Can you really travel the world while working? It’s a resounding yes for the new breed of workers — the digital nomads. Digital nomads are people without a permanent address who travel the world while working online.
They can work while in the paradisiacal beaches of the Philippines. Discover the cityscape of Tokyo after working hours. Or just plainly choose their location while not foregoing consistent cash flow.
With just a laptop and a reliable internet connection, you can make a living while traveling the world. And I can attest to it. I, myself, am a digital nomad.
COVID Pandemic: Getting Stuck in a Country
I was supposed to fly to Japan on March 17. But the Philippine government decided to put a total lockdown for the flights two days prior. For many foreigners, it might mean getting stuck in a specific country for an unknown time frame.
For digital nomads, getting stuck in a country would necessitate a review in finances, cash flow opportunities, and more. Honestly, I would love to be held in Japan for 3 months or more. But I don’t think my finances can take it. So in a way, it’s quite a blessing in disguise.
It’s great that I was back in Manila for around a month or so before my next flights. So that didn’t have to make this a problem.
I would admit it. The constant wanderlust to travel is constricting. But we have to stay put to keep safe. Currently, I’m quite lucky because I’m staying at my parents’ house.
Money Problems and More Opportunities
And it begs the question, how do we handle finances during these trying times? For most digital nomads, they are employed by multiple clients as a web developer, writer, social media manager — basically, any job that can be done online.
But most companies now are downsizing or closing down operations because of financial struggles. Many digital nomads are left without clients as of the moment.
Honestly, I’m fortunate because my clients are positioned well in times of this pandemic. But for those who are left with no cash flow, multiple opportunities are showing up in different fields as the world becomes accustomed to the New Normal.
Connecting through Social Media
Another glaring problem is the lack of socialization and timely information. Although digitally savvy, the lockdown caused several digital nomads to be stranded. For example, specific announcements and rules in different countries, like hotels closing down and new Airbnb rules.
It’s good to be part of digital nomad groups so that you can ask questions specific to where you are. Also, you digitally meet new friends and get ideas for new online gigs, or how you can cope up with these trying times.
And of course, you can always connect with your family and friends through online platforms like zoom or skype.
The New Normal for Digital Nomads
Travel will never be the same again. Airports will have stricter sanitation procedures. Tourist places are now capping the number of visitors per day. Accommodation options are quite limited. And buffet meals will probably be lessened.
Becoming a digital nomad will probably be more expensive compared to before. Prices will be higher. But our human nature that seeks new things — discover new places will remain for good. It’s just a matter of adjusting until we find a vaccine.
For now, let’s just use our time to hone our craft and become more marketable in our careers.