen have discovered assist in the co-working group. That’s a casual world community of staff for various firms who share workplace area, tools and help employees.

“There are hubs all all over the world which can be recognized for nomading,” Hartinger stated. “Not solely are you assembly folks socially, however professionally. It is a tremendous option to make connections. And if both of us has an issue — we’re not actual tech guys, however we run a web site and do numerous issues on-line — principally you may arise in a room and say, ‘I’ve an issue with this. Does anybody have any experience?’ There’s at all times anyone, it doesn’t matter what your query is. You at all times have entry to unbelievable sources.”

Hartinger and Jensen return the favor by sharing their abilities as skilled writers.

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An choice just for the wealthy?

The topic of “privilege” comes up in reference to digital nomads. Hartinger and Jensen have given the subject appreciable thought.

“That is one of many huge accusations about nomads,” Hartinger defined, “that we’re a privileged lot, and naturally we’re. It is typically people who find themselves from America or Canada or Western Europe, from a wealthier, extra developed nation.

“Confronting the truth of it, and attending to know native folks, has made me a extra caring individual and a extra empathetic individual,” he added. “The extra you journey, the extra you see that persons are folks.”

Jensen echoed that privilege permits for generosity. “I feel it is higher for us to be off in Sarajevo (the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina) spending that cash in the local people,” he stated.

Hartinger added that American privilege does not separate him from the folks he and Jensen meet of their travels. As an alternative, it enriches their expertise.

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Appreciating America

“It is greater than the usual of dwelling,” he stated. “We meet all these superior people who find themselves actually content material with their lives. You see it up shut and private. You see that everyone seems to be out for one another. Everyone loves their children, and all people desires to be pleased.”

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Hartinger and Jensen don’t plan to dwell within the U.S. once more, however their nomadic life-style has given them a recent appreciation of the nation they left.

“While you journey all over the world, you understand that the majority international locations are way more homogenous than America,” Hartinger stated. “There’s a lot about America to be admired. A part of our acknowledged values is that we settle for folks from all around the world, and that is one thing we have fun. A number of international locations do not have fun that.

“I want extra People had been uncovered to the realities of the world.”

Donna Apidone writes and produces segments for America’s heartland on PBS associates nationwide. She hosted “Morning Version” on CapRadio in Sacramento, California, for greater than 20 years. Her interviews with authors/influencers are at She is the writer of “Drive-Time Meditations” and “TransForMission.”

This text is reprinted by permission from, (c)2023 Twin Cities Public Tv, Inc. All rights reserved.

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