Digital Nomads: In Search of Freedom, Community, and Meaningful Work in the New Economy

James Garside
Digital NomadPhoto by Peggy Anke on Unsplash

Most Americans dream of being able to leave their cubicles.

Gallup conducted a worldwide poll that showed that out of the world’s one billion full-time workers only 15% of people feel engaged at work. That means that a staggering 85% of people are unhappy at work.

Digital nomads are people who use the internet to make their living from location independent jobs.

Or, if you ask the American public, digital nomads are hipster millenials who go to places like Thailand so that they can post to Instagram pictures of them sat on a beach with their laptop.

Digital Nomads by Rachael A. Woldoff and Robert C. Litchfield is a sociological study of a group of digital nomads, how they work, and how they live.

It’s an interesting study of Digital Nomads and nomad life. Sometimes it comes across as unbearably smug but it’s still worth reading. 

Trust millennials to make something complicated out of basic stuff that people have been doing quietly for years. 

They form a clique, give each other silly names, and expect a participation trophy for every little thing because adulting is hard. 

People used to bum their way around the world with very little money. They were called Hobos not Nomads. 

People used to work in different countries because they could make more money abroad and then use it to support their families back home. They called it Immigration not Geo-arbitrage. 

Just because you have a laptop and an Instagram account it doesn’t make you special. 

Most of the writing by and about Digital Nomads is lifestyle porn intended to be read by sad sacks still stuck in their cubicles. 

This book at least attempts to look more objectively at what the lives of a selection of Digital Nomads is actually like.

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NCTJ-qualified British independent journalist, author, and travel writer.


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