Posted by: digitalnomaddan | August 26, 2008

Digital Nomad


Digital Nomad home & office running a business from a tent

A Digital Nomad, like traditional/conventional Nomads, relies upon an infrastructure of interconnected resource points, communication tools & transport solutions for survival & maintenance of lifestyle.

Traditional indigenous nomads travel between resource points like Oasis’, hunting grounds or seasonal pastures. They used communication tools like smoke signals & transport solutions like camels & horses (although many now also use modern solutions like mobile phones & motor vehicles).

Digital Nomads resource points are Internet access points (like WiFi hot spots), communication tools like mobile computing devices (Laptops/Notebooks/Personal Digital Assistants/Mobile Phones etc) & the full range of contemporary transport solutions.

Some are employing traditional transport too & I’m sure its just a question of time before traditional nomadic transport solutions are used by many more digital nomads wanting their set up to be as self sufficient as possible (look out for ‘Camel hump compatible’ satellite dishes & solar panels).

Due to the ever shrinking size & increasing convergence of business telecommunications equipment, mobile technology & connectivity products/services Digital Nomads can now travel with all their equipment on their person &/or embedded in their environment. This renders them free to use whichever combination of transport & communication solutions best serves their travelling, working & living requirements.

This new flexibility of transport & connectivity options increases general efficiency enabling one to work on the move (turning what would previously have been ‘dead time’ into ‘productive time’) as well as at their destination/s presenting a much greater & flexible choice of where & when to both live & work.

Many pioneers are exploiting the new digital infrastructures to pursue a traditional nomadic lifestyle by not just working but also living on the move combining the best of both worlds. Most traditional ‘traveller spots’ around the world are now saturated with people exploiting communications and mobile working technology to live the nomadic dream travelling from one WiFi enabled ‘Shangri La’ to another.

The vast majority however are still working/living in a traditional non nomadic situation using digital nomadic technologies to maintain connectivity & productivity whilst travelling in between the traditional ‘nodes’ of office, home, client etc &/or changing the balance of time spent at either. For example – not staying late at the office to finish a document/proposal due to an impending deadline & instead going home on time and finishing the document en-route or later at home so they don’t miss the family meal.

Only in the last couple of years I believe its become possible to practice being a true digital nomad. This is due to the accelerating propagation of easily accessible high speed Internet access points worldwide like WiFi hot spots. This has enabled all flavours of mobile I.P. communications like V.O.I.P. (Voice Over Internet Protocol) & not just email & limited web browsing only previously possible due to slower &/or less accessible internet such as ‘dial up’ & ‘wired’ broadband.

I have started this blog to document my own experiences of Digital Nomadism running my business Shop21 based purely upon mobile digital infrastructure & to share this as a resource for others wishing to do the same and to link in with others already doing it.  All preferably from wonderful locations.  Why wait until retirement? I’m currently writing this & working from a tent on a beach on Ibiza.

Comments from other Digital Nomads are most definitely welcome since there are many out there really pushing the limits with what’s possible or not who’s contributions to this blog would be of great benefit to me & hopefully others. I will be interested in comments relating to all aspects of Digital Nomadism from functional (how & where you are doing it) to ideological (why you are doing it) & philosophical (what it means to be doing it i.e. for you personally or society at large etc)

I intend to build on the blog adding interviews with (or comments from) other nomads as well as reviews of products/services etc that help function Digital Nomadism & a shop (or links to shops) that sell these products/services.

I have found that many people motivated by the digital lifestyle are naturally obsessed with efficiency due to trying to cram maximum functionality into minimum space/weight. This quest for efficiency is shared by other ‘Nomads’ (Environmentalist’s, Sailors, Campers, Trekkers, Climbers, Bikers, Travellers etc) so coverage of these related areas are likely with special attention given to technologies that help function independence such as Solar Powered devices & other self sufficient mobile solutions.

In my first post (the above is ‘About’/’Intro’) I’m going to kick off with what I’m doing, where I’m doing it from & why I’m trying to be a digital nomad. In subsequent posts ill explain how I’m doing it, with which tools, services & resources etc & then in future posts ill cover all tools irrelevant of whether I’m using them or not & of course misc. digital nomad related info.

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