It is fair to say that most people would jump at the chance to travel the world in perpetuity. Imagine having an inexhaustible supply of cash which enabled you to keep on travelling for as long as you wanted; it would be the stuff of dreams wouldn't it?
Well, the thing is; this dream is no longer the private preserve of a precious few (think millionaire playboys, professional sports stars and international beach inspectors); it is a very real prospect which pretty much anyone who earns their living via the Internet can pursue and embrace.
The rise of the digital nomad
We all know that digital technology has absolutely exploded over the last two decades. If you went into a coffee shop (assuming you could find one) fifteen years ago and asked the barista if they had free Wi-fi for your iPhone or tablet, they would have looked at you like you had just escaped from some kind of secure facility. Even trying to arrange a video call to an employer or client more than ten years ago would have resulted in you being labeled a crackpot.
Today, the Internet – along with a plethora of ways to access it – is everywhere. Indeed, it doesn't matter where you might find yourself in the world, you can be fairly sure that, as long as you're not in a desert, there will be an Internet connection of sorts available somewhere.
This rise in net coverage has made it possible for a whole sector of adventurous web-based professionals to ditch their physical offices and opt for a life of living and working on the open road. These adventurous souls – known as digital nomads – are every bit as fortunate as your run-of-the-mill playboy or sports star as they are able to earn a decent income while on the road, thereby facilitating a lifestyle of potentially endless travel.
Convincing yourself to give it a try
If you work online, know someone who has embraced the digital nomad lifestyle, or have read some of the (many) inspiring blogs now established online, you may well have thought about becoming a digital nomad yourself. Indeed, the whole idea of ditching the 'same-old same-old' and wandering wherever the wind may take you is certainly one which has plenty of pull.
And yet still you're here – why is that?
Well, chances are it's because you have talked yourself out of taking the plunge. This is not unusual or unexpected. As common as nomadic working has become, it is still seen by many as being a slightly bohemian pursuit and as such it is perceived to be something of a risky, 'alternative' venture.
And this is likely to be the crux of your inertia. Either yourself or someone close to you may well have put the question, “Why would you want to do something risky and alternative” out there. It may even have been followed up with: “Why would you want to give up everything you have now and leave all your family and friends behind to go places you've never even heard of before?”
Points to consider
However, you can turn this form of questioning on its head and get a whole new perspective: “Why wouldn't you want to do something risky and alternative?” Let’s face it, our lives are pretty linear and organised for the most part: we go to school/college/uni, study preferred subjects to the highest level we can, get a job, embark on a career, buy property, meet someone special, settle down and start a family. Although by no means set in stone, this is still generally the way of things – it is still the template by which most of us live by, whether we realise it or not.
Would it really be so bad to inject a bit of risk and alternativeness into this linear journey? Would travelling around with no fixed itinerary for a period of time, taking a very deliberate break from what is expected of you really be such a crime? Think of all the adventures you might have, all the wondrous things you might see and experience, all the people you could meet.
And don't forget, your family and friends will still be there when you get back. Becoming a digital nomad isn't the same as emigrating; you can come and go as you please so you always have the option to come home whenever you feel like it, even if it's just for a holiday.
Embracing the digital nomad lifestyle is a big decision. Moreover, it is a fact that living and working far away from home isn't for everyone. However, opting for this lifestyle is pretty much like any other major decision – you're not going to know unless you give it a go.
So really, what have you got to lose?
Image sourced: Be Bold