I have been raised by the society to believe that first there is school to graduate, job to “drudge” in, then there are children, retirement and death. I understand why society does this… for money and control over it. Okay, I get it…
…and all of a sudden here comes digital nomadism and, with it, freedom: Priorities are switched and non-urgent important things win over putting out problems every day (urgent important). This way I am literally fulfilling my childhood dream: Adventure.
…and that’s what this post is about: You can “drudge” differently: You work and travel at the same time!
Leave is an ugly word: you ask somebody (your boss or clients) to be able to leave and have some rest… Vacation sounds a little bit better, but I am a backpacker and I love the service Airbnb.com (staying at locals’) and not hotels or hostels… so I prefer to call it travelling.
Now add this problem: I love my work and that purportedly can’t be practiced on leave/vacation. It used to make me mad that I had to go on vacation, abandon unfinished projects …
…. now I know that there is a solution: Vacation upgrade to digital nomadism! Today it is one of the things I love and support in every possible way… and the most important thing: IT IS REALLY POSSIBLE!
Identification of a Digi-Nomad
It is a person, who makes their living on the internet. I’m sure you immediately think of all programmers, coders, graphic designers, writers, editors, various artists, marketers and consultants. Add also lawyers, real estate brokers, financial advisors and you have a fairly large group of people who have the basic disposition for digital nomadism.
For their work, they need: laptop, internet, microphone, phone and headphones.
Self-Employed Nomads, Unite!
So who are they? Self-employed people, entrepreneurs, or employees?
- They are mostly not entrepreneurs… because employees would want to as well 🙂
- Employees are better off: If you work in a good company, have a great boss…. and are from the U.S., you’ve won even as an employee; and really, even whole teams go together and work abroad. In the Czech Republic, it is probably light years away…
- The self-employed – Yes, definitely!
So in Bohemia and Moravia, I recommend to free-lancers: “Go for it: It is worth it!”
- your background allows nomadism: Work, boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife, children
- you have some system in your work
- you don’t make stupid excuses: “I can’t, what would the clients say…?“ – They would say nothing! After all it is your life and to be honest I had opposite reactions: “…but Mr Nytra, you can’t go to the Canaries, I would envy you so much 🙂 …”
- you have guts: Don’t let people who are different and have doubts (pure envy or fear) throw you off balance
- you have common sense: Don’t let professional business people throw you off balance (they are after their own profit not your balanced and sunshine-filled life)
As you can see, it is mostly about balancing obstacles and common sense in your head.
Change Is Digi-Life
It is almost unbelievable what digital nomadism does to you:
- the day is much longer than when you spend all of it in front of a computer
- you are much more active, which is good for both your body and brain
- procrastination drops to a minimum, because you are forced to only work 5 hours a day and the client pays for this beautiful life of yours
- experiences: you do sports, loiter, discover every day after work
- after a long time, you experience boredom, which helps with arranging your priorities
- you meet people who think alike
- you learn languages
The problem connected to travelling is much bigger for the self-employed than for an employee: Nobody pays you, when you are lying on a beach, surf or ski downhill on powder snow in the Alps. It means, comparing to an employee, you only have income when you work. Digital nomadism nicely balances this out.
Moreover, I and my girlfriend rent out our flat in Prague (we live in a rented flat and rent it out through Airbnb as well) and we’re off to adventure. The flat in Prague earns money for the rent, we work half a day and come back in the black 🙂 .
Born in ‘76 and Comfort
Considering I was born in ‘76, I prefer comfort. If someone wants to stay in a hostel or share a flat with 10 other nomads and work in a nomadic centre, no problem… but it is not for me 🙂
It is important to have:
- quality internet
- cafés with quality internet in the neighbourhood (in case your home connection fails)
- laptop (preferably secured)
- backup which can be accessed without your laptop (cloud is ideal)
- headphones, microphone for Skype calls with clients
- things you’d take on vacation: Swimsuit and/or ski boots 🙂
How to Start
Do not start by quitting your job and pursuing adventure. This way, beaches would soon be full of lifeless, downcast digi-nomads. Try it for a week during your standard vacation: Take your work with you and say to yourself: “I am not taking work on my vacation, I’ve upgraded to a digital nomad!“ Wooooow, now this sounds sexy and cool… (even though you are, of course, still doing the same thing).
Europe is ideal, due to time difference when communicating with clients. For a start, however, you can go from Prague or Brno to the Beskids, and people from the Beskids can go to the Novohradské Mountains for a week. You can go by train to Rome, by car to Innsbruck or by plane to the Canary Islands or Bali.
Comparison of destinations based on internet speed, cost of living, flight time, weather, shade temperature, and smog density can be found HERE.
This is my daily rhythm for illustration:
- waking up: 7 a.m. + breakfast
- work: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. (5 hours) + lunch
- adventure, sport: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. + dinner
- wine, beer, dancing, singing and other kinds of entertainment until 11 p.m.
- sleep 12 a.m. – 7 a.m.
My recommendation: Have a working Saturday and Sunday and a non-working Wednesday and Thursday: Sunny beaches and snowy slopes are empty (compared to a weekend).
My recommendation for the self-employed: Try this at home tomorrow. You won’t be a nomad, but you’ll enjoy the day more 🙂
Marketing for (Enlightened) Entrepreneurs
In this country, a few companies allowed home-office only recently. We are simply behind. Imagine a company giving digital nomadism to its employees as a bonus… and being able to “sell” it to the media. An ideal promotion for a company, entrepreneur and fringe benefits for employees. Have a think about it 🙂
And what about you? Have you tried this? Have you been somewhere, or do you want to try it? Write in the comments below!