A hipster couple browse freelance jobs on their laptop from the back of their van

Digital Nomad Travel Trends

August 30th, 2020

What is it like to travel and work, to see the whole world as a personal office? This inside look at the digital nomad life sheds light on exactly what it takes to be one.

Breaking Away from the Usual Dream

For decades the dream for many was to get a job, buy a house, have a family, and settle down. This paradigm has been the reality for millions but stands as a stark contrast to those seeking the life of a digital nomad. The journey of a digital nomad begins with a change of mindset. They cast off the notion that stability and permanency is their destination and chart a course towards the wild. For many, the digital nomad way of living has been stirring in their hearts since they were young. Their inquisitive and free-spirited souls have longed for adventure and novelties. The long for a nomad lifestyle is growing in upcoming generations, which can be seen in data examining job longevity. Younger generations hold jobs for shorter periods of time, and change vocations much more frequently than their parents and grandparents. It is no wonder many of them are entering into the lifestyle of the digital nomad.

Excepting Uncertainty

The radical shift in the lifestyle of a digital nomad begins with a determination to be at peace with uncertainty. Accepting that they will be faced with unknowns is a tough pill to swallow and does not come all at once. Rather, it is like building a muscle, and happens with practice and over time. For those who have been digital nomads for years, they will likely remember their timidity of bucking the deep-seated rut of normalcy. However, owning the two word mantra; “let go” is not far from their minds when stepping out into the world as a digital nomad.

An Insider’s View

How do these travelers live? To much of the world, all they know of a digital nomad is what they post on their various social media. Photos by waterfalls, selfies by the sea, and candid shots of strolls down narrow European streets fill their profiles. For the uninitiated, it seems a bit like a fairytale, and that life, for the nomad, is but a never ending world tour. However, a look behind the curtain, so to say, reveals otherwise. Although the name “digital nomad” implies constant travel, they know how to be fully present where they are. They build relationships with locals, learn the stories and history of the culture, and understand their temporary home in a deeper way.

Savoring the Unique Experiences

They get to see more of the cities and towns than the average tourist, and set up shop in the quietest of cafes. If touring a city for a week is like smelling freshly roasted coffee beans, then living there as a digital nomad is like savoring a masterpiece cappuccino. The former is full of beauty and wonder for a moment, but the latter is the savoring of the complex and rich flavors sip by sip.

Self-Motivated Success

All this opportunity to explore and indulge is a hint at another characteristic of the digital nomad. They must be disciplined and self-motivated. Whatever remote work they do, be it accounting, freelance writing, or web designing, is what keeps them adventuring. They are able to set up a schedule, hold themselves accountable, and meet deadlines. Balancing this while travelling can sound tough, but self-motivation and self-control make it possible.

Required Creativity

The balance of work responsibilities and adventure sounds contradictory to the aforementioned “free spirit”, but it is actually a perfect match. The result of this combination of self-motivation and a free spirit is creativity. Digital nomads are incredibly creative and are constantly inspired by their newest surroundings or latest escapade. This is often a catalyst to them furthering their online work, whatever it may be, and creating opportunity for more travel.

It’s Easier Now More than Ever

The digital age has brought changes to almost every part of life. The power of the web has redefined work, communication, shopping, and entertainment. While for some, technology and the interconnectivity of the online world is merely a tool, others see it as a doorway to new possibilities. The ability to work from anywhere in the world is not just an option, but a challenge to those who call themselves digital nomads.