Travel is not a reward for working, it is education for living. You can make your whole life a Getaway, including your work! In a place like Australia, long trips are normal; getaways can be three months to a year. This is because Australians grow up so far from anywhere else and experience other countries by reading about them and seeing them on TV, so once they finish education they want to escape the big island and see the world. Me, being Australian myself, I had short getaways each year, until I fell in love with Egypt _on my first visit in the early 1990s. I decided that one day I would live here! I expected that would be when I am retired.. But the internet, mobile phones and digital cameras made it possible for me to move to Egypt earlier than I had planned. Now, I can write and photograph, and send my pieces to magazines anywhere. The internet has changed my life and the lives of million other people; people who are now known around the world as ‘Digital Nomads’.
Who are the Digital Nomads?
Traditionally, nomadic tribes wandered searching for new hunting grounds or feeding areas for their domesticated animals. Digital Nomads, however, don’t move following sources of food. They move to experience the world, and they take their work with them; thanks to mobile phones, laptops and tablets. They may even wander about just carrying a USB; using cloud computing to store and share their work. They can offer their services freelance or run a business almost anywhere!
Why become a Digital Nomad?
Being a digital nomad gives you the luxury of experiencing a city or country slowly and more deeply than you would on a brief getaway. As Rolf Potts explains, “The value of your travels does not hinge on how many stamps you have in your passport – the slow nuanced experience of a single country is always better than the hurried, superficial experience of forty others.”
People in many creative fields from writing to architecture, music to fashion design, project management, accounting, and other fields that would normally require office space in a big city, can now move from place to place for the projects they choose to work on or to create their own businesses. They can indulge in the excitement of a city they always wanted to visit and stay longer in. They could be in one continent or city today, and another tomorrow. They get to choose their own working hours which gives them more time to explore, experience and enjoy the new environment. Even if you want to get away from city life completely, you can. You can be based on the far side of the desert in an oasis or with the sea at your doorstep as I have been! Some people choose to be digital nomads for a few years, others chose this as their way of life. In online networks such as DigitalNomadsAroundTheWorld & DigitalNomadGirls; discussing possibilities of work, running business, and life generally in different locations are much easier now.
The one challenge of working solo can be that you miss human interaction. Being able to discuss ideas is just not as spontaneous over the internet as it is sitting together and really getting to know people. With the growth in number of people on permanent getaways, co-working spaces are now in demand. These are places where digital nomads can gather. They provide IT needs, refreshments, and are often set in beautiful environments. You still work by yourself but you are not alone, and this can be motivating! A big reason to use co-working spaces is that you don’t need to search the whole city or town for somewhere open all hours with reliable Wi-Fi & mobile reception, printing facilities, and even conference rooms. Co-working spaces may also provide local accommodation and arrange tours for digital nomads to get to know their new, temporary home.
An excellent example for a co-working space in Egypt is CoworkInn. In previous decades nomads; the Bedouin and then the hippies and scuba divers, had considered Dahab their homeland. Now the beauty of the Red Sea and Sinai mountains attract digital nomads! Dahab has long been a haven for diverse nationalities, making it a perfect location for co-working spaces where freelancers, startups and other digital nomads come together.
Co-working offers nomads the benefits of building their network, finding talented people to work with, and opportunities to hire and be hired. It improves productivity; because when you see other professionals working, especially away from a big city, it is easier to focus. Add in the advantages of cozy areas, a roof deck, a pool and ocean view, and you may never want to leave. Some coworking spaces arrange events such as potluck parties _where people can present their ideas, camps _where they get to develop their skills or learn new ones (e.g. Film Camps and Landscape Photography), and other activities for personal development.
Want to be a digital nomad in Europe and globally?
Tribes offers you worldwide working spaces. You can rent a workplace, meeting room, or virtual office. The design of those virtual offices is inspired by the remaining indigenous tribes around the world, whose traditions and artifacts can be a constant source of inspiration while you visit the Tribes spaces. The founders of Tribes believe that by using the customs, colors, textures and objects of a tribe; they take you on a journey as “the mind needs to travel to be creative! Inspiration is the first step towards success”. The Tribe facilities include high performance IT plus amenities to help simplify your life such as dry-cleaning, shoe repair service, high-level fitness center, good restaurant and a library lounge. www.facebook.com/pg/TribesPeople
The Van Travel
Laptops and tablets made it easy to take your office with you, but why not also take your accommodation?! This is something not done by many in Egypt but is very popular in other places. It’s where you pack up a van, including tent extension, and drive from beach to beach or city to city! Many digital nomads in Europe and the USA chose to live and work from a van. In the past you would buy and convert a van to include a sleeping area, but now if you desire even a short getaway you can call Hire A Kombi. They have a variety of vans available; perfect for those who want to escape the city, avoid monotonous hotels and stay in more out-of-the-way places; but still be comfortable. Explore their Instagram and you will see some of the possibilities for where a van getaway could take you. www.hireakombi.com.
If you want more space and an outdoors getaway that’s not sacrificing comfort, consider TwilightGlamping’s glamorous camping. If your usual nomadic workplaces are at a café or by a hotel’s pool, Glamping will get you far away from the mentality of town and really clear your mind and give you space and peace. www.twilightglamping.com.au
Dahab CoworkInn, Hire A Kombi and Twilight Glamping were established by people who love to travel and who believe everyone should have the opportunity to get away. Around the world, there is an ever-growing number of small businesses like these that can help make your dream of working “on the road” come true. For me, the reasons to work nomadically and be on a permanent getaway remain the same as my reasons for recreational travel, and Pico Iyer says it best: “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves!”