Digital Nomadism – overhyped nonsense, or the ultimate way to work?
If you have dreamt about jumping on a plane to a far-flung location, and feeling the sand between your toes as you tap away on your laptop, margarita in hand, then you have probably also taken a step back and envisaged a scenario where you are fishing seaweed out of your broken MacBook whilst wrestling with a dodgy internet connection and a host of increasingly threatening messages from your Pret munching, tube taking, time poor clients back in the “big city”.
So, can digital nomadism really work? It all depends on two factors.
Before we consider which beach has the best sun loungers, first you need to ask yourself; am I ready?
Just as a “good workman never blames their tools”, a good digital nomad doesn’t blame the dodgy Wi-Fi, or the mattress at the hostel, or a missed flight connection, or even last nights’ korma for their failure to hit deadlines in the same way they might have if they were back at the office.
Good digital nomads work to a plan, and manage their time effectively – bad ones may simply be swapping one set of issues for another.
So, before you rent the flat, buy the ticket, and swap the suit for the shorts, you must know that you can deal with whatever travelling, and exotic new locations throw at you.
The importance of your clients doesn’t diminish the further you are away from them geographically, sadly. You still have to deliver for them.
Ok, now for the fun stuff!
The next factor you have to consider is choosing your next destination. Let’s start with the basics.
Does the destination you have in mind have Wi-Fi? How strong is it? Is it reliable. Many nomads are cash-strapped, especially at first, so there is nothing worse than arriving at your hotel to discover the connection is iffy and you will have to find a restaurant or café to work in, which means buying your breakfast, lunch or dinner there.
In Madrid for example, you may find that café’s only supply free Wi-Fi for one hour, which means you will have to up sticks, find another location, and buy another coffee.
You will be wired by midday!
Another major consideration is the language barrier. How’s your Thai? It can be fun learning a new language, but when you need your laptop repaired or have to switch your flights, it can be an issue.
And what about company – after you’re done bingeing on Netflix and YouTube, are there locals, ex-pats or other nomads in the vicinity who are fun to be with, and who you can explore your new surroundings with?
As many of you will know, our Head Honcho Rob has been out in the Dominican Republic for nearly one year, setting up what may very well turn out to be the ultimate digital nomadism live / work space aimed at supporting a community of adventurous, creative, digitally savvy and upwardly mobile nomads.
In Rob’s words; “the days of office drudgery in London are dead! Come to Las Terrenas, if you want to get ahead!”
Trust us, you won’t regret it – for the right kind of worker, it’s as close to Paradise as you are ever likely to get – so good, in fact, they filmed Apocalypse Now here!