"Put on your flip flops, take a notebook and head to the closest deck chair under an umbrella." I am reading this sentence after a nice lunch with colleagues so it does not irritate me too much. It sounds great. It is tempting and, apparently, it is working. Just look at the pictures from the Canary islands where a group of Czech nomads, around business advisor and webmaster Robert Vlach, moved to. Beaches, good food, pleasant climate - there is something about it.
Who is a digital nomad?
Most often, it is a freelance professional who uses modern technology to perform his work duties from anywhere. So he works where he likes - even in a foreign country, ina café or a shared office.
Most digital nomads can be found among professions that only need a notebook and good internet connection - such as graphic designers, developers, marketing consultants, copywriters, web designers or photographers.
But there are also exceptions, for instance a British nomad couple who sold everything and set off for a never-ending voyage.
A holiday where you don't mind dealing with e-mails
We asked Robert Vlach about what is the most attractive thing about digital nomads:
"It is the perfect combination of travelling and freelance business. For a couple of weeks or months, you can live and work in a beautiful place somewhere by the sea without being stressed about catching up with work later. This also includes employees if their boss allows it. There are a few among us."
Modern technologies definitely help the digital nomad lifestyle and the number of people interested in this work style is growing fast. Robert Vlach also confirms the increase of interest in digital nomads:
"Digital nomads represent one of the most significant trends in freelance business as well as coworking a few years ago. It is very common in the world but there are more and more Czech people who travel and work this way. By the way, the term coworcation (coworking + vacation) has started to be used for a nomad vacation in English. I organize this kind of vacation for my friends in freelance businesses for free but commercial projects such as American Getaway or Slovak SurfOffice on Canary islands are starting to appear."
Reversed travelling for work
An important fact for a digital nomad is that he works for his home clients for home money. If you travel to a country where everything is much cheaper, you can work less and enjoy the same life standard as at home.
That is also valid the other way around - that is why we can find more digital nomads in Asian countries rather than, for example, Norway.
Cloud web services = basic equipment of a nomad
What we like about digital nomads is the use of web services. Working on your travels almost requires having all data in a cloud, writing notes in an online application or managing a team through Cloud CRM ;-)
And what about you? Where would you travel as "digital nomads"? We asked Robert Vlach for inspiration:
"I have a lot of nomad dreams. For instance, to hire a big yacht for 30 or 40 nomads and go around various Mediterranean harbours over the summer. We will see. It might become true one day. I am surrounded by many interesting and nice people. It is an amazing experience to work freelance!"
A couple of useful information sources about digital nomads:
- A complete digital nomad vacation by Robert Vlach
- Facebook page of Czech digital nomad group
- Designer Vítězslav Válek's blog who travels and work from a caravan even with his family
- Blog Nomadem.cz about working via internet from a caravan