HOW LI BECOME A ‘THING’
Bring the image of an itinerant traveller to mind. You know the one, your friend from school that went straight to India, returned smelling of, incense, and wearing incredibly comfy-looking but rather unflattering harem pants. Or the uncle who actually manages to make a living climbing mountains, accidentally crossing sensitive borders in the process, but managing to return home to tell the tale.
There have always been people who don’t fit into the conventional lifestyle mold. People for whom adventure will always trump security. The unknown will always hold more fascination than the expected.
Luckily for you, reading this from your macbook air in a SE Asian coffeeshop, nursing that latte like a baby (am I right or am I right?), the world has changed, and we are no longer required to wait tables for 6 months in order to travel.
And this is why the Location Independent Movement is a ‘thing’.
Technology. Obviously. It’s easier to travel than ever before, bandwidth has increased worldwide and free wifi is commonplace. Add to this the declining price of electronics, and voila! You have the backpacker with a laptop and a Fiver account 🙂
You’ve got cloud-based storage and team project management apps such as DaPulse, Slack and Asana let us stay connected, and working, from wherever we want.
Googlemaps and Tripadvisor give you an unprecedented amount of information on any location you might visit.
Add to this the trend of services like Airbnb and Uber, transforming how we interact with total strangers and experience travel in a whole new way. They’ve created trust and stripped away barriers in the traditionally anonymous online world. Technology is breaking down not only the barriers of location dependence, but cultural, ethnic, and social barriers.
These disruptive technologies that are not only making living and working from anywhere easier, but are changing the way people engage with each other on a fundamental level.
The Movement is Spreading
Technologies, products and services that digital nomads use are going ‘mainstream’, but the real shifts are occurring in both individual employee and workplace mindsets. Location independence is a backlash to the status quo, but its’ guiding principles are increasingly being mirrored by the corporate sector. Major shifts to management strategy show an appreciation of the benefits of remote teams, not only the reduced floor space (and associated costs), but the increase of employee satisfaction, and low and behold, productivity! People have caught onto the concept of wellness, they’re reacting to the low quality of life that comes with long commutes, how that affects their health, and their relationships. Companies are realising, as they compete with each other for talent, that they have to offer their staff freedom.
Where does that leave us?
Well one thing’s for sure. You can afford to buy proper pants, leave the baggies in India.