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The World Is My Office
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The World Is My Office

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How digital nomad living erases the distinction between work time and play time.

For as long as paid labor existed, people have made a sharp distinction between work time and leisure. 

The industrial revolution intensified and formalized this distinction. Now we work for most of the weekday, then we're "off" for the rest of the evening. We try to take weekends and vacations off. At the end of our careers, we retire. 

Even for non-nomads, mobile technology and the Internet has started to break down these barriers. Work intrudes on our evenings, weekends and vacations. We do personal communication and run Internet-based errands on the Internet during work hours. 

But for digital nomads who live abroad, these distinctions are mostly obliterated. And that's a good thing. 

This picture is a typical scenario. This is me in Cinque Terre, Italy, a few months ago. I'm working and on vacation at the same time. I'm enjoying good food, coffee and (later) wine. I'm enjoying the Mediterranean scenery. I'm taking occasional dips in the water. I'm barefoot. Yet I'm working, making a living. Later, I may be strolling down the boardwalk eating an ice cream, but I might be "working" by thinking about my writing or planning something business-wise with my wife. 

One assumption about this scenario is that I'm ruining my vacation with work. Another assumption is that I'm not really working -- just goofing off and somehow getting paid for it. 

Both these assumptions are false and based on the (for me) obsolete distinctions between work and leisure time. 

In fact, I am fully working and fully vacationing at the same time -- they're both part of the same, seamless lifestyle called digital nomadism. 

When you're a digital nomad, there is no "work time," nor is there "time off," "vacations" or "retirement." It's all the same, seamless lifestyle. 
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Daniel Engel's profile photoWestfalia Digital Nomads's profile photoIvana Jelisavcic's profile photoRomain Séguy's profile photo
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Very well written.
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I need a mobile office like this.
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My office today: the bus from Granada to Tarifa.

They had WiFi part of the way. 
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The World Is My Office's profile photoMike Elgan's profile photokma flot's profile photoSyed Muhammad Saqib's profile photo
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+Lord Ryder It's too broad to consider. The way to think of this is to start with jobs that you can do from home. This can include owning your own business or being a consultant or freelance. Then, there are all kinds of jobs that don't fit into this category. Literally millions of people work from home. And if you can work from home, you can work from Rome. 
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My office today: Starbucks in the Las Letras district of Madrid, Spain.

We checked out of our hotel and I'm getting some work done for a few hours before our train leaves for Seville.
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Mike Elgan's profile photoDavid Chandra's profile photo
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Oh, great job. Thanks for sharing.
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My office today: A Starbucks in Barcelona.

I discovered today that Starbucks' high tables can double as stand-up desks. Nice. 

Why am I at Starbucks? Within a half-mile radius of our Barcelona apartment there are probably 50 coffee joints or bars or restaurants where I could work. (I work about 60 hours a week, and seek out public spaces like this to avoid that cabin fever...)

Plus, people are more productive and creative at coffee joints than they are while working solo at home: 

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/04/working-best-at-coffee-shops/237372/

Of the 50, half don't have WiFi. Of the remaining 25, only 5 have available electrical outlets. Three of those close for half the day for "siesta" or are so small that sitting there working for eight hours would seem socially awkward.

So I pretty much go back and forth between the two remaining options, one of them being this Starbucks.
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Andreas Englund's profile photoRobert Beckstead's profile photoMartin Dower's profile photoMartín Calveira's profile photo
 
I really would like a stand up desk at my next job. It's so not good for you to be sitting all the time. The body is not built for that.
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Welcome to all the new people!

Suddenly I'm getting a rush of new people on this page. Welcome! How did you hear about it?
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Found you through an article shared from a travel blogger as well.
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Have them in circles
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The World Is My Office

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I need to watch out for this kind of thing.

Has this ever happened to you? 
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elvis james's profile photoMurilo Juchem's profile photoMartín Calveira's profile photoRich Kiker's profile photo
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I go no where without my notebook security lock, especialy when I work from a cafe! It's like 20$ and can save your computer/life!
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My office today: Cafecito Organico in L.A.!

https://plus.google.com/112136509475094568138/about
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Joe Beam's profile photoDavid Chandra's profile photoJosh Koch's profile photoDavid Morcos's profile photo
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nice Pixel. Anything you miss from a regular laptop?
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My office today: A Starbucks in Valencia.

It's both Las Fallas outside and also St. Patrick's day, but I'm in Starbucks working like the teetotalling wallflower party pooper that I am. (Hey, somebody's got to pay for this sh*t!)

You see that parade going on outside the window? It's been literally happening for about five hours.

Incredible. How do these Valencian people do it? How do they sustain a party for five days and a parade for five hours?  

Anyway, I'm done working for the day now. I'm going out there. Wish me luck. 

UPDATE: After I posted this, the parade continued for another three hours -- an eight-hour parade!
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Why you should choose your digital nomad destinations carefully.

Props: http://cubiclebot.com/comics/the-downside-of-spontaneous-travel-comic/
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The three surprising skills that every digital nomad needs: discipline, flexibility and.... copywriting?

According to +Maneesh Sethi

And caffeine. Yes, caffeine is a skill. According to me. 

http://hackthesystem.com/blog/three-essential-skills-to-success-as-a-digital-nomad/
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I suppose it's small enough to just take to the bathroom with you.
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Digital nomad living doesn't get much better than this.

This is our "tent" at Sweetwaters Tented Camp in Kenya. Each "tent" has its own WiFi network. 
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+Bernardo Falcão Thank you!!
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Have them in circles
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George Friedley's profile photo
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‫יהודה אדרי‬‎'s profile photo
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If you can work from home, you can work from Rome!
Introduction
My name is Mike Elgan, and this is the blog that will feed the book that chronicles the movement! 

Location Independent and Variable Employment includes a world of online and freelance careers that are not associated with a specific place. That frees you to live wherever you choose, and still make a living. 
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