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The World Is My Office
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If you can work from home, you can work from Rome!
If you can work from home, you can work from Rome!

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Amazon's Alexa runs on children's computer kit! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykB43FVpREo

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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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I need to watch out for this kind of thing.

Has this ever happened to you? 
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I need a mobile office like this.

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My office today: Cafecito Organico in L.A.!

https://plus.google.com/112136509475094568138/about
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My office today: the bus from Granada to Tarifa.

They had WiFi part of the way. 
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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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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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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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Why you should choose your digital nomad destinations carefully.

Props: http://cubiclebot.com/comics/the-downside-of-spontaneous-travel-comic/
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