In this article we’ve focused our attention onto the modern phenomenon that is the ‘Global Nomad’. The concept sounds very appealing doesn’t it, but what exactly does it mean, and how can you find the perfect work vs travel balance?
According to Wikipedia ‘Global nomads travel from one country to another without a permanent home or job and their ties to their country of origin have loosened. Most of them work in jobs that are location-independent. The modern-day global nomads’ lifestyle has become possible because of fast and relatively cheap transportation methods as well as the communication technologies that enable people to connect in real time across wide geographical distances.’
That all sounds a bit scary, the concept of having no permanent home doesn’t appeal to me, I need a sense of belonging and I like to grow roots in a place that can provide a reliable constant. For me that place is the UK as in my mind it is safe, has good education and healthcare resources and is where my family and friends are located. However; I have long believed that there is no such place as the one perfect place to live. As someone who has spent many years living and working overseas my family would ideally be based in London, spend the summer months on the Mediterranean coast, winter in the Alps and then autumn in Asia.
There are an increasing number of trained and highly qualified individuals that are achieving their goal of being able to be professionally mobile. For service industry experts all they really need is the right platform to work through, the right contacts and a high-speed internet connection.
Ben splits his time equally between the UK and Brazil, with a home in each location. His computer programming skills remain in high demand, and exactly which socket he connects his Macbook to seems to make little to no difference to the service he is providing his clients: “It was all about managing expectations in the early days” says Ben, “but once my end users realised that there was no change in the delivery speed, or quality of the work being delivered, they became more comfortable with the fact I was sitting four times zones away from them”.
Another example is Robert, a Chef turned F&B Consultant. Having spent several years at the helm of several of Sydney’s most popular restaurants, he now designs, manages and consults for hotels and restaurants in multiple locations across the globe including Bali, Australia, Los Angeles, Singapore and even Fiji! When asked about his nomadic lifestyle Robert said “I made the decision not to be based in any one location, I spent so much time on the road and staying in hotels that I thought – why not just live in the hotel” which is exactly what he does; by basing himself in the hotel he is consulting for at the time he now has the shortest commute in the world.
The lifestyle of the Global Nomad may not be to everybody’s taste but to quote J. R. R. Tolkien: “Not all those who wander are lost”.