Featured image credit: Boardwalk Aruba
What is a nomadic lifestyle?
A quick Google search of the terminology shows you stereotypical images of untroubled working professionals enjoying a picturesque working setup in the islands of Barbados. And while that may look immensely appealing to travel-obsessed generations dreading the daily struggles of typical office life, there’s more to being a digital nomad than avocado toast and weekend hikes.
A digital nomad refers to a type of remote worker relying on digital tools to make money while constantly travelling worldwide. It can be fun and glam at times, but beyond creating once-in-a-lifetime memories on the road, there’s a lot to know about the digital nomad lifestyle that takes a lot of grit and dedication to sustain.
Benefits of living a nomadic lifestyle
Meeting incredible people
Whether you opt to fulfil your globetrotting dreams with loved ones or sans plus one, there’s no doubt you’ll meet and establish relationships with a lot of amazing individuals as you travel the world. The biggest draw with being a digital nomad is that there’s a growing community everywhere, so you’ll hardly feel lonely as you move into other continents. There are countless blogs and online communities out there wherein like-minded people share insights and stories that can help reduce your worries, especially in navigating a new location. It goes without saying though, it’s the locals that are the most informative when it comes to hidden gems and incredible experiences you’ll have in their respective cities so take advantage of that!
Learning about cultures
Lessons may come through simple things such as wandering around a food market or even something as immersive as interacting directly with indigenous communities, but there’s plenty of mental and spiritual growth that comes with the digital nomad lifestyle. Travelling to different countries and experiencing a multitude of cultures first hand enables you to widen your worldview — which is something that no amount of time basking in your comfort zone will give you. And even if you encounter an immense amount of differences with each culture’s history, cuisine, and way of life, you get to tie at the end of the day the similarities that make all humans co-exist in a single world.
Embarking on countless adventures
The great thing about digital nomads is that while they prioritise making money and sustaining their resources, they also have an incredible sense of work and life balance. From off-the-beaten-path getaways to relaxing sanctuaries, no two days are the same when you’re always on the road and experiencing life outside the confines of your usual working environment. All a nomad needs is a stable internet connection, and the sky is literally the limit for new experiences and long-term travel.
Having a flexible schedule
Contrary to committing to a structured work setup implemented by most companies, remote workers do not operate in the usual office setting. They work from anywhere and accomplish deliverables regardless of timezone, allowing for more freedom to control their personal space and time.
Digital Nomad Lifestyle Trends
1. More than half of the US workforce has jobs that can be done remotely.
A study conducted by Global Workplace Analytics showed that a whopping number of 75 million employees are into roles that can have a remote work opportunity. The significant finding was strengthened by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing millions of workers to work in the comfort of their own homes. Although the world is slowly recalibrating by expediting vaccinations and slowly reopening businesses, several companies (Facebook, Google, etc.) have already decided into implementing a long-term remote setup for their employees. While onsite working environments still have their advantages, there are plenty of numerous tools available for more efficient virtual offices: Slack, Zoom, and Google Workspace, to name a few!
2. The digital nomad movement is rising globally.
There’s a skyrocketing number of coworking spaces worldwide, catering to the growing digital nomad communities in major cities and well-known nomad destinations. Putting a heavy emphasis on functional and flexible areas for creatives of all kinds, coworking companies elevate design standards for each city’s culture and lifestyle. There’s also plenty of accommodation spots slowly opening for digital nomads, one of which is Airbnb for Work, a home rental service specifically made for business travellers.
3. It doesn’t have to break the bank.
It’s a common misconception that travelling needs a costly budget. But while digital nomads require a steady income source (16% are earning over £52,972 annually), those who live a minimalist lifestyle can save a ton of money in the long run, especially if they explore cities with a lower cost of living than their home base. There are also numerous strategies to reduce expenses: co-living spaces, promo flights, public transportation, and home cooked meals!
4. Remote workers know hustle as much as onsite workers do.
According to Stanford Business, there’s a 13 per cent increased productivity rate among remote workers compared to onsite staff. Instagram might show a different vibe through the stock photos of digital nomads enjoying a stress-free workday at the beach, but the truth is, these nomads put in hard work as much as office-based employees do, sometimes even more. Freelancing and being location-independent gives less stability than what you would typically have in a regular office setup, so there’s a stronger motivation to deliver and prove yourself.
5. Expat communities promote a culture of work satisfaction.
Telecommuters rate the highest at the Workforce Happiness Index for job satisfaction, saying they feel more productive working remotely than when asked to report in an office. Numerous studies back up the reduced workplace stress for digital nomads, as they enjoy a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle of work and travel combined.