Where is the world headed?
Working whenever you want, wherever you want. We’ve all thought about it, right? If the pandemic has taught us anything, much of the work we do can easily be completed beyond the confines of dreary cubicles and fluorescent office lighting. With the advent of the “work from home” model, it doesn’t seem as crazy as it once did before. As borders continue to open, online work has made it possible for people like us to take our careers around the world, monetizing our own skills, on our own terms, in the location of our own choosing. The bottom line here is freedom. Many of our lives have changed, and consequently our relationship with work and the spaces that we work in. With an ever-growing call to globalization, new opportunities for combining elements of work and leisure have emerged in many sectors. Some people have made the switch as their company’s work-from-home policies are coming to an end while others are looking to rekindle pent-up desires for travel.
The nature of work itself has shifted post-pandemic. Today, we understand that high-level meaningful work doesn’t only happen at the office. How work gets done, where it gets done, and who it gets done by are factors that shift in keeping with our own need for change. As a global community we are finally embracing better ways of working and living that enable us to harness more individual freedoms. People across the world are pushing for equality not only in their personal lives but also in their professional ones. The emergence of remote work allows people to be paid according to their merit, regardless of the geographic constraints that they may experience. For both clients and companies likewise, talent pools are widened and equal opportunity becomes more than just a far-flung notion.The world is growing smaller every day and remote work enters into the playing field as an equalizer of opportunity. Anybody who has the right skillset has the ability to land a job. Now that many of us have had a taste of working where we want, it’s hard to go back to the office without exploring other options first.
“Digital Nomads” have emerged as a natural progression of this social trend towards global mobility. Digital Nomad is a term frequently thrown around on travel blogs, but what is a digital nomad? It’s not a predetermined career path that requires any specific set of degrees or certifications. The only requirement for being a digital nomad is doing online work remotely and having the freedom to live anywhere in the world. It’s a flexible term that can apply to freelancers and also to people who work for employers that allow travel. When thinking about becoming a Digital Nomad it is important to consider your own skills and understand what it is that will make you marketable on a global scale. Figure out what your passions are and what you are good at; combining these will allow you to find a niche that suits your lifestyle and needs.
No matter what the drive is to leave home and work remotely, we’ve compiled some resources to help you begin on your own digital nomad journey. If you’re currently in the office withering away, merely dreaming of seeing the world but worried about the cost and impossibility of it all, we’re here to show you that it’s not as hard as it seems, as long as you’re committed to yourself and creating the life you want.
Living as an international traveler is well within reach as long as you are willing to take the time to plan and put in the effort. Resources abound and navigating the internet will be a vital tool in your digital nomad toolkit. Before embarking on your journey, preparation is key.. In the Slow Travel blog we will be sharing information relevant to working remotely in various countries. We will showcase what is possible and provide the support that is needed to prepare and actualize.
It can be easy to get swept up in social media travel adventures that make every destination look like a dream getaway, however there are many factors and realities to consider before packing your life into a suitcase and jumping on that plane. With more than 100,000 health and travel restrictions in place, looking into visa and entry requirements should be one of your first steps when choosing a destination. For many countries, the travel restrictions that accompanied the arrival of Covid-19 decimated their tourism industries, leaving their local economies in the lurch. In a bid to increase tourism as restrictions continue to lessen, many countries have adopted specifically designed visas with digital nomads in mind. Thankfully this means that in some cases, it is easier than ever before to apply for long-term stays.
It’s important to plan for every circumstance, which unfortunately means planning for the worst case possible. Life happens, and so too do unforeseen medical issues and less than ideal situations. Sometimes cell phones get stolen and parasites find their way into your drinking water - this is where finding a good insurance policy before you leave can really help you out in the long-run financially. As a long-term traveler your insurance needs will differ greatly from the needs of the average vacationer and it's crucial to prepare for the unexpected. Having a Plan A isn’t always enough, you’ll find out quickly you’ll need a Plan B and sometimes even a Plan C. Accessing healthcare in other countries isn’t always easy or budget-friendly.
Cost of Living
Cost of living can either be a draw or a drawback when choosing a destination. One of the best perks of remote work can be the cost-saving factor known as “geo arbitrage”. This refers to when the cost of living is lower in the country one lives in while they maintain a job in the country of their own. It’s generally smarter to choose a destination that is cheaper than the place that you currently live. Factors such as housing, food costs, and transportation can impact your overall cost-of-living.
While the vistas of a mountaintop eco-retreat might seem like an ideal destination to set up your new office, internet reliability can be a serious issue in remote regions. Finding out what the connection is like before you get there is especially important if you are looking to work online as your primary source of income. There may also be times in which you need to pay for Wifi-hotspots and it is important to figure out these logistics beforehand.
Finding a like-minded set of people to interact with can only help to benefit you and further you along your path. Checking out co-working spaces as you travel can be a good way to connect and build community with other remote workers.