When I started out on my journey of location independence, I did so with more security than most have. I had a corporate job I mostly enjoyed back in Sweden, working remotely was for a limited time, and I never fully associated myself with being a digital nomad. Which might be why it didn’t take me long to grow uneasy with the term.
There was something that just didn’t taste right. Then this video was shared in my network last year and felt like a parody of what’s been bothering me: the way digital nomadism often is portrayed as a superior lifestyle choice, oblivious to the effect it might have on the places "off the beaten path", we're so excited to explore.
On the other extreme, this article paints a picture of digital nomads as selfish privileged brats, whos only concern with the local community is if they can supply cheap food and cleaning services.
I'd say the reality is a bit more complex than that (I know, shocker).
I’ve met people who seem to fit well into that stereotype. Honestly, I’ve been that stereotype (although not all that extreme). That’s usually how it starts. A craving for something different, often based on a personal need or curiosity. But I don’t think that’s how it ends.
Maybe some people never really grow from their experiences, and travel with a selfish mindset. But I think more of us will get a wider perspective and understand the world a little bit better. What we then do with those lessons matter. There are plenty of inspiring role models, from people building businesses with social impact, to influencers using their voice for the environment or other causes they care about.
Which brings me to think that when sharing how much richer this way of life has made us, we might also want to take a look at how we invest that wealth.