Digital nomads are people who are location-independent, work remotely and conduct their life in a nomadic lifestyle. They use technology to perform their job and can connect from foreign countries, coffee shops, public libraries, co-working spaces, or recreational vehicles.
Read that definition again. Aren't we all already digital nomads?
Digital nomads used to be retired or semi-retired persons, independently wealthy or entrepreneurs, and younger remote workers. People typically become digital nomads for the quest for financial independence and a career that allows for location independence. However, pandemic has changed all of that. It pushed all of us to be digital nomads - we may not just realize it. Very soon, we will start seeing digital nomad families.
Mankind had been a nomadic species in the past indeed for longer period than we are species of settlers. In our earliest years, we roamed freely from one region to the next, tracking the stars and following the seasons in an effort to hunt, gather and protect our tribes and families from vicious predators. Before the birth of modern civilization, it was commonplace to move about across wide ranges and territories, covering swaths of land and sea from hundreds to thousands of miles apart.
However, as modern society has dawned, and the proverbial rat race has gripped most in a state of the survival of the fittest, human species settled in the places that suited to each of the race.
Most want to break free of that. Most want to set out on an adventure and explore the world. The set lifestyle, attachment to our assets, office, kids education did not allow us to do that. But now? The Pandemic, while it has severely affected the world in unprecedented ways, it has also given us an opportunity to go back to our roots - fundamental human urge of exploring the world. The remote working capability allows us to work from anywhere and become digital nomads.
While it is okay from the work perspective, what about other aspects like kids education, assets?
Digital nomads may sell a number of possessions in order to make travel easier, and may also sell or rent their house. They can choose to roam around the world for a period of time and settle in a place of their choice - not necessarily their home country, hometown.
Imagine your kids studying in different schools, countries, meet different friends, cultures - how rich an education would that be?
Imagine you travel all over the world, explore places, enjoy the living and earning, how wonderful will be that be? You would keep bumping into friends in different parts of the world. Doesn't that sound great?
If you are wondering as to what happens to sitting together, office friends, lunches, parties... all of that will still happen. It's just that you will have many more friends across the globe, party with different friends in different parts of the world.
Imagine all the offices (or majority of the offices) in the world becoming co-working spaces that you can hop into any office close by and work. Your company provides that infrastructure so that you can travel all over the world, work from any office and perform your duties.
Will this give rise to international income tax?
Will this give rise to international health insurance?
Will all of us carry international credit cards, credit limit all the time?
Will digital assets become more popular and valuable than physical assets?
Will this give rise to new destinations that are not explored yet?
What will be the legal implications, laws of land?
What happens to cultures that are strongly rooted based on the local settings? When many visitors throng and settle in those cultures, will that lead to social unrest? There are many aspects that cannot have easy answers.
One this is for sure - this will shake up the world economy and power structure in the ways that we cannot predict today. This could even change the world order giving rise to new powers and giving rest to the existing powers.
It is going to be an interesting, very interesting phase of the human evolution that ever happened. We need wait and embrace the world's responds to post pandemic "New World Order".