Sunday, November 15, 2009

Coding from camelback

The term digital nomad is starting to break into the mainstream. To some it's all about work from anywhere; your local library or coffee shop, the hotel pool, a co-working space. But lately it seems that anywhere has become a much broader term. Sell your house, your car, your furniture, pack your bags and buy a ticket to somewhere, anywhere, that isn't here. The plan is to earn a first world salary by telecommuting, but pay third world prices for food and shelter.

The nomand's lifestyle is defined not by how many hours a day they're online, but by when they're not. Emily Davidow has it right,
Last weekend, an uncle asked me “How many hours a day do you go online?” I looked up from my iPhone and repeated the question out loud several times... “All of them,” my wise brother answered. “She doesn’t go online, she just is.” Uncle seemed confused and more than a little worried. - Emily Davidow
I've been a semi-nomad for the last decade, I didn't sell my house or my car and just go. I've always had somewhere to come back to, but I've travelled a lot. At the peak, a few years back now, I was spending six to nine months of the year out of the country. Although over the last year or so, for obvious reasons, I've scaled back the amount of travel I'm doing, I must admit I sometimes have a wistful thought or two. Looking out a hotel window on a new view, or sitting watch the world go by, or even a quick dose of culture shock is a different life than dragging myself into the office every morning. No matter how much I enjoy what I do for a living...

However this weekend I sat on my couch at home in-front of a roaring fire as the severe weather raged outside. Surrounded by three laptops, my iPhone and an iPod touch, I was working on the second draft of my upcomimg book. I could have been anywhere in the world, but I was at home. Why? Because while I could have been anywhere in the world, I chose to be at home. After a decade of semi-nomadic existence, where else is really as comfortable?