Imagine this — you’re sitting by the beach with a cold drink in hand and enjoying the cool breeze on a summer’s day, finishing your backlogs from work. Everything’s fine and dandy — no stress, just perfectly scheduled workloads throughout your week that can be accommodated while relaxing and having fun. Sounds perfect, right? And we get why this image entices you. Ask any employee and they’d immediately agree: achieving perfect work-life balance can sometimes feel like digging up the holy grail!
That’s why it’s no surprise that over the years, remote working has been a champion for people who want to get away from these daily hectic office environments and start their own life’s adventures (quite literally!) — without compromising the quality of work that they can offer. And with its sudden boom, the concept of digital nomading was born! If you’d like to know more about the wonders of digital nomading in this fast-paced corporate world, then let’s explore the exciting (and productive) life of a digital nomad. Read along!
In this slowmad article
What’s digital nomading, anyway?
Essentially, digital nomads are remote workers who travel to different locations regularly. They utilize technology and amenities to make their work more convenient so that they can be a productive part of a team even while being halfway across the globe.
With 34% of remote employees working outside of their offices for 4-5 days a week, it’s no surprise that many prefer the digital nomad lifestyle to get away from the shackles of office stress and scratch that travel bug.
We get that this prospect of working remotely while traveling can be a really exciting thing. Ask any 9-5 employees and they would grab the chance while available for them! It’s a game-changer for the rising numbers of remote employees — it’s flexible, stress-free, and fun — who wouldn’t want that, right?
Then again, remote employees have different approaches on how to live and have fun during stays at a particular location. Some choose to travel quite often to get as much experience as they possibly can. While for others, being immersed in the culture and daily life of that location (even for a relatively short while) is their priority. And thus, a new wave of digital nomads was born: the slowmads.
So, what is a “Slowmad” and how is it different from a digital nomad?
“Slowmads” are essentially digital nomads who choose to travel slowly (hence, the name). While their initiative and goal of working remotely to enrich their personal experiences and still be a productive part of an organization are the same, their strategy in handling their personal traveling time differs.
How different, you may ask? Slowmads tend to stay at a particular location for an extensively longer time than the common digital nomad.
Digital nomads are known to take traveling locations as “vacation spots”. So if you’re a 9-5 employee who works at the office who is granted a vacation, you know this experience all too well.
Digital nomads are kind of like that. They tend to take in and savor the rich culture and fun experiences that the location can offer at their off-shift work time. It’s like working at a vacation spot, essentially. They will work for a pretty long time during the day (preferably at a good spot filled with culture or scenery to get them going).
Then right after the work, they’ll explore the site as much as they possibly can throughout the day.
They don’t waste time — finishing their work smoothly, as early as they can so that they can get in touch with the fine culture that the place can offer.
Then once they have spent a couple of months at that location and they have explored every nook-and-cranny of the city, it’s time to pack their bags and hit the road to explore a new target location, and the cycle goes on.
Slowmads on the other hand, take time into their own hands. They are very much more laid back than the casual digital nomad. They’ll stay at a particular location for quite a longer time than a digital nomad — from 6 months to even a year. They strategize on setting up a semi-permanent home base, rather than jumping from one hotel room to another.
They don’t compromise quality over time — so expect them to be more “native-like” than a digital nomad. If they want to sleep in after doing work, then they can, rather than being time-bound to savor as many experiences in as little time.
The rise of slowmads among young professionals
If you imagine digital nomads as the usual twenty-something traversing the world and regularly updating their Instagram followers on their “next-best-find” in their vacation spot, then that’s not a big of a deal. But in reality, digital nomads span across all age groups, from the typical quarter-aged professional to even the most successful juggernauts in their 50’s.
But across all demographics, the numbers reveal that the diverse statistics of digital nomads skew young and male, with one-third being female and 54% over the age of 38.
And why does the number lie more on young professionals? It’s because of technology, the main catalyst that enables this new wave of dynamic remote workforce in the industry.
Technology has been on a gradual run all over the 2010s, and with new and profound ways to make life more easier and convenient, it’s no surprise that everyone is utilizing it. Why spend much time rattling your brain if you can make life more convenient for you, right? This led us to digital nomadism, allowing us to have a firmer grasp on work and enjoy life to the fullest.
And here at tl;dv, we’re more than happy to help you out in sorting work to your convenience. Less time getting bombarded by information, and more time to have fun!
Rise of location and time-independent work
We believe that there is more to life than being completely tethered to your office job. And with the rise of remote work options out there, more and more people are getting inspired to become slowmads to let them enjoy life’s precious moments.
But there is a catch, though: at some point of your journey as a slowmad (had you choose to take that path), there will be a time that your work can feel redundant. Which is what you don’t want to happen, otherwise, you’ll get bored of everything! And we get that sometimes, there are experiences that require your full time and attention to get fully immersed. We understand that you want to capture the spirit of your desired experience, since you’ll be keeping that precious moment for all of your life!
Time-independent work refers to work which allows you to set a specific target over a more lenient period of time, allowing you to work at your own volition. Location-independent jobs, on the other hand, are work which allows you to do your part wherever you are in the world. And with the rise of techy aids which allows a more lenient work experience, these kinds of WFA (work from anywhere) jobs are featured in the spotlight nowadays.
Having a remote career in these fields can allow you to sustain time and location-independent work through WFH (work from home) or WFA setup. Here are a few of these fields that continuously allow employees to have a hold of their time:
- Software Developers
- Business Developers
- Content Creators
- Customer Service Representatives
- Marketing Managers
- Graphic Designers
The slowmad lifestyle
There’s one phrase that slowmads can say that digital nomads cannot: “I used to live there!”.
Slowmads are light and breezy as compared to digital nomads. They can make memories at a location that they can attach to a specific period of their lives, since they practically reside there. They can live amongst the native, and they can actually call themselves as one living for that long on the location!
They can capture the essence and experiences of locales more, since they’re not just the typical tourist.
Slowmads have all the time on the palms of their hands, since they are oftentimes time-independent employees too. If they can stay in and enjoy the serenity that the day offers, they can do so! Less pressure and hassle, which results in higher quality, inspired, and adaptable work!
Want to get to know more of the slowmad lifestyle? Here are some of the best influencer slomads!
If you’re all riled up and want to start your journey in being a slowmad, then take the mindful tips from slowmads who’ve done this for years. Here are some of the best influencer slowmads on the web that can inspire you on your journey and provide the idyllic spirit of being one!
- Katie Lamb’s freelance writer travel logs as a slowmad all over the world: https://www.birdsofafeatherpress.com/slowmad-or-nomad/
- Bri’s lessons from travel blogging: https://bucketlistbri.com/first-year-travel-blogging/https://bucketlistbri.com/first-year-travel-blogging/
- Nine Coliving: Katie & Emmanuel’s lives as Slowmads: https://www.ninecoliving.com/blog/slowmading
Let’s Wrap It Up!
Traveling slowly and getting a hold of your time is essentially anyone’s dream. As it can easily become a reality, there will always be options for you to enjoy traveling and getting in touch with life while still at the peak of your career, even remotely. So check out all points here and remember that life starts when you let go of all of your fears and inhibitions!