Working, Traveling and Living the (Nomad) Dream
Is it narcissistic to want to live the life I want over one that’s been laid out in front of me by society? If it is, then I’m a proud egotist. I’m so over the template lifestyle of working hard to fulfill someone else’s dreams.
Remote work is the future. The number of digital nomads is predicted to grow to 1 billion by 2035. That’s a lot of people living a location-independent lifestyle, while others sit in their office wishing they were roaming the beach that beckons on their computer screensaver. It’s time to empower yourself to up your game and become a traveling professional.
I prefer to write sitting next to a cenote in Tulum, over a cubicle in Pittsburgh. I do my best work when 33,000 feet above sea level and I choose to eat Mexican food in Mexico on my lunch break rather than at a Chipotle in Cleveland. If you want this too, there are five types of professions that let you make travel part of your career:
- Digital Freelancers: Digital nomads have skills that can be done online. These are your writers, computer programmers, marketers and graphic artists.
- Online entrepreneurs: Online marketplaces like Etsy make it easy to sell your handmade goods online, while global companies like Amway afford you the opportunity to sell products you’re passionate about through direct selling.
- Remote workers: Those who take the job out of the traditional office. According to com, 20-25 percent of the U.S. workforce frequently telecommutes. This would include the healthcare sector, educators and any type of company that will allow it.
- Hospitality Industry: The service industry helps globetrotters find work in restaurants, transportation, facility maintenance and direct operations. This would include the airline industry, tourism, cruise lines, cosmetology, tour operators and hotels.
- Service/Volunteers: Work to make a difference in underdeveloped countries through the Peace Corps or volunteer agencies.
How to Live the Dream
To make travel part of your career, you actually have to work. It takes a disciplined, independent self-starter to get up and work in any environment. Before you hit the road, identify why you want to do it and by what means you will make it happen. Have a plan.
It might be easier to begin in affordable locals like Southeast Asia or Africa where you can get by on less than $50 a day. Make smart decisions with your money. The people who succeed at living a life of travel have a clear vision and commitment to make it happen.
Living a life of travel isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. There are drawbacks to everything. Routines are hard to come by. You don’t know where you’ll be in a month down the road. You live out of a suitcase. Dating is hard. There’s no instruction guide, so you’re on your own.
Embrace Your Wanderlust
Working remotely is professionally accepted. Microsoft and Google send some of their privileged employees on a “remote year” to let them explore abroad while working. If you have wanderlust, find a way to work and travel. Invest in yourself to live the best life possible. We’re the “asset-light generation.” Our portable, lightweight lives give us the freedom to work while indulging in adventure.