Why I call myself a digital nomad

Definition of Nomad

When you google Nomad, you get the following definition:

A Nomad is a member of a community of people who live in different locations, moving from one place to another.

Nomadism is also a lifestyle adapted to infertile regions such as steppe, tundra, or ice and sand, where mobility is the most efficient strategy for exploiting scarce resources.

A nomad is a person with no settled home, who moves from place to place as a way of obtaining food, finding pasture for livestock, or otherwise making a living. The word nomad comes from a Greek word that means:

one who wanders for pasture.

Most nomadic groups follow a fixed annual or seasonal pattern of movements and settlements. Nomadic peoples traditionally travel by animal or canoe or on foot. Today, some nomads travel by motor vehicle. Most nomads live in tents or other portable shelters.

We can distinguish 3 kinds of nomads through time:

  • The hunter/gatherer
  • Pastoral nomad owning livestock
  • Peripatetic nomad

Nomads keep moving for different reasons.

Nomadic hunting and gathering

Nomadic hunting and gathering, following seasonally available wild plants and game, is by far the oldest human subsistence method. Many groups of ‘nomadic’ hunter-gatherers (also known as foragers) moved from campsite to campsite, following wild fruits and vegetables.

Pastoral nomad

Pastoralists raise herds, driving them, and/or moving with them, in patterns that normally avoid depleting pastures beyond their ability to recover. Pastoral nomads make their living raising livestock, such as camels, cattle, goats, horses, sheep, or yaks. These nomads travel to find more camels, goats, and sheep through the deserts of Arabia and northern Africa.

The pastoralists are sedentary to a certain area, as they move between the permanent spring, summer, autumn and winter (or dry and wet season) pastures for their livestock. The nomads moved depending on the availability of resources.

Peripatetic nomad

Sometimes also described as “nomadic” are the various itinerant populations who move about in densely populated areas living not on natural resources, but by offering services (craft or trade) to the resident population. These groups are known as “peripatetic nomads”.Nomadic craft workers and merchants travel to find and serve customers.

Nomad life

Most nomads usually move in the same region and don’t travel very far to a totally different region. Because they usually circle around a large area, a community gets formed and the other families generally know where the other ones are. Many governments dislike nomads because it is difficult to control their movement and to obtain taxes from them. Same problem modern nomads face nowadays with governments.

Modern Nomads

These days more and more people are starting their life as a nomad. There are lots of names for the nomad lifestyle like: digital nomad, nomad, urban nomad, location independent professionals, etc. Most nomads are working travelers that have chosen to not have a house, a traditional career, but a life of freedom.

Why the nomad lifestyle

Everybody has their own reason to start that lifestyle. For me it was the quest and freedom that push me in taking that lifestyle. I first started my own company to have the freedom to work whenever I wanted and on projects I like. And with having my own working hours came the freedom to be location independent and travel the world. And with the freedom came detachment from stuff. So I started selling my stuff and move into a smaller place in Holland. I became with the nomad lifestyle a minimalist (another time I will tell you more about this term). I own a few furniture, all my cloths can fit in a bag pack and there is still room left in it. With cleaning out my stuff I experienced new freedom in my head to think and freedom. Even my administration is fully digitalized, no maps anymore.

 

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A traveling existence

This article was published on the online platform Atria meet (Atria ontmoet) in Dutch!

Guiselaine

Say you are going to continue your (working) life traveling for a while, then most people come up with dream images of traveling. In part this is indeed true – you go to exotic places and hopefully you enjoy the new environments – there are a number of essential differences:

  • As a digital nomad you work en route, so you are not constantly touring and lazing on the beach;
  • Because you travel for a longer period of time, your budget is smaller and you therefore have less luxury:
  • walking instead of taking a taxi, not eating out every day (unless that is cheaper than cooking yourself) and staying in cheaper accommodations;
  • You stay in a place longer so that you explore your environment at a slower pace and become a semi-local that is recognized in the store for example;
  • And yes indeed you are going – at least I will – live in a slower pace. No more working behind your laptop for ten hours a day, but a maximum of four hours. And do all the work that can be done without a laptop (thought, writing) without a laptop in special places such as botanical gardens and beaches.How does such a life feel
  • The short answer: generally delicious. You have freedom and enjoy life more, at least me. I also have the discipline to work when it is needed at beautiful locations.

You meet yourself

You also have to get along with yourself, since you are in your own company all the time. If you are traveling alone, if you are open to it, you will have contact with others and very nice conversations or a company to do something. It is important here that you use your intuition well and your brain, and if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. It is also important that if necessary, you take time to be alone. A lot happens on such a day and to keep it off of you / to process it is useful to keep a diary, because it is often not possible to talk to someone about decisions you have to make or to record events. discuss.

Who are those digital nomads?

Because there are more and more singles, you can see that more and more women are traveling alone, often mainly to “safe” countries for a short period. But increasingly they choose to travel further afield and for a longer period. The “location independent entrepreneur” or “digital nomad” is currently still a male affair, but more and more women are opting for this life.

Customers

Attracting customers is especially difficult in the beginning: how do you convince people that you are not on vacation and that you are actually working in paradise? In the beginning I made the mistake of sharing many photos of my environment and few work-related photos. So now I also share the somewhat boring pictures of me at work in the faraway places. And I use my blog and social media to regularly let you know that I have room for new assignments.

The benefits of this life

What gives such a life next to freedom and space to think is different for everyone. For me it is an internal introduction to myself and the opportunity to improve a number of things in my life. Could I also do this at home? Maybe and maybe not. I was already making changes to my life, but I think traveling is speeding up this process.

Future

How long I keep traveling and where I end up is sometimes even a surprise to me. What I do know about my travels is that I follow fewer tourist paths and sometimes I stay in a certain place for a longer time. Places that I like, such as in Adelaide and Bali. It often starts to itch again to continue traveling. It is wise not to record too much in advance, which gives you the freedom to go or stay in one place.

Guiselaine Capella decided in November 2013 to spend her life traveling for a while. She has sold everything and now travels around the world with her business. Along the way, she enjoys the beautiful environments and the world, she recovers herself and she also makes WordPress websites for people, she gives workshops in Google Analytics, Hootsuite and Excel and she analyzes in SPSS.

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The side effects of life as a Nomad

In February I decided that I wanted to travel full time. But the big question then was how do you become one? Where should you start searching for information? Are there others who do this? My first stop was the library for the book “What is your excuse?” From Esther Jacobs and google to people who travel full time and how they pay for that life. So I started contacting some of them for tips. A whole new world opened up for me by talking / emailing Diana & Steve from Working Wonderfully, Esther Jacobs, Valerie Parisius and Dan Andrews. They gave me many tips and contacts to explore further. With these contacts and information came more contacts and more information. For an infobate like me, this was heavenly! Now two weeks before departure, I start to taste my digital nomad lifestyle. For this I started a major cleaning. This is a handy side effect of becoming a digital nomad. As a result, I also became a minimalist and with cleaning, space was created not only because of the things that went away, but also in my mind to think. So I would like to share the 10 tips with you that I found useful to achieve less stuff! And 12 tips to make room in your head to think.Who or what inspires you?

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