Are you choosing the freedom to work where and when you want?
Being paid a stable wage is no longer the well-heeled professional choice for a lot of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and professionals.
The growing phenomenon has caught the attention of the internet and is arguably the currently go to SEO millennial blogging term going. Sleek notebook computers on beaches or on top of mountain ranges are genuinely taking over my Instagram feed.
Away from the social media haze, people are actually falling out of the 9-5 work loop and looking for an alternative option at a staggering rate. Often this involves a conscious choice to have location and time-based freedom instead of a bulging wallet.
Why are people choosing a riskier lifestyle instead of a more financially secure one? Answering for myself, I wasn’t happy in any job since I graduated, I moved from industry to industry and became the ultimate chameleon role hopper. I was convinced I hadn’t ‘quite found my thing’ when my thing was doing what felt natural and I was going against my instincts.
I am not a corporate person (I know many people are) and I craved the freedom to work in my own style and according to my own rules and most importantly my own values.
Answering for others, it’s now much easier to become a digital nomad and there is much more support out there for people who want to make the jump or already have and have no idea how to navigate a very new and sometimes isolated life.
The rise of the digital nomadic life
Technology also has a huge part to play in the rise of the digital nomadic life, because it wasn’t possible before, or not in the same encompassing way. The more we develop apps, devices and integrated services the more we lose the need to be anchored anywhere.
Take a salesman, before he’d need to be physically present at meetings, to meet clients or carry out internal admin. That salesman can now hold a video conference for both staff and clients from any other part of the world and can upload any admin onto the internal cloud from a secure VPN.
Another example is a teacher, you can now teach people via video conference across the world. I have a friend who is an English teacher and has students from several continents who she helps from the other side of her laptop from wherever she is.
There are obvious down points to living your life completely remotely, but I think what people like and what is creating such an online buzz is that we are the masters of our own destiny and that is an enviable freedom; but like with anything amazing, it’s hard to maintain and is riddled with pot holes.
I think what I love most about being a digital nomad is that eventually you leave your nomadic bubble and start to network and meet fellow digital nomads. And instead of feeling overwhelmed or vulnerable about how little you have achieved you are welcomed into the fold and are shown that everyone started somewhere. There’s much less competition and you end up feeling inspired and pleased that other people are doing something completely against the grain and it in turn helps you become better at what you do.
You also realise that by working together we can eventually influence the business world to react and become more adaptable to their employees and change the realities of employee culture, which is often the reason why people are forced to break free in the first place and join the digital nomadic caravan.
Sara Benaiisa is a freelancer, writer and owner of content company Fraiche Ink. Sara specialises in writing for sustainable and responsible businesses and uses her writing skills to promote ethical trade and practices.