The digital nomad: The new way to work

Digital Nomad is still an alien concept for many but it’s gaining tremendous popularity among those who want to both work and travel. Roshani Shinde snoops into lives of these people to know more about this rising tribe

Working and travelling at the same time is on everyone’s wish list but very few dare to opt for it. In this growing age of freelancing, start-ups and flexible careers there are many jobs which are not confined to an office space. They allow you to work from anywhere lest you should not miss the deadline . Rather than adapting to the regular ‘Work From Home’ culture, these workers pack their bags and hit their next destination on the travel list. The few things which they carry compromises backpack, laptop and good internet connectivity. As soon as an urge to visit a new destination gets hit, the tickets are booked. And such travel-workers are termed as digital nomads.

The wanderlust
Amidst learning a new language, interacting with the locals, trying a different adventure sport, the digital nomads take out their laptops and finish their assignments. A conference over Skype is held while sitting in a quaint cafe. The commuting time is utilised to take walks in the valleys, read a book by countryside or simply to connect with oneself. Shipra Shekhar, who took up this nomadic lifestyle almost a year ago, says she learns at least one new thing on her every voyage. “In Vietnam I learnt to ride a motorbike. I stayed with a local family from where I picked up to cook their traditional cuisine. And now I am also a certified Scuba Diver,” says Shipra, who by far has travelled to three different countries and 10 remote places in India as a digital nomad. Life wasn’t always like that though. Shipra who is now working as a quality analyst with Bigbinary, had a steady job with Accenture. But comfort makes her uneasy and that is why she started hopping from one place to another.

Love for new adventure
Ratnadeep Deshmane who also works with Bigbinary is a digital nomad from past two years. The list of places he has visited in India and overseas is huge. “I do not stay at a particular location for more than two months. And the minimum time I have spent at any destination is a week,” tells the software craftsmen. During his stay, he interacts with the locals; rather he is of the opinion that travel forces one to mingle with strangers. On his journey he met few nomads and bumped into them at some different location again. And now he shares a great bond with them. Even Shipra is of the opinion that the connections made during sojourns are more intense.

Always on-the-go
The nomads usually go solo, but there are instances where other nomads have joined them for a brief period or at times even friends. “I am very particular about the company I choose while travelling. On my Goa trip, a friend accompanied me as she was too fascinated by my work-style. We worked together, travelled together. Apart from that I have always made solo trips,” says Kaushal Karkhanis who claims to be a part-time digital nomad.

 He is a Digital Consultant by profession and a travel blogger by passion. “I realised that I do not enjoy my journey to the fullest if am working at the same time. That is why I chose to do it partially,” adds Kaushal who belongs to Mumbai and is working in Bangalore with a Singapore-based company. Post his assignment, he will be heading to his next destination.

The digital nomad: The new way to work

Technical prowess
While choosing a destination, good internet connectivity tops the list. With the growing need of internet and Wifi, even the remotest of places do have the facility. Yet, there are instances where the nomads had to face issues. “Now most of the locations have the best of services, but it was different two years back. At times the internet signals are weak at some places, keeping it in mind I always have four different options for it,” said Ratnadeep.

Even Shipra and Kaushal are of the opinion that nowadays almost all places have good internet service, but it is better in other developed countries.  When one is constantly on-the-go, budget becomes a tricky subject. But the nomads take utmost care to keep it under control. Homestays, hostels are preferred as their shelters, and for food they either cook on their own or eat at the local joints. By adapting to that lifestyle of the locals, they try to curb their expenses. And to top it all, they are earning while travelling which solves the issue.

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