Forget the Digital Nomad, Embrace the Digital Maverick in You!

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“Digital nomad” is a strange term. It has a sort of foreignness to it, and (to me at least) tends to conjure up images of Ryan Reynolds roaming through the desert with a quippy robot in his stead. The sun permanently on the verge of setting but never quite seeming to follow through.

In reality, a digital nomad is merely someone who foregoes a traditional, stable life, and opts instead for a life of couch surfing, backpacking and hitchhiking while making ends meet through working online. Romantic.

Apparently lots of other people think so too. In 2018 a reported 4.8 million Americans described themselves as digital nomads, with another 27% of people with traditional desk jobs saying they were considering becoming a digital nomad

But here is the issue: not everyone likes being a nomad. The initial fascination of working on beaches, mountain tops or in the occasional yurt, quickly cools when thinking through the practicality of it all. After all, your most valuable asset will become your universal power adapter, and we all know how easy those are not to lose.

There is also the case of working on the beach (as the most oft cited benefit). Unless you’re a life guard or $1 popsicle vendor, nobody actually works on the beach. Between your 23-minute battery life due to your screen brightness cranked up to full, some very persistent sand trying to get into your keyboard, or your notebook’s sudden ambition to blind you by becoming only marginally less bright than the actual sun, work is kind of difficult to prioritize. Then there’s going for a swim in the sea instead…

The problem is the term ‘nomad’.

The early days of ‘internet-enabled’ work was accompanied with a radical new outlook as to what opportunities such work could afford. Absolute freedom. No strings attached. The ability to live like a bird. In other words, nomadic. But these opportunities are equally applicable to non-nomadic, stay-at-home life too.

Using technology to abandon ‘normal life’ and pursue a path of yoga, meditation and endless journeys through foreign lands is not always a practical means of avoiding office hours. But using it to avoid traffic, pointless meetings and creating a schedule that suits how you want to live your life totally is.

Enter the digital maverick.

The thing is, the world of remote work no longer belongs to the tech savvy millennials alone. It has become the mainstream. We are fast reaching a point where one of your first choices will literally be “do I want to work in an office, or not?”.

It’s no longer even a luxury for specialized freelancers either. Working online is slowly expanding to include more and more traditional jobs.

      • Writers don’t need to hamper creativity with long office hours bathed in fluorescence
      • Teachers can teach students on the other side of the planet
      • Artisans can avoid bustling markets all together and sell directly online

The list goes on.

What does this all mean?

It means it’s time to embrace the digital maverick in you. The one thing you’ll find after taking the plunge into online work, is it’s more common (and rewarding) than you could ever imagine.