About Not Being “Digital Nomad” Enough
So, I was texting my friend, a former Black digital nomad, who accepted a regular 9-5 job this past Summer. After working there three months, she confessed that she’s looking for a remote job so she can become “location independent”, getting back the lifestyle she left for an opportunity she thought was perfect. She hated the idea of working in an office everyday and the conflict of interest that would arise if she continued to build her business.
Below is our dialogue that inspired this post:
Her: I’ve realized that I don’t want to be a digital nomad. I want to be location independent. I love working from home.
Me: Meh, it’s all the same thing to me. Unless you’re in a Facebook group with other digital nomads who argue with you on what it really is and what it isn’t *eye roll emoji*. Some of them define what a digital nomad is with waaaaayyyy too much seriousness all because one isn’t actually traveling currently.
Her: I read something this morning that talked about the connotation of backpackers and not having a home versus having a home base and traveling when you want. You should write about this!
Me: I probably will. I’m in four big digital nomad groups and all of them are filled with dude bros who will literally argue you down based on what THEIR different of what a “digital nomad” is. *three eye roll emojis*. It’s a lifestyle nonetheless and a lifestyle can’t be defined ONE way. So in short, if you’re able to work from home or down the street at your local coffee shop, you’re (TO ME) a digital nomad. Mediocre ass White men and their advice gotta chill. It doesn’t matter if you have a home base or not… but again, you’re talking to ME, not them. *eye roll emoji*
Her: You’re right. We get to define it for ourselves. But you can help people create that definition. All Black folks know is going to work.
And so, here I am taking my friend’s advice and helping YOU define it for yourself. Here are the three bullshit-ass myths I’ve heard from frat boy ass digital nomads about what it REALLY is and why I still call bullshit.
Before I get too deep, I do want to acknowledge that YES, I know that the term nomad means, “a person who does not stay long in the same place; a wanderer.” Yeah. I get that. I wanted to fully acknowledge this before someone spews in the comment section (or email, or DMs, or, etc.) that I don’t know what a digital nomad means. Don’t even try it.
You’re Not a Digital Nomad if You Have a Home Base
I call bullshit on those who go so hard in the paint of being a nomad, that they look down on those who still have a place to call “home”. Listen, I like to travel from place to place too, but I also like my apartment. I don’t have to choose. And you don’t either. My goal is to get US, Black and Brown people, to be free from the societal norms of work culture and not participate in this stupid ass competition on who is more “nomad”.
You’re Not a Digital Nomad if You’re Not an Entrepreneur
Bullshit! Seriously, who decided these rules? If you have a remote job that allows you to do what the fuck you want, when you want, travel if you want to (or don’t want to) just as long as work is getting done, then you’re a digital nomad. Maybe entrepreneurship isn’t your thing and that’s okay. Actually, I’m glad you realized this early on because being a entrepreneur is HARD. As. Fuck. You don’t need that stress.
You’re Not a Digital Nomad if You’ve Never Traveled Outside of the Country
Bullshit. Bullshit! Boolsheet! Since when did we start checking for how people spend their money? Since when did we social-media-profile-check for someone’s passport stamps? This is especially true to dude bro ass digital nomads from the USA. All this country out here – 50 WHOLE STATES!- and yet we’re basing it on who’s traveled to Asia five times? Seriously? I don’t understand who decided a lifestyle has to be done only this way, or you’re not apart of it.
In short, Y’ALL GOTTA CHILL! Since I entered this space, this Universe, I realized that it’s people who treat this lifestyle like it’s the entry to Skull and Bones. All I want to do is create a space for my people, fellow Black and Brown people, to be free without restrictions. And what *I* am telling you is that you’re allowed to define your digital nomad lifestyle however the hell you want.
Do you, boo.