Digital nomadism is a new trend. Born of the digital professions, the digital nomad is a business leader, often a freelancer, sometimes a teleworker, able to carry out his or her digital activity anywhere in the world.
The digital nomad would be able to travel from country to country, filling his or her life with memories of the dream places where he or she has lived. All thanks to a good Internet connection and an all-terrain computer.
Since everyone's singing the praises of the digital nomad, we're going to do a bit of that too, but we also need to point out a few realities about a trend that's more about business than about living the dream.
A digital nomad is someone who is able to work from anywhere, thanks to their profession. They are generally web workers or freelancers who work in digital professions, requiring only a simple Internet connection.
Or, more rarely, they may be employees authorized by their bosses to telework without ever coming into the office.
Their work tools thus boil down to the bare minimum:
An Internet connection,
all the software their job requires.
It's the postcard image of the digital nomad: travel. You already have in mind a life of turquoise waters, sandy beaches and coconut palms. A life in which you can call every foreign place your office.
We've told you, the digital nomad generates 10,000 euros a month in relaxation mode, because he works online and everything is magical. So, you too dream of an internet connection in Acapulco on Monday, before heading off to work on Tuesday in the very first Spiral Muse House coworking space in San Francisco.
The digital nomad's activity rhymes with freedom. He can live with his feet up on the shore of a lake in Canada, because he's a successful entrepreneur. He speaks English, has no office, no home, because the world is his home.
This is the most beautiful image that has been conjured up in recent years.
Digital nomadism means freedom! So you've heard, but the digital nomad is first and foremost a worker. Without work, there's no money, and without money... maybe the price of the plane ticket home.
So yes, the digital nomad has put an end to the reign of salaried employment over his or her life. They work for themselves, not for a boss. Except that the digital nomad now works for clients, and whether he's the sole employee of his company, or the head of a digital agency, he's no longer working 35 hours either.
That's the problem with digital nomads, and with those whose life's goal is to be part of this new trend: they confuse earnings from capital, or rent, with earnings from work, or income.
What do an English lord, a bourgeois and a digital nomad have in common? None. The first two live off their pensions, while the latter lives off the income he generates through hard work.
If you had to choose between these two positions, which would you take? Probably the annuity one, and therefore the capital one. Why would you do that? Because it's the reality that most closely resembles the Epinal image that the life of a digital nomad inspires in you.
Whatever your activity, imagine that your work follows you absolutely everywhere, all the time. Are you sitting at a bar in Greenwich? Your work is also having a drink next to you. You're trekking in the Alps, your work is in your bag, and it wakes up at every boundary marker.
The Internet doesn't take vacations. Digital nomad customers, scattered around the world, know neither office hours nor Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
Being a digital nomad means thinking about your work wherever you are, all the time, because you're always notified of messages, orders, revisions and so on. Taking a vacation has nothing to do with working on vacation all year round.
There is a clear opposition between work and vacation, an opposite direction that is in no way resolved by digital nomadism. So what motivates freelancers, entrepreneurs and teleworkers to play the digital nomad?
What really motivates you to aspire to the life of a digital nomad? Isn't it that Facebook post, that photo posted on Instagram for all your friends and followers? While they're in Paris, you show them that you're working from Tahiti.
Big deal really. You're alone in Tahiti, or with a family you don't enjoy, but who follow you on your wanderings, while your friends party together in Paris in their spare time.
Yes, but you're in Polynesia, and they're not. Digital nomadism is a trend that makes only one sense: business sense. When an influencer wants to show his community how successful he is and how he can make others successful, he enters the world of digital nomadism.
He moves to Qatar, shows up to join a beautiful villa in a concept car, shoots his video with the pool in the background, and returns his rental at the end of his shoot. What he normally understands is not how to become a digital nomad, but how to become an income earner.
Digital nomadism is the ultimate bachelor trend. But why? Because a child reminds you of what's most important in a man's life: stability and social relationships.
Quite the opposite, in fact, to what the gurus on the net are offering you as an outward sign of wealth and social success. So, rather than spending your money moving around the world to post the right picture on your social networks, start saving to invest.
In this respect, one thing's for sure: investments are like orchards. Planting the seeds today will enable you to harvest the fruit tomorrow. In the meantime, work from home, save, and take what little time you have to visit friends or enjoy your family.
The digital nomad proves that happiness is at home, and nowhere else. Dreams of elsewhere are good for vacations, real vacations.
In collaboration with Web3 Academy
I'm a man in my thirties, a husband and a father. I'm french and expert in writing. I studied law at the University and I got one of my degrees in the UK. I had the chance to travel the world, to work in Canada, to visit multiple countries enhancing my cultural background. Although I can't sing, I can't dance and that I'm terrible in sciences, I'm an expert in sculpting sentences, playing with words, tones, style effects and so on, making an article a piece of art.