Ancient nomads lived by water, but modern digital nomads can work anywhere as long as they have a network. The niche lifestyle of “digital nomad” is becoming more and more popular.
Becoming a “Digital Nomad” means that you can communicate with colleagues and conduct online meetings through various instant messaging tools anywhere in the world where you can find a wireless network.
Therefore, you don’t have to go to the office to clock in, and you don’t have to be limited by space. You can take your work to another city or country outside the company, or you can always be on the road. You can wear shorts, sandals, or even a bikini at work…
Of course, digital nomads are not unique this year, but the epidemic has accelerated the disruption of traditional work models, making people actively or passively stay away from traditional offices.
In the world of digital nomads, exotic love does not exist
I first met the so-called digital nomad, the American Luck, when I was a graduate student in Germany. At that time, the term “digital nomad” was not yet popular, and Luke had already traveled around the world with his programming skills, and at the same time worked for local companies in the United States.
Luke is 32 years old, tall and thin, wears black-rimmed glasses, and usually does not talk much, but his girlfriend and my classmate Angelina (Angelia) is a full-fledged socialite. Angelina and I chose Buenos Aires and Bangkok because the postgraduate project required research all over the world, and Luke, the “student’s family member”, also followed our project for two years. At first I even thought he was a rich second-generation “love brain” who gave up his job to accompany his girlfriend. It was only later that I learned that he was a senior engineer at a software company in the United States. He gave up his nine-to-five job because he didn’t want to have a long-distance relationship.
”It’s not easy at the beginning,” Luke said, “First of all, you have to convince yourself that your mentality is actually very important.” But compared to a stable salary and job, Luke cares more about the psychological distress caused by a foreign relationship , “When two people can’t be together, when companionship and care can’t be given, it is easy to have problems. And I am very sure that Angelina is my life partner, so I have to solve this problem.”
Luke went to talk to his The boss proposed to resign. The smart boss obviously didn’t want to lose an excellent employee, so he proposed to let Luke continue to participate in the company’s projects as an external employee. As for the salary, it changed from a packaged annual salary system to a project dividend system. “For each project I participate in, I will be given a production fee in the early stage, and I will be given a bonus after completion. At the end of the year, I will be given a certain dividend according to the profitability of the project I undertake.” Luke immediately signed an external expert contract agreement, and flew to Germany as soon as possible with the unfinished project in hand.
In addition to the need to overcome the jet lag, Luke’s remote work is generally smooth. He said, “The salary is indeed not as much as before, but it is completely enough.” As an early “digital nomad”, Luke also had anxiety. Not enough projects can be done. Fortunately, he has excellent skills and keeps receiving project orders from the United States. Some companies in the same industry have proposed cooperation intentions to him after knowing that he no longer works exclusively for a certain company.
Luke and Angelina are now back in San Francisco after years of traveling the world, but they say they won’t hesitate to “swim” if the need arises.
“World Tour” freelance work, it’s best to prepare in advance
Most of the world’s earliest professionals who transformed into digital nomads were IT industry technicians like Luke, who are often called “code farmers”. They have low dependence on the place of work, and the content and results of their work can be presented on computers and the Internet, which is the basic premise for them to “swim”.
With the development of globalization, the world is becoming more and more connected, and visas, transportation, and Internet conditions that hinder many people from “swimming” have become more and more simple and convenient, so people from more industries have joined the digital nomads. ranks, Keiko (Keiko) is one of them.
Ke Kou is a native of the Netherlands. Her dream is to travel around the world in her lifetime. The “digital nomad” working method has become a booster for her to realize her dream.
In order to achieve freedom of work, Ke Kou made quite a long-term plan in the early stage. The first step was to obtain the international English teacher qualification certificate, and then worked as a full-time English teacher in international schools in Nepal and Thailand for two years.
After accumulating enough teaching experience, she tried to work as a part-time online oral English teacher on the English teaching platform Spiiker. From one or two class hours a week to full-time online teaching, it took Ke Kou a year to complete the transformation.
She likes this kind of self-determined life very much, “I can arrange courses according to my own time. If I am more energetic this quarter, I will take more classes; I plan to go on vacation next month, as long as I arrange fewer classes, I can control my time freely. In
addition to the students on the platform, the international school Ke Kou once worked for also has students whose parents hope their children can continue to learn English from her, so she also spends one-on-one with two or three former students on Skype every week Exchange teaching. “At present, my income from online teaching can fully support my living and travel costs. I can go anywhere in the world, and I can negotiate and adjust the course time in areas with jet lag.”
The life of “digital nomads” brings language teaching With unique advantages, Ke Kou will move the classroom to restaurants, vegetable markets, stations and other public places for “on-site teaching” during the journey.
”I will use live demonstrations to teach students how to order food, how to buy tickets, how to ask for directions, etc. My students can see the use of language in life scenes, and they have an immersive feeling. They all I especially like this way of teaching.” Ke Kou believes that language is a tool, and simply “lecturing” will appear boring, and the ultimate goal is to use it in life. But now her free working method allows her to develop infinitely, making many ideas that could not be realized before become reality.
The future of digital nomads has endless possibilities
Luke and Coco are just two of the many digital nomads around the world. The current situation of continuous anti-epidemic life has made telecommuting a new normal, and more people have begun to explore the possibility of breaking space restrictions to work.
The “2021 White Paper on China’s Travel and Vacation” released in early 2022 shows that more than 60% of young people aspire to become “digital nomads” with irregular office locations and enjoy vacation life while working.
According to a report by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), more than 25 countries and regions around the world have launched “digital nomad visas”. Someone is staying in the destination country for a long time and doing their own job.
Ke Kou, who is currently living in Germany temporarily, said, “Digital nomadism is actually a way of life. I chose this way of wandering around, and what supports my way of life is working online on the Internet. Even if I am in Bangkok today , I will be in Rome next month, and I will go to Cape Town next month, and the way I make money through online work will remain the same.”
Luke believes that the biggest barrier to being a digital nomad is actually whether his skills are excellent, he said: “Many writers, consultants, and designers are now digital nomads. Because their professional level is high enough to be recognized by customers, they don’t worry about work issues wherever they go.”
Luke also said that few People can “swim” all the time, “People are always changing. For example, when I was in my twenties and thirties, I wanted to walk around, but at the age of 40, I may want to have another way of life, and maybe I will love it. I went to farming…”
In such a diverse world, perhaps the most important thing is not to choose a way of life and work, but to follow one’s own heart, whether it is working from nine to five step by step, or wandering around the world As a digital nomad, work is always for the life you want.
The positive meaning embodied by “digital nomad” is not only the experience of freedom, but also the experience of cultural collision. However, a former “digital immigrant” named Mark Manson said that at the end of “Nomad”, he was dominated by loneliness, “I traveled from country to country, but no one remembered me, and no one cared Who am I.” He concluded: “There is no free life in the world. As digital nomads, we just choose another lighter burden.”