Is the daily commute to office cubicle getting you down? You’re not alone. The past decade has seen a rise of digital nomads – aka those who have turned their back on the conventional 9-5 and leverage technology to perform their work duties and conduct their lifestyle in a nomadic manner.
Hands up if you’re reading this while attempting to warm up from an icy commute to the office and are wondering whether working in an office for the rest of your life is it…or you have an inkling that you could move somewhere sunny and suss out a way of earning an income that doesn’t require sitting in a management meeting trying to look like you give two hoots…
If you’re sick of spending most of your waking life working, then it’s time to join the growing band of digital nomads making the world their office.
They’re writers, investors, board advisors, journalists, graphic designers, IT consultants, personal assistants, online teachers, small business owners – basically anyone who, thanks to the rise of the digital office, can earn an income just as easily in Monaco as Mayfair.
And if they can do it, why can’t you? For arguably it’s now easier than ever, thanks to organisations like Roam – a company offering an international network of communal living spaces in locations ranging from Miami to Madrid, Bali, and as of this week, London. Roam’s latest outpost provides a perfect home smack in the middle of the city, beautiful private spaces with your comfy personal bed and bathroom, plus everything from a built-in co-working space, multiple living and meeting rooms to a commercial grade kitchen and dining space.
Surf Office is another company on a mission to kill the routine and combine work and play, by offering work-cation experiences in (as the name suggests) surfing-friendly locales like Lisbon, Malaga and Gran Canaria.
Devotees of the digital nomad lifestyle claim that they have the best of all worlds. In essence, they get to avoid the daily grind, keep their career and, crucially, satisfy their insatiable wanderlust.
Of course – despite what your social media feeds (that are invariably full of bronzed location-independent individuals posting pictures of themselves on Bounty advert beaches complete with immodest hashtags such #WishYouWereHere #LifeIsGood #LivingTheDream et al )– there are downsides to life as a digital nomad.
Make no mistake: being a digital nomad can be downright exhausting. Sleeping in different beds doesn’t result in a good night’s sleep and feeling super tired when you have a pile of work to tackle is anything but glamorous.
What’s more, Wifi can be unreliable and it’s hard, as a digital nomad, to put down deep roots as you’re never based permanently on one place. Rather digital nomads become accustomed to forging friendships – and then bidding their goodbyes when it’s time to move on.
For all the flip-sides though, the majority of digital nomads that The Sybarite has spoken to, say that it’s a lifestyle they love. Author and entrepreneur Seth Goddin says: “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”
So if you can’t stomach the thought of starting the New Year stuck in one place and are beginning to harbour dreams of becoming a digital nomad, then perhaps 2017 is the time to turn your thoughts into reality…
But don’t just take The Sybarite’s word for it. In the words of Bianca Sparacino, author of Seeds Planted In Concrete:
“You ruin your life by tolerating it. At the end of the day, you should be excited to be alive. When you settle for anything less than what you innately desire, you destroy the possibility that lives inside of you, and in that way you cheat both yourself and the world of your potential. The next Michelangelo could be sitting behind a Macbook right now writing an invoice for paperclips, because it pays the bills, or because it is comfortable, or because he can tolerate it. Do not let this happen to you….”