Becoming a Digital Nomad.

Have you guys heard this term, “digital nomad?” Apparently it’s been around for a while and it applies to a select group of professionals that, through the use of modern technology, have been able to be completely self-sustained entrepreneurs and businessmen while working almost exclusively from remote locations. Yeah, I’m not kidding. Apparently this a very real thing and people are doing it more now than ever. (*eyebrow raises*)

At first glance, I thought most of these homeless hackers were computer programmers. You know, the people that work best in the comfort of a windowless basement, no matter what state or country it happens to be in. But, upon closer examination, I discovered that many of these people were simply entrepreneurs conducting business in a far away place utilizing the technology, not necessarily creating or providing the technology themselves. People were conducting every type of business from every corner of the globe, utilizing communal workspaces and wifi hotspots like cafes and hotel lobbies. And it was working! Naturally, I got to thinking about my own creative endeavors and speculated if I have what it takes to be a digital nomad.

Technology-wise, I have all the pieces in place to conduct an online business. I have the Paypal accounts and a website that can host an online storefront (although I’m still considering designing my own store page). I have a growing social media presence and a few monetizable projects that I already work on remotely. It’s all there… except the reason. What service or product would I offer as a digital nomad?

While I pondered on my nomadic purpose, I decided it was a good idea to go through my possessions and start gleaning out the ones that I felt weren’t worth the inconvenience of keeping them. Sentimentality holds a limitless value in my eyes, so I will rarely throw away something that was bequeathed unto me by someone else. The seemingly useless clutter is the problem, and that is solely of my own doing, I’ll admit it. I collect little things along the way because I envision them as part of a much larger project, amounting to a bigger purpose than it’s menial current form. But no longer, thanks to me! Unfortunately, a lot of these “bigger pictures” haven’t exactly come to fruition yet, so plain and simple, they gotta go. The way I look at it, if they’re really part of the grand scheme of me pulling this whole thing off, I’ll get them back somehow.

I really just need my laptops, my hard drives, my microphone, a digital camera, some clothes, and a few other “must haves.” Circular blade, those kinds of things. That means I’ve got a lot of work to do. Sadly, I’m going to throw some things away (because absolutely nobody needs a broken, bright pink, paper wristband). Some things I will donate to charity (clothes, books, old sports equipment), and some things I’ll store in the creepy breezeway at my parent’s house (old papers, my spider collection (jk)). And maybe, just maybe, I’ll find some of my early art along the way. Not the bullshit finger paintings when I lacked the coordination to stand up, I’m talking some of my best pencil work ever. The good shit. I might even post them up in the MYSTERY TIN STORE for two shakes of a lamb’s tail, who knows. Nevertheless, this is going to be an immensely daunting task and one that will likely consume a day or two at least, but in the end, I’ll feel liberated… hopefully.

As a digital nomad, I would write and create things for people to enjoy. Sometimes I paint. Sometimes I create games. Sometimes I’ll orchestrate a full blown scavenger hunt around San Francisco to celebrate a friend’s departure to a foreign country. I guess I craft those kinds of experiences because I thoroughly enjoy seeing the satisfaction others gain from them. I can’t describe how I feel to see a smile on a reader’s face, or a sparkle in someone’s eye when I’m telling a story. I strive to create interesting experiences with the hopes of discovering ourselves through intriguing stories to tell. I want to be a catalyst for conversation and commonality. If I can just focus on maximizing those individual projects to their best of their abilities, I’ll benefit enough to afford a little wiggle room on some of my more outlandish ideas and creative ventures. If you’re interested in hearing about some of those ideas and ventures, you’ll have to tune into my podcast launching in August.

In the meantime, I have to market myself in a way that makes me appealing to businesses (particularly the ones in fun new places) for digital contract work. This means social media and marketing, blogging, freelance writing, editing. A highly methodical, organized approach to getting myself a contract job. A day spent reworking my resume and drafting eloquent cover letters has already landed me a few positive leads on my next location, but we’ll get into those in another post.

I’m going to do it. This fall, I’m going to become a digital nomad.

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