I don’t talk much about being a digital nomad, or rather, it’s implicit in what I am. If you read my posts, you’ll see I travel a lot, I’m based in a different country from my country of origin, and I work online. Mostly.
But I’m not a ‘traditional’ Digital Nomad – if there can be such a thing given it’s a term that is very recent. I have a mixed lifestyle, where I have a sort-of home base (Chiang Mai, where I probably spend about 1/2 of the year but not all in one go), do a heck of a lot of travel, and as well as my ‘online’ work (my personal development blog and my fiction) I also work onsite as a management consultant and work psychologist. Though I do the latter remotely too.
There was a time when I thought I wasn’t a ‘real nomad’, so I refrained from using the term. This was exacerbated by the how how male-dominated the community can be – sometimes to the extend of 10:1 in an online community or an in-person event.
Now, four years in, I’m a lot more comfortable with myself, and I have connected with both awesome women and awesome men inside and outside the community, and it’s made a huge difference in my life. I now believe there are all sorts of flavours of nomad – it’s not just the typical twenty something guy who’s starting a Drop Shipping business, or working as a programmer (which is also fine, but it’s nice to know there are many other alternatives out there).
I’ve written about the personality of a successful nomad, as I truly don’t think it’s a lifestyle that will suit everyone.
The ‘secret’ nomads, going about their business like me, are not trying to sell you a lifestyle dream, or trying to show you have you can ‘crush it’, and because of this, they’re less visible. They’re not the people who come up in the first set of search results on google (though I am a member of the Digital Nomad Forum, hehe).
But they are a great and wonderful mix of people.
How do you find a more diverse group of nomads?
I have a few suggestions in these posts:
Who’s In Your Corner? How to Connect with Kindred Spirits
How to Create Friendships with Deep Connection and Soul
Digital Nomads Live – Ladies First!
This event included 25 women speakers on topics that are relevant to the lifestyles of Digital Nomads, rather than telling you how to make your first dollar online. I took part in a panel around work-life balance, and the event went for an amazing 12 hours straight!
The awesome host, Mariza, also runs a great podcast, Abroad Life, where she interviews expats which is worth checking out, as it contains a ton of fascinating stories and useful advice.
Here’s a sneak preview (I’m in there, somewhere!):
You can access the recordings of the event here: Digital Nomads Live – Ladies First!
7in7 is an in-person event aimed at building community, held this year in Bangkok, and aiming to have the next 6 across all the continents of the world. The organisers are aware that being location independent is more than just about making money at your laptop – it’s about building a life. It was about long-term nomading, and building a group of people that have each other’s back – the people you can give that 3am call, as one person said.
I spoke on work-life-travel balance, or ‘How to get sh*t done without killing yourself’. This conference had proportionately more women than men, very unusual in the Digital Nomad community, and a strong LGBTQ presence, so hearing a diverse and different set of voices was also great. 7in7 will be held again next year, and I recommend it if you’ve been on the road for a while and are looking for a more sustainable lifestyle.
Next year’s conference will be in Barcelona, so sign up to hear when tickets are released.