Much hype has been going around about the term digital nomad. It is backed by the many travel photos you see on social media of digital nomads. I, myself, am guilty of this. These things may have lured you into becoming one yourself. However, before you sell all your shit and book that one-way ticket, let’s get things sorted, what is a digital nomad anyway?
So what is a digital nomad?
There are different types of a digital nomad. However, they all have something in common—they can work independently, regardless of location, and leverage technology to execute their jobs.
Imagine being able to visit breathtaking beaches and mountains one day, but still be able to put in hours for your next project the following day. Yes, the world is so different compared to just a few years ago when this was simply not possible!
In this age of the internet, you can now ditch your cubicle and trade it for any work environment. As long as there’s good Wi-Fi around, then you are all good!
What is the big deal about becoming a digital nomad?
No one wants to feel stuck in a rut! The thought of waking up early each day and doing the same daily grind is simply horrible. You just have no control of your time—and your life—anymore! The digital nomad lifestyle lets you take charge of your life. You get to decide your work hours and your work environment. In many ways, you are your own boss because of the independence and freedom you have in your hands.
Now, this appeal of the digital nomad lifestyle, or remote work in general, is quickly gaining more and more attention. It’s not just from the young workforce, but also from the older bunch and companies. PGi had already said it back in 2015 on their Global Telework Survey—the digital work environment is the new norm. From this survey, 79% of the respondents stated that they were already working remotely. Around 60% said they would leave their current job for a similar one if given a chance to do full-time remote work at the same pay rate.
It sure looks like PGi was right on this one as World Economic Forum released a supporting report in 2016. This report was a forecast of employment trends. It stated that flexible work as one of the biggest drivers of change in business structures. Employees are now pushing companies to embrace the idea. They are breaking down the conventional work structures and policies that were known to man since the beginning of time.
So what are these surveys trying to say? A momentous change on how we do work is coming, and remote work is kind of a big deal! As digital technologies continue to thrive, the easier it becomes for workers to transcend the shackles of 9-to-5 desk jobs. Companies will just have to futureproof their business and workforce.
Do you think it’s for you?
Anyone can become a digital nomad if they want it hard enough. However, it is not for everyone.
It is not a question of skills because digital skills can be learned. It is a question of intentions and life goals. Do you plan to become a digital nomad to escape the problems you have at home? Well then, maybe you didn’t get the memo that running away won’t solve any of those. If you are in it solely for the travel, maybe consider backpacking for a year instead. That’s far less stressful because you won’t be pressured to set yourself up for the future. If you crave for human interaction, then sorry to tell you, but your mom won’t be there to cook soup when you find yourself sick.
The digital nomad lifestyle, although alluring, has its fair share of goods and bads. Take a good, long look at your life goals. If you seek for true freedom and being able to maximize your life, then the digital nomad lifestyle may fit you.
Maybe along the way, after spending some as a digital nomad, you realize that the lifestyle is not for you. Maybe you like routines, or you prefer to build long-lasting relationships. Or, you just can’t deal with the profound uncertainty of being financially stable. For whatever reason you do decide that it’s not for you, know that that is 100% normal. Your life on the road was not an utter waste of time for you gained incredible memories and experiences. You became a man or woman of the world!
What are you waiting for?
Now, maybe after much thinking on your game plan and reading up online, you find yourself on the fence about taking the plunge. You simply will not know what you are capable of and what is out there if you aren’t willing to take a risk and make that first step.
The fact that you’re already thinking about doing it could mean something about where you are in life right now. Whatever it is, if you just sit on your ass and keep thinking, your mind will just give you a thousand reasons not to do it. However, with a positive outlook, the digital nomad lifestyle will give you life-changing experiences you can find nowhere else.
Hopefully, this post gives you more than an answer to what is a digital nomad. If you still need that push, just stick around on this blog as I happily share more about the lifestyle. Not only that, I also share some digital marketing tips. Make sure you sign up for my monthly newsletter to stay updated!