The Rise of the Digital Nomad

A few weeks ago, someone asked me what I really wanted to do with my life, what all of my current endeavors were working towards. I thought for a minute and then it came to me.

"I want to be able to work wherever I want, whenever I want. I want to be able to pick up my laptop and venture off into the sunset, knowing that the work will get done and I will get to see some of the world's most amazing places".

"Ah," he said. "So you want to be a digital nomad?"

I looked at him for a minute. I had never really thought about it like that. I don't consider myself a nomadic or wandering person but when I thought about a traditional office job, I started to feel stifled and sweaty.

"Yeah", I answered. "I suppose I do".

The term "Digital nomad" is something that's been bouncing around the media for some time now and whilst it's certainly a descriptive term, it does come with a certain set of airs and graces. The notion that you could have the liberty to swan around the world, picking up contracts as you go is all well and good but in reality, can it really be done?

It has been estimated that millennials will change their job every two to three years, meaning that the very idea of a career is being re-crafted right under our noses. We don't have the same security as our parents did when they left university; there are no jobs waiting for us, it is us who must create the work. Apart from being a career path crafted out of a need for travel, it seems to me that the notion of the "digital nomad" has been formed out of necessity. We must go where the work is and therefore, the world has become our office space.

Of course, it's all well and good to say that we have been forced to work wherever we can when the places in which we toil are surrounded by palm trees and 24 hour room service. There is an obvious upside to this way of life. Working in the midst of diverse communities can do great things for you creativity and if you're stuck for inspiration, seeing things from a socially contrasting viewpoint can be very enlightening.

The need for travel has quickly advanced past the need for money and status; amongst the rising generation, wanderlust has settled in and status is made by the places you've visited, not the deals that you have made. The era of the digital nomad is very much upon us and it's no longer about who you know but rather, where you know.

Whether or not older generations have "screwed it up" for the youngest of us is by the by. Careers are not what they used to be and as a result, we are making our own rules as we go along. Is it scary? Without a shadow of a doubt. Will we run with it and make our own successes? Absolutely.