Saturday, 12 May 2007

What is a Digital Nomad?

One of the most opportunistic ways to Escape England to live and work abroad, has to be - to become a Digital Nomad...

But what exactly is a digital nomad? What is your opinion? What is my opinion? What do other nomads think?

The Digital Nomad and Peter Haslan (notable characters in the blogosphere), are on a quest to gather people’s opinions on what it means to be a “Digital Nomad”.

Their definition of the term is as follows:

“a person who needs mobile technology to conduct business while on the road which could be within a city, between cities or from other countries. Nomads are not location dependent except through personal choice and could be employed by a business or be freelancers. This is a growing trend with the uncertainties of long term employment with a single company and rapid changes in emerging technologies, and there is a different mindset required to be successful.”

Nia, Nomad4ever and myself were all asked to answer some questions – which I have done below. If you are also interested in this lifestyle, then please also contribute your answers within your own blog (if you have one). If not – please feel free to comment here or on any one of the other “nomads” blogs.

1. What do you feel is the key attitude to being successful in this lifestyle?

If I were to create a job vacancy advertisement for a digital nomad there are many skills that I would be looking for, such as good organisational skills (making sure you have all the equipment and information you need, taking up minimal space), and a sound knowledge of what to do in the case of equipment failure etc.

However underlying the skills which can be acquired and learned – I believe that a digital nomad needs to be of a particular mind set in order to be successful.

At the moment we are in the minority, and in many cases people around you will not necessarily have an understanding or even believe that being a “Digital Nomad” is a possibility. You will therefore need to forthright in your vision, and contain your belief that it is possible. The chances are that any existing digital nomads will not be living within your immediate area, so you will need to build a network over the internet…, is a website established by another nomad, that aims to do just that.

In addition to this, at the moment, there is no common script, or formula for living this lifestyle. So you will need to “think outside of the box” and explore possible solutions, which will vary depending on your area of expertise. The workingnomad has written an ebook on a formula that has worked for him. I am currently reviewing the ebook, and hope to post more about it, and more about the working nomad at a later date.

2. What is the biggest drawback for you in being a digital nomad?

If you are in a relationship, it can be quite difficult to find a “route” which suits both of you. In cases where you do decide to go separate ways in terms of location – you then have the difficulty in maintaining the relationship from a distance. It is possible, but it can become complicated when there are two of you or more.

You will also experience many new places and people, and this can have a twofold effect. You could on the one-hand grow further apart from your friends and family at home, and on the other hand, you may also establish an enormous network of people around the world.

This obviously has many positives and is indeed one of the attractions for me. Meeting interesting people who all have something to bring to the table makes for exciting conversation at the bar… However it does have a major drawback in that it can become quite difficult to maintain the numerous relationships you establish. In the end the only way to cope is to improve at letting go of relationships and moving on…or maintain many, but somewhat diluted friendships.

Life as a Digital Nomad could therefore potentially become quite lonely, as you develop the ability to remain detached – never fully committing to any one lifestyle and/or place.

3. What do you consider to be the minimum essential equipment you currently have or would be buying in the future?

Separate Hard Drive and a number of USB sticks
A good laptop bag
Mobile Phone
Digital Camera
All the possible connection leads you may need…..

The following are fellow nomads or potential escapees – who may well also have an opinion or view on these questions.

The Digital Nomad

Working Nomad
Brave New Traveller
Notes from the road
Ray Dotson
Anything Goes
Leave the Office
Leave America

What do you think??????? Comment away…!!!


Digital Nomad said...

Great post Tina. I made reference to it and also created a link to your blog.

I left you a pm over at MyBlogLog as well.

Thanks for participating in the meme.

Peter Haslam said...

Thanks for participating Tina. Some good information

doy said...

Being a Nomad as according to Digital Nomad and Mr. Peter Haslam, has a positive and negative impact. Positive as you say you can visit different places meeting different people enhancing your knowledge on different culture, and I say negative 'cause you'll be away from your family and leaving the new found friend everytime you travel.

Anyway thanks for including me to your Nomad's list.

Simon said...

I'm trying to direct my career in a direction that will allow for much more flexibility in terms of location - ideally being able to do my work anywhere in the world!

Good post, lots of useful information that I'm going to follow up on.

Cheers and thanks for including me.