Working Nomad
Which Telecommuting Lifestyle is Right for You?


The Digital Nomad's Road to Paradise

Would you like to spend your working days traveling to exotic locations, while still being able to maintain your current level of income?  This may seem like an impossible dream, but today many people are living this dream. These telecommuting pioneers are doing so through the use of emerging portable technologies, with an independent spirit, and a dash of courage.  This new telecommuting practice is known as extreme telecommuting.


How do these nomads do it?  Every individual's situation is unique, but the true power of the telecommuting is in taking full control over your professional livelihood, and finding your own unique way of doing things. Anyone can tailor their telecommuting journey to suit their unique skills, work situation, and travel aspirations. In tailoring our own telecommuting plans, we would do well to draw inspiration from telecommuting success stories of veteran nomads, taking their successful journeys as an example for our own travels. 


With all of this in mind, here are three commonly practiced extreme telecommuting methods.  Draw from each what you find most appealing, and ultimately your future telecommuting journeys be fun and productive, exactly as you'd hoped they would be. 

3 Ways to Work in Paradise

Working Vacations -  One of the most inspirational proponents of this telecommuting style is Rolf Potts, author of the book Vagabonding. A very philosophical and practical travel tome,  Vagabonding espousing the value of minimalist living and building up money in savings, to allow for extended, several month-long vacations. By vacationing in locations where the cost of living is extremely low, $3,000 or $5,000 in savings can last you for months.   Rolf spent time doing a number of jobs, including teaching English in another country, to fund his travels.  This approach could easily be adapted to include working digitally on projects for clients or a company in the United States, while living in an inexpensive country.  Saving up the money before going would essentially be a way to ensure plenty of time to get your business running smoothly once you're there. You can literally save money for future travels while traveling, if you use this method. 


There are tales of people going on a working vacation, and coming home with enough money to start new ventures back in the United States.  This is the power of a self-tailored extreme telecommuting lifestyle.


Nomad Freelancer/Entrepreneur - Being an entrepreneur and extreme telecommuting is an amazingly complementary approach.  Working for yourself and telecommuting both give you total creative latitude to mold your business, and your lifestyle, into the most ideal arrangement possible for you.  Additionally, when working for yourself, your career can be whatever you want it to be.  Not all careers are ideal for telecommuting, but some are a perfect match for the lifestyle.  Some ideal professions include web designers, writers, artists, tech professionals, teachers, and consultants.  As an entrepreneur, you also have total flexibility to change professions whenever you feel a need to, totally eliminating the potential for professional burnout. This is especially true when working in a vacation paradise.


Business Traveler – Companies today are becoming far more accepting of working away from the office.  In the past companies wanted their employees in the office, where their productivity could be monitored, but today new technologies are allowing employees to be quite connected, even when they are off working somewhere across the globe.  Some professions do not mesh well with extreme telecommuting, but are ideal for the traveling businessperson.  Additionally, for some professionals the business traveler approach is their inspiration. 


For someone who wants the vacation vibe integrated in their travels, however, a business traveler lifestyle may not fit the bill. According to some companies' philosophy, business travel is supposed to be all about business.  When it comes down to it, the strongest influencer on an employee's travel style will be his or her company's operating philosophy on the matter.  While working for an organic clothing company and doing business travel may include that 'vacation feel' in the deal, this is much less likely with a larger corporation with mainstream sensibilities.  If your company isn't going to budge on that telecommuting arrangement you've been pushing for and you can't stop dreaming of experiencing a working vacation, it might be time to find a more free-thinking company. If you want to go extreme telecommuting, it might take some sacrifices to make it to paradise.  But in the long run, you'd find that following the dream was worth it.


Make your Work Life Work for You

The beauty of extreme telecommuting is that you can take from whatever telecommuting methodology resonates with you, to find your own custom-designed professional Shangri-La. If you are not yet ready to take the telecommuting plunge, you can live vicariously through studying and learning from those who are now doing it. After a time, once you have the knowledge to make it work and you've planned out a way to make it work, you can take steps toward making it happen for you.  Telecommuting is about using personal flexibility and initiative to make working into an experience of pleasure.  Whether you pursue a more standard telecommuting path, or customize the experience, the truth of the matter is that the best way to do it is your way. By making your life journey your own, you can blaze the trail to true professional paradise.