Are you out and about on an adventure with laptop and iPhone in tow?
Or are you stuck in that same cubicle fighting to stay on top of a never-ending rat race?
For many of us, the first is a dream. The second – a nightmare. We have all dreamed about breaking out by escaping the cubicle and finding a dream job. Personally, I succeeded by getting away from a ten year corporate career to the freedom of freelance writing. Like many, my struggle for the right work-life balance is very much on.
Thanks to the Web, we can take inspiration from the many who actually have escaped from the cubicle and have stepped out further with globetrotting. They are the intrepid breed called “the digital nomads”. They lead with their backpacks and passports. Let’s travel with them and discover the secret formula in their own words, and in their own blogs.
If you’d like to value experiences more than “stuff”, you may need to make some changes.
If you have read the unconventional advice in The $100 Startup, then you know who Chris Guillebeau is. That’s a well-recommended read for anyone looking to follow their passion. You will find Chris permanently stationed at The Art of Non-Conformity (AONC). His blog is not about personal development, but also about how to achieve personal milestones with entrepreneurship and unconventional work. That’s where “non-conformity” comes in.
The blog is also a personal diary on his world travels as he went around the world while working on AONC. You can start with his popular 29-page manifesto — A Brief Guide to World Domination. He also answers Why You Should Quit Your Job and Travel Around the World. Maybe you will pause if you have liabilities, but heck, one should dream.
Luck, miracles and having an overflowing bank account play no role whatsoever in allowing you to achieve your travel goals.
Derek Earl Baron has taken the moniker of Wandering Earl while detailing his adventures around 88 countries. If it sounds too good to be true, then you can check out each country and the blog posts he has written around them. If the life of a digital nomad is itching away, head to the Getting Started page on his travel blog. Derek answers basic questions through his own experiences on how to travel with a purpose, do you need a university degree to travel long term, how much money you need to travel, how to fund your travels with creativity, and the very essential – how to stay organized while traveling and working (and also being a fool).
Still wondering how he manages it? Read — How I Can Afford My Life of Constant Travel that’s a timeline of his travels and details exactly how he managed his exploits with simple financial common sense and planning.
Travel has also helped me keep life in perspective in the long and short term, and led to many reflections on what it means to be ‘home’ in a world of in-betweens.
Just by the name, one would think that it’s about a legal expert going around the world with a consultancy business. That’s close, but Jodi Eltenberg gives it a twist. She is a lawyer from New York who broke out from the high-demand profession and went travelling with blog and spirit. From a personal diary she wanted to share with friends and family, the blog has evolved into a traveling handbook of culinary exploits around the world. Easily translated – Jodi talks about cooking, cultures, and travel. She is also a social media consultant on the side. And of course, a freelance writer.
The first place you can head to on her blog is the FAQ where she answers all the obvious questions for her readers. After that, head here – World Travel Resources for all the practical tips. Even a “What is the meaning of life?”! Don’t forget to read the comments for some more inspirational insights.
You don’t need to be present to be adding value. At any time you can reach out to people and connect.
“Freedom based online businesses” is her mantra. Natalie Sisson runs her own business from a suitcase – and hence the name. She has a background in business development and marketing behind her. Now, she is an author and businesswoman with nine revenue streams. Originally from New Zealand, she has travelled through 68 countries so far. Her introduction alone could make you feel like you are Scotch taped to one static place in life.
Her blog is for both the aspiring entrepreneur who is too busy or the thrill seeker wanting to be location independent. If you combine the best of both in yourself, give the tips a go.
Anything is possible.
Almost Fearless is about lifestyle, travel, parenting and food. This is definitely one of the prettiest digital nomad blogs you will come across. Christine and Drew Gilbert started their travels with two dogs and a baby in tow. This also can be done. For Christine it started with a dream of being a writer and a photographer. Her restlessness made her give up a corporate career (Drew, her husband is a graphic designer, filmmaker, and partner-in-adventure). They have traveled across 38 countries.
These five intrepid travelers and entrepreneurs are just part of a growing tribe. The interconnectedness of the Web has made it far easier than the times of Henry Morton Stanley. As most of these blogs show, it is relatively easy to travel and work with the professional skills you have. Yes, even writing can help you travel around the world. Online travel information is so well compiled, that planning for traveling on a budget is almost a no-brainer. But if you want a life of a digital nomad, the yen for the long trips has to come from you.
There are a five takeaways for a nomadic lifestyle from all the blogs I came across…
- Creative pursuits seem to be a common factor.
- Anyone (bachelors, couples, seniors, families) can do it.
- It can be done with online tools, social media and outsourcing — read some “techie” travel tips.
- A flexible and homeless lifestyle has its own drawbacks.
- Having technology skill sets goes a long way.
In this TED Talk, Sinead Mac Manus talks about the future of work and how companies can adopt the flexible philosophies of digital nomads.
What is the sense and substance that you take away from these inspirational lifestyles? Do you yearn to let go and travel? Have you tried it…even for a short spell?
Image Credit: nic519 (Flickr)