As part of our research for writing The Digital Nomad Survival Guide, my coauthor Peter and I conducted a survey of digital nomads, asking about:
- Demographics: gender, age, education, passport used for travel
- Travel: frequency of movement, programs (like Remote Year), current location
- Remote work: industry, form of employment
- Money: average monthly income, expenses (housing, food, entertainment)
The survey was anonymous — no identifying information was requested.
To get responses, we shared it in digital nomad Facebook groups and with our Remote Year community.
We received over 150 responses, so though it wasn’t a comprehensive census of the entire digital nomad community, it does provide insights to who it is comprised of & answers some common questions people ask about the lifestyle.
[I am working on developing a new survey to capture better data & more responses.]
I took the raw data and used filters & pivot tables to summarize the answers to each question.
Much of the data had to be sorted & summarized individually because people wrote in answers, like specific $ amounts, which were unsortable until I rewrote each one as a readable value (lesson learned).
Then I had to start making design decisions and figuring out the best way to represent the data. This was my first infographic, so I was also learning new ways of using Adobe Illustrator.
I decided to use a designer’s friend icons, vector map, and typography hierarchy from a project we collaborated on as a starting point (Laura Hansen is credited on the infographic & I asked for her approval, of course).
I changed the color palette to a series of bright Pantone colors generated from a swatch I liked, and I made the fonts Lato and Playfair Display to match our website and other materials.
Thanks to Google and YouTube, I learned how to use the graph feature in Illustrator, creating bar graphs and pie charts from my summarized data.
Once I had all the data represented visually, I went back to the section in the book where we discussed it & pulled in some of our insights, rewriting them for the infographic.
As I got the graphs & text laid out, I continued to bring in more color and alternate between white and colored backgrounds to define the sections & make the visuals pop.
After a few check-ins with Peter and a final review by Laura, the infographic was finished!
Peter created a new blank page for me on our website, I uploaded the final file and wrote out some descriptions, added social share and links to other resources on the site, and voila.
Want more information on life as a digital nomad?
I wrote the self-assessment on Digital Nomad Help to help people take the first step in planning life as a digital nomad.
Learn more about the Digital Nomad Survival Guide via my case studies on the writing, editing, cover art, and publishing processes.