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The life of a digital nomad

Being a digital nomad has become extremely popular trend all over the world. Recently, following the boom in the IT sector and all the other related areas, many people started their own career. What unites all of them is the willingness to work independently, to be location free and travel 365 days a year.

The term “digital nomad” was first used in 1997 as the title of a book published by John Wiley & Sons and written by Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners. Speculation abounds whether it was a phrase that already existed or if this was the first use of it. The phrase “location independent” came into being in 2006 to describe the digital nomad lifestyle.

What is a digital nomad?

In very simple terms a digital nomad is a person who uses telecommunication technologies to earn a living whilst traveling on a global scale. Think throwing a laptop into a backpack and off you go into the unknown. These “creatures” of the new age forego the traditional manner of working from 9 to 5 in a typical office culture of 4 walls and office hierarchy. They say goodbye to possessions, family and friends and take off for countries around the world where quite often the living is cheaper than that of their home country. Digital nomads tend to put themselves in the category of basically being “homeless”, because home to them is where they are, not a physical construction, hence they are “wanderers” or nomads. The basic necessity to being a digital nomad is having a career that is location independent.

Digital nomads become such for many different reasons, such as refugees fleeing hardships or political unrest, affluent people that can control their business on-line, young people due to lack of full-time employment available in their home countries, wondrous individuals seeking a different style of life or those bitten with the wanderlust bug. You will find these spirited souls in many different countries tapping away on laptops in coworking spaces, cafes or public libraries, anywhere that they can connect to the Internet.

Where digital nomads predominantly hang out in?

One base characteristic of human nature is the bonding element; hence there are certain towns or cities that swell with these rogue workers who quickly form clans or tribes, as they are all living the same vicarious lifestyle of mingling work with travel. Coworking spaces have become the pseudo office for those who wish to connect with other digital nomads and to combat the loneliness some may experience. Other options to satisfy this need to connect are coworking and co-living arrangements or even cruises around the Greek islands for example, aimed solely at the digital nomad niche market.

Certain destinations have become big drawcards for digital nomads to cluster in, such as Pai and Chiang Mai in Thailand plus Bali in Indonesia, due to the low cost of living and abundance of things to do. Tallinn (Estonia), Tarifa (Spain), Tbilisi (Georgia – the country with the Black Sea nibbling its toes at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe) are other major gathering points due to the greater acceptance of the digital nomad lifestyle plus its relatively cheap living costs. Singapore and Oslo are cities where digital nomads hang out en masse despite the higher costs of living.
Basically any country that has a tourist area will hold an attraction for digital nomads to invade, from Cape Town (South Africa) to Playa del Carmen (Mexico) and Lisbon (Portugal) to Budapest (Hungary). In 2018 there are few countries that do not have a contingent of digital nomads in its midst.

In a nutshell a digital nomad lifestyle can be very rewarding, as it allows people who love to travel to have an additional extended and sustainable period of life on the road. Even though the digital nomad life is not hectic and includes work and daily routines. We should not underestimate its uniqueness and the ability it offers to click the “Reset” button and completely change a location without much preparation


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