Not a long time ago, we’ve all heard about the blogger Sam Cookney who lived in Barcelona and worked in London. This sounded like a weird thing to do. However, a lot of people have that exact same lifestyle today. Indeed, there is an increasing number of digital nomads. If you type these two words on any search engine, a huge list of posts, stories and testimonies will roll out in front of you. As the name suggests, digital nomads are individuals who use technology and telecommunications in order to live and work independently, in a nomadic manner. Let us discover and understand this new phenomenon further.
Digital nomad: a new type of traveller
Technology and telecommunications are at the basis of this new phenomenon. Indeed, the Internet has created a new definition of ‘work’. It has revolutionized the traditional 9-5-job routine. Focusing on one’s career is not an excuse anymore to say no to travelling. Thanks to the huge digital development that happened in the last decade, a growing number of digital nomads are now independent, and are able to work from anywhere. Even teams are successfully leading this lifestyle.
So, in other words, digital nomads are travellers who can work from anywhere in the world. These people are not dependent or constraint to any location, or any cubicle space anymore. Whether it is in an exotic destination like Bali, or a big city like Barcelona, digital nomads found an efficient and productive way to combine work and travel. Is this perfection?
What’s the coolest place to live and work in?
Every now and then, people publish lists of the coolest offices in the world. One could say that digital nomads have the best and the coolest office, which is composed of all the different continents! Digital nomads can live and work anywhere. This lifestyle is not only applicable to freelance writers and bloggers exclusively, like a lot might believe. There are many companies almost everyone is familiar with, which are already partially remote. Buzzfeed, Airbnb, Mozilla, Etsy and Living Social are among them.
Co-working spaces match perfectly with the needs of digital nomads. First, it allows them to have a space where they can conduct daily work or hold videoconference calls in a professional and silent environment. Besides that, it also gives digital nomads the opportunity to socialize, connect and attend interesting events in the city they are in. This helps them blend in with the local community, and learn from them. Some traditional cafés are following the digital nomad trend. To respond to their needs, they often save a special space for working people. I’ve been in many different cafés with a huge table, where freelancers work, and socialize.
New lifestyle made easier
Some believe that this lifestyle is exclusive to billionaires. But it really isn’t. Most digital nomads choose this lifestyle because it is cheaper, and more convenient. Let’s take a look at the comparative table below, showing the difference between living expenses in Bali and in London.
|Monthly basic expenses||$914||$2,973|
|Pint of beer||$1.84||$7.53|
Basically, living in Bali for 3 months allows one to save around $6,000 on basic expenses.
Also, travel is made easier and cheaper today. In 2010, the flight time between London and Berlin was of around 1h45. Today, Berlin is only 30 minutes away from London by plane. Londoners commute 1h15 per day on average. In comparison, taking the plane from Berlin doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Even the ticket prices have crumbled. Back in 1985, Berlin-London by plane used to cost $240. Today, it is only $75. It is even predicted to reach $20 in 2035.
Not only are the expenses easier to handle, but also there are a lot of different tools available for digital nomads to help them in their daily lives. One can use “sowiggle” to have a 24/7 video chat when working in remote teams, or “nomadlist” that helps digital nomads find the best cities in the world to work in, or even “slack”, a top productivity and communication tool. There are many other platforms and apps that ensure and facilitate communication, information, and productivity.