Working Remote While Traveling - Digital Nomad Information Series
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or they feel they may one day regret it. Even if it's not what they want, but what other’s are telling them they should have (...) People are led to believe nowadays that visiting every country on earth will make them happy. But really, what makes people happy is family, friends, community etc. All of which mean settling down and placing roots. (“The digital nomad movement has a hidden dark side • r/digitalnomad,” 2016)
Escaping the comfort zone was a recurring theme among my digital nomad informants, especially those among them coming from more affluent countries4, like Brook:
Part of being an entrepreneur meaning I have to challenge myself constantly. Staying out of your comfort zone is one of my most important life philosophies, and that’s why I try to travel as much as possible.
Some of my informants seemed to realize and pointed out the privileged status in which they were born (especially compared to the locals in the countries they visit). Although this essay lacks the perspective of the locals, it would be very interesting to see the phenomenon of digital nomadism from their perspective. In line with the above, John observed:
I doubt that I would be able to do that (be a digital nomad) were it not for the fact I have an American passport. Most people in the world will never get to travel as much as we do, because their passport isn’t strong enough and they don’t have the money. Someone living in the US or Germany can save up working any job and travel the world. This is not possible for people in Thailand or Vietnam. We are very lucky to be born where we have.
The pattern of answers regarding expectations before leaving home revealed that curiosity, escapism and a desire for overcoming inner fears are what pushed digital nomads to this lifestyle. Meeting new cultures and seeing different places were surely powerful motivators. For most of them, staying in one place for a longer amount of time is equal to a comfort zone that must break, one way or another. However, my informants seemed to understand that both the concepts of the
4 According to data obtained by the IMF official page. (World Economic Outlook Database, 2012).
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