Working Life: The Digital Slomad: Why This Could Be the Future

The number of countries offering special visas for digital nomads has increased from seven in 2021 to 49 in 2022. Now, more and more people are seizing the opportunity to live life on the go, with unexpected financial gain and security. Digital, or techno-nomads – workers who use a laptop and WiFi to work remotely – have been around since the ’90s, and working abroad has always been attractive.

When Covid hit, it caused both a sharp slowdown in tourism and an escalation in the number of people working from home. In adapting, some countries saw value in attracting longer-term digital nomads. Thus was born a digital nomad visa, giving visitors the right to stay in one country and work remotely for a foreign-based employer or company.

These long-term visas open up new opportunities for those willing to work online. As a result, slomadding, slow travel as a digital nomad, is becoming the default lifestyle of this generation.

There is no question that fewer young adults of this generation own their own homes than the previous generation. According to Statistica, only 38% of under-35s own their own home.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average worker will change jobs every 4.1 years in 2022.

Without a home and high job turnover, breaking into a city could be a thing of the past. Instead, the conditions for a lifestyle of travel and flexible online work have been created.

Meet the Slomaden

The term Slomad is a combination of Slow and Nomad. Digital nomads and slomades work online while traveling around the world.

Slomads stay in one place much longer than their traditional digital nomads.

In the past, this required exceptional circumstances such as dual citizenship or expensive business visas. But now a new lifestyle is being made available and people are taking full advantage of it.

Why the turning point?

Slomads save money: Forbes reports that the average savings for people under the age of 30 in the US is $3,240.

Many digital slomades prefer to live in countries like Thailand or Colombia because the cost of living is low. Cheap rents and lower grocery bills mean younger Slomads can quickly amass savings that will one day make home buying a reality.

Slomadding is sustainable: Slomads don’t buy cars or drive to work every day, so they have a much lower carbon footprint than their counterparts at home.

One study estimated the average digital nomad’s carbon footprint at 8 tons of CO2 per year, half the American average of 16 tons per year.

Slomaden would be even fewer, as they travel even less frequently than typical digital nomads.

To travel around the world

Who doesn’t want to explore the planet? However, travel has benefits beyond satisfying our curiosity.

Language learning is a valuable resume skill in the job market, as are independence and problem-solving skills learned through long-term travel.

Slomads often return home better and with more in the bank than those who stayed at home.

What they do

According to data from Google Trends, more people have never searched for remote or freelance jobs than today.

The labor market reflects this demand with more opportunities for location independence. Covid has normalized working from home, but social media and freelance platforms like Fiverr and Upwork have made freelancing a possibility for millions more.

The US job market already has over 59 million freelancers, and it is projected that by 2027 there will be 86.5 million freelancers.

The list of countries offering visas specifically for freelance or self-employed foreigners has grown steadily and now counts 49 in 2022. Many countries are hoping these new digital hubs can help economies recover from the impact of the pandemic.

become Sloma

Becoming a Slomad doesn’t mean selling your home and belongings and leaving your friends and family behind. Instead, most start slowly and stay in another country for a month or two as an extended working holiday to see if it’s for them.

Many digital nomads share a familiar story. “I became a Slomad after finding a home office job. One day I turned to my wife and said, ‘We don’t have to be here.’ The following week we were in Thailand,” explained one man.

It’s that aha moment that so many describe. A realization that you can take control of your life and spend years touring around Southeast Asia or anywhere you want.

While it may seem like a major lifestyle change, there are only three things you need to do to become a Digital Nomad or Slomad.

As freelance opportunities continue to grow, many people will inevitably choose the Slomad lifestyle.

Living in countries with a lower cost of living makes sense, especially for young people who cannot imagine buying their own home or who do not have much savings in their country of origin.

The digital slomad lifestyle offers freedom, travel and more money to people who traditionally haven’t had many options.

This article was produced by Face Dragons and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

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