So far, I am really enjoying being a digital nomad. There are some obvious perks, as this video shows.
But, is it a life that I would recommend for everyone?
The first thing I want to say is that of course I am a very new nomad (although I have quite a lot of experience of living abroad) and therefore probably need to gain more experience before I can give a definitive answer. We were very lucky recently to go to a couple of meetups for digital nomads in Las Palmas. The second one was held at a phenomenal rooftop hotel bar and was probably the biggest gathering of digital nomads in Las Palmas ever- see this video to get a flavour of it.
It was fascinating to speak to some people who not only have been part of this movement for years but who literally don’t think of any one place as home any more. I love the idea of people being ‘a citizen of the world’ but of course at the same time I respect and even enjoy people having a passion for a particular country. My masters’ dissertation was on nationalism, so this is a topic I have thought long and hard about.
My qualified view at the moment is that this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but it could be for most people- and even the people who it wouldn’t work for might be able to incorporate some aspects of it into their lives.
The people it wouldn’t be possible for include people who have responsibilities that mean they can’t travel and people who can’t do their work online.
However this leaves a very large number of people. Many people are realising that a traditional 9-5 job isn’t for them, or, even if they aspire to that life, a lot of jobs aren’t stable any more anyway. Many people have a yearning to see more of the world and experience other cultures and they know that having a couple of weeks’ holiday somewhere a year (if they are lucky) doesn’t cut it for them.
Even people who really can’t move abroad may be able to incorporate some positive aspects of the digital nomad life just by breaking their routines and by having new adventures. For example, until recently I was living in London, one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Without leaving your own country it can be possible to learn about a great many cultures. Just in the past year or so for example I have been to a Sikh wedding; experienced Passover at the home of a Jewish friend; had amazing Gujarati meals cooked for me by my mother in law while living at her house; and attended a Muslim charity event in the House of Lords. There is so much adventure out there if you seek it, so much learning to be had and things to be discovered.