TL;DR: We all need communities (even nomads) – and there are different ways to solve this. The idea that excites me the most is collaboratively buying land and property together with other nomads – and using that as a base to meet up and collaborate.
The opportunity to combine working online with living in countries with a low cost of living has changed people’s lives.
Freeing people up who would otherwise be caught in economic shackles.
Stuck toiling away in 9-5s they may not enjoy, just to afford basic amenities like rent and food.
It has given them a chance to travel and experience cultures completely different from their own.
In many ways, one could draw parallels between digital nomad early years and the early years of university.
Where University often provides children their first chance to spread their wings and explore independently.
Becoming a digital nomad is like that, but with the training wheels off.
How can I learn to provide for myself financially online?
It’s sink or swim for most… Because if you fail it’s back to your home country and back to the 9-5.
Once a baseline level of income has been established, the next question becomes – can I grow this into something that means I can return from ‘exile’ (of third world countries), and return with independence to a first world country?
You may also realize that you don’t NEED any one place in particular.
Sure, maybe California has that great mix of first world amenities, tech and weather.
Or perhaps Bali is perfect for your holistic, healthy lifestyle… And sure… the Internet is getting better (yay!)
But really it’s the amazing group of people you’ve met that you want to cultivate and grow with.
They are the people that you want to build businesses with, explore new places together and raise families together.
Before the paradigm shift of location independence, we were forced to spend time with our fellow employees and whoever happened to live in your geographical area.
Now we can pick out the friends most aligned with our goals. And work from that place.
But how do we take things to the next level?
There are a few different possibilities.
But here’s the idea that excites me the most.
Collaboratively buying land and property which is then shared and developed together.
Giving the group a ‘home’ to come together and share.
Assuming that money IS an issue, and that resources are finite. There are certain downsides for the location independent to pick a single spot and buying property.
Firstly, the ideal spot may be beyond ones financial reach. So there would be time delay.
Secondly, if one doesn’t yet know where his friends plan to settle, buying a property with limited housing capacity makes it difficult to make the location a focal spot for the group.
Compared to co-buying a large plot and having a large group come spend time together.
Then there are benefits to the buying power of a group.
Want enough space to grow and rear food? Check
Want space to create workshops? Check
Want to host events and retreats? Check
All do-able with a big enough plot and property.
I would draw a distinction between this and a commune.
This isn’t to replace buying ones own home and live together constantly.
And a home may become the priority once kids are on the way.
But the intention is to be able to spend time in great spots like Thailand, Vietnam, Bali, Berlin, Medellin etc. for a large chunk of the year, and then come together at different points to share time together.
And do it with all the amenities you want.
For further reading on the drawbacks of long term travel without a community – see Charlie Guo’s post – I’m not living the dream
Image Credit: Cat Burton Photography