When I think of a digital nomad I can’t help but imagine John Connor, who emptied ATMs in the 80’s before finding out he was the one to save the world from machines. Or Neo, who became a forced Digital Nomad after a boring and frustrating office life. It may not have much to do with the characteristics of a real-life Digital Nomad, but perhaps it does.
In essence, a digital nomad is someone who, due to their level of expertise in digital technologies, works remotely, in an unattended office or in a fixed workplace, doing their activities from anywhere in the world as long as they have internet access.
In our romantic imagination, a digital nomad finds himself working in Hong Kong, or in a suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, in the best of cases, from the terrace of some Los Cabos hotel, or running cock bets on the San Marcos fair, while we read these lines installed in our office. In reality, this digital nomad is working at the same time as us at a Starbucks, from home, or connected to the free Wi-Fi in Mexico City somewhere or at his parents’ house.
We might think that, for almost a year and a half, digital nomadism went from being an unattainable scheme of work to a tangible reality for many of us, who have been doing so perhaps without realizing it, for a long time now.
Before the third industrial revolution, the alternatives to fall into this category were very narrow. Without the internet, the ability to disregard a physical site is practically non-existent. Before the internet, a digital nomad definitely had to be John Connor, I can’t imagine any other alternative.
Today there are a range of possibilities in terms of the things that a Digital Nomad can be, from Software Developer, Designer, SEO, Photographer, Reporter, Blogger, Consultant, Teacher, Content Creator and an infinite etcetera. There are many programs, tools, systems and even “tutos” within our reach that facilitate this process.
What kinds of digital nomads exist?
The (romantic) premise of the digital nomad is the ability to be away from a fixed workplace, it gives you the chance to travel and work from anywhere in the world; and although it is real and possible, it is also true that maintaining a lifestyle of this level is expensive, and requires earning a lot of money, in addition to having a “multitasking personality”.
Just as the range of possibilities to be one is wide, and many of us have been for years without knowing it. The three main types of digital nomads are:
- Freelancers: Perhaps the most common type. These are people who are self-employed. Very common among developers, photographers, and designers. Being essentially digital, the work is carried out completely remotely and events such as meetings with clients are carried out remotely.
- Entrepreneurs: They are those who found their own generation of resources on a digital platform. From those who create pieces of content, such as e-books, online courses or digital resources such as themes for developers, photos and videos, editable templates, etc. And once they are published, they are dedicated to receiving royalties from them; to online stores or websites. I had a boss a few years ago who was a full-blown digital nomad, and while he was living on the road, he was building websites, optimizing them for SEO, and getting all his income from Google Adsense. I know that he was doing well, because he paid well.
- Remote employees: This is the category in which a large percentage of the productive workforce worldwide entered after the 2020 health crisis. Basically it is remote or distance work. This modality is characterized by being the work alternative for those who entrepreneurship is rather risky. Remote work guarantees job stability with the company that hires and quality of life in terms of detachment from a workplace.
Digital nomads gain territory year after year on new production schemes around the world. You will be surprised to know that Mexico is one of the countries in America with the largest number of Digital Nomads. Let’s keep talking about this, shall we?