Digital nomadism, very basically, refers to the lifestyle of geographic freedom, where we use the Internet to work while travelling the world. With the democratisation of technology and the evolution of remote working, barriers to entry are being torn down.
Today, we’ll go over these basic points, and more:
What is digital nomadism?
Digital nomadism is a 21st century working lifestyle driven by digital nomads who have no fixed home, and work remotely while moving from place to place.
Even in its initial phase in different parts of the world, it fosters strong professional and geographical freedom, and flexible working hours. This has successfully contributed to the disruption of traditional hierarchies and work structures.
Despite the fact that the term digital nomadism is relatively new, the number of people seeking a similar lifestyle has grown immensely, especially since the start of the pandemic.
The core concept revolves around having a life on the move, without a fixed home and with work that can be done remotely. Whether for a company, as a freelancer, or for digital entrepreneurship.
Nomadism is a lifestyle based on geographical freedom at work. A digital nomad is a person who travels without a home and uses the Internet to work.
Digital nomadism: a big life decision
The first steps: before letting go, you need to be sure that this is what you really want. Embracing digital nomadism means a lot of adventure, but it also involves plenty of challenges, and leaving things behind that we may take for granted.
Our aim is to give you a first-hand, authentic view of what it means to be a digital nomad. So, in today’s post, and indeed throughout our blog, we share our everyday experiences. With digital nomadism, it’s not all play, there’s a lot of hard work!
Firstly, you will need to have a certain sense of autonomy, even if you don’t have a freelance job. To travel you need to have resources, and to have resources you have to earn money.
My sense of autonomy and certainty came slowly. At first, it may seem confusing, but as time goes on, things become clearer. You’re essentially embarking on an internal process, in deciding how you really want to live your life. This too can take time.
Have less, experience more
Digital nomadism is not about material possessions, quite the opposite. It is a lifestyle based on experiencing and feeling.
Having a car, a home of your own, and an 8-hour day job, are the traditional life ambitions, and there is nothing wrong with this lifestyle. However, if you are someone who seeks a life of travel and exploration, digital nomadism might just be for you.
A chronicle of real life before digital nomadism
A chronicle based on my past life from a few years ago, before I adopted digital nomadism as a lifestyle.
– The alarm goes off, it’s 5:30 am on a rainy Monday, and it’s the beginning of a busy week at work. I don’t have much time to think, I open my eyes, and immediately go to autopilot and follow my routine: shower, grab a quick bite to eat, and run to catch my train.
– Every minute timed, no time to find a more interesting route to work, everything functions mechanically. Subconsciously. But wait… today was a lucky day, I managed to sit down and get some more sleep while I get to work.
– The long commute means more time to think about the bills I have to pay, off home to pack and rest while I reflect on a future that often seems monotone.
– Next day. I arrive at work. The same environment, the same activities, the same problems, and the same solutions. All a bit the same, not bad, just the same.
– The return? The same, but the confused thoughts and the dream of the holidays finally arriving and being able to get away from it all.
This chronicle is clearly aiming to make a very obvious point, but it touches on something that every person who has worked a nine to five has felt, a longing for something more. If that “something more” for you is adventure, digital nomadism might be for you!
Give it time
The important thing to understand is that nobody wakes up from one day to the next with the capacity to change their lives in such a drastic way. Not only is there the huge personal decision to be made, but you also have to tick several other boxes.
Among these requirements, of course, is that you need to be able to live with financial stability while working remotely. But not only that, you need to acclimatise to the lifestyle of working on your own schedule, as it’s not always easy!
Even though there are difficulties associated with digital nomadism, there’s a growing worldwide community of other nomads willing to share their tips and experiences.
Personally, digital nomadism has brought a slow, but positive change in my life that motivates me to wake up every day and achieve my ambitions.
8 reasons to start digital nomadism
Now that you have a bit of an idea of what the lifestyle of a digital nomad entails, I’d like to share my list of the top 8 reasons to embark on the journey of digital nomadism. Let’s get into it!
1. More time for yourself
Time is the true treasure of this century. Several factors affect our regular routines, including the number of hours worked per week in the office, and the standardisation of how those hours should be used.
Time wasted in traffic jams, public transport, and meetings you didn’t really need to be at, are among countless other little “wasted hours” in life. With digital nomadism, you decide how you organise your time.
Best of all, it is possible to adjust the most productive and creative hours according to the activities that require the most attention at the time. Soon you’ll find that this even has a really positive impact on your mental health.
Being able to take a break and go for a walk in the middle of the day and come back full of motivation to finish everything that you need to do is one of the great advantages of this lifestyle..
Time is priceless. This is the first reason to become a digital nomad. Each day becomes unique, and yet, Monday and Saturday hold the same weight, and you stop spending the week waiting for the weekend, and you start to live in the moment.
2. Your health deserves attention
It’s not news that stress causes many health problems, both mental and physical. Pressure, and living among hostile environments, can trigger many psychological issues. Many offices do not have environments designed to get the best out of every employee. Moreover, everyone functions differently and has different tastes.
This is difficult to incorporate into a traditional company structure.
The feeling of being stuck, or having to wake up every day and do the same process, often makes life seem mechanical. This causes a lack of creativity. When we start functioning on autopilot, we’re unable to prioritise the little things that are important to us, which has a negative impact on the mind and body.
When we start to take a holistic view, we realise that digital nomadism has an impact even on the way we eat. Many digital nomads spend more time at home preparing their own food, healthy food!
Although there are countless excellent restaurants around the world, to make sure that what you are eating is really healthy, the best way is to prepare it yourself. This includes vegetarians and vegans, who may still struggle to find adequate food options.
Being able to take care of your health will prevent future issues. Having time to take good care of yourself will make you a much more well-rounded person.
3. Comfort zone
The infamous comfort zone, that many people are afraid to leave. The routine created by living in your comfort zone ends up being a false security, and even a burden.
This sense of certainty is something we create in our heads to justify our fears and to stop taking risks. Getting out of your comfort zone should be a daily exercise, and with digital nomadism, there is no shortage of opportunities to practice this.
We have to reinvent ourselves every day, and this is what makes this lifestyle so special.
4. Freedom and creativity
Freedom is, in a sense, the foundational premise for creativity. Being able to not only think outside the box, but also live outside the box, takes you to another level of creative potential.
The best creative inspirations include reading, listening to music, watching films and… travelling! There is no more natural way to learn than through the experience of travel.
Having moments of direct contact with different cultures makes you reflect on the simple aspects of your life, causing a shift in your consciousness.
I often say that in digital nomadism, you end up creating various unconventional learning methods for yourself.
Digital nomadism ends up taking us out of our cultural and social bubbles, which is always an enriching experience, as you see your creativity develop and flourish in real time.
5. Finding happiness
Many people around the world are realising that happiness is much more than owning a big house, gaining notoriety, or being as good as your most “successful” friend. Happiness is individual, there is no one size fits all.
It’s important to have a good understanding of yourself, and to gain new knowledge and experiences, so you can figure out what really makes you happy. Digital nomadism can also help in this process.
Often we spend our whole life in the same place, unsatisfied but not knowing where to go, or what to do. This is why digital nomadism is so important. It gives you the opportunity to get to know different things.
Only by knowing ourselves can we know what we really want in life. With world travel and direct contact with different people, situations, and cultures, we end up expanding our awareness and thus, allow ourselves to become who we want to become.
6. Create global connections
When you start with digital nomadism, you will soon realise that the way you relate to people will change, and you will meet new and interesting people along the way.
Your social networks will include people from all over the world, and your contact list in several languages. This is great not only for professional development, but personal development, too.
Another great benefit of this? Being able to stay at a friends’ places all over the world when you visit their cities and have them show you their culture! And of course, having people come to stay with you so you can share your culture with them too.
7. Choose how you work
Being able to work how and where you want, having breaks when you lack productivity, or organising an activity in the middle of your working day only increases your ability to do your job well. Finding new cafés and Coworking spaces is always exciting!
Having the ability to dictate the rythm of your lifestyle is one of the best practices for increasing productivity and creativity development.
Sometimes you prefer to work alone, sometimes you want to work surrounded by others, depending on how you’re feeling. For those who work in a traditional company, the idea of being able to choose may not even cross your mind.
The truth is that not every day is the same. That is why digital nomadism is able to offer so many opportunities for people to gain a deeper understanding of how they want to spend their working lives, and how to make that time the best possible.
8. Less “have” and more “do”.
The true meaning of wealth is in the experiences you’ve had and not in the things you’ve bought. In digital nomadism, seeking new experiences is part of the routine, which inspires us to keep doing what we do.
Rejecting consumerism to live a minimalist lifestyle is more than a desire, it is a necessity for us and for our planet, and it’s not always easy.
However, a life detached from the material, and linked to the small moments that life has to offer produces a greater, and more authentic sense of achievement.
Live to live, don’t live to buy.
Here at Planet Nomad, we want to help you on your path to geographical freedom, every step of the way.
Whether it’s through articles like this one about the digital nomad lifestyle, or about digital nomad jobs, digital nomad travel insurance, or digital nomad visas, we’re here to lend a hand if you need it!
Thanks for reading, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavours ✈️🌍