Anyone who has traveled for some time has met those people: working for 6 months as a carpenter in Norway, traveling the other 6 months in the year. Living in Portugal for 9 months and during 3 months giving tantra massages for stressed out people in the UK. Roughing it through the winter in Switzerland setting up fairs or other construction jobs (which the locals wouldn’t do due to the “bad” payment) which gives decent funds for staying/traveling/hanging out in a cheaper place.
I am talking about a lifestyle where you do a job for a determined period of time in a location that you wouldn’t choose for yourself otherwise, that is more for making an income rather than being something you really love to do – leave alone that this is a sustainable solution.
I don’t want to say anything against this lifestyle; in fact, I did this for many years during my 20ies: two months or so working in Germany, traveling somewhere in the world for the rest of the year. And I was pretty lucky as I had found a job that allowed to work whenever I wanted to (except from the winter months), got me a very decent income and on top it was a really fun job. Guess what was my student job when I studied in Germany for a few years. It was actually really hard but necessary to give up on it after my studies but I knew for myself that this was not a model for the future.
It was the time when certain terms got more and more emerging: digital nomad. Working location-independently on “something”, simply unfolding your laptop, proper internet connection and a clear mind is all it takes. Unknown chances and new perspectives came along. The point is: this “something” is majorly important. Because as much as you can work on “something” in a traditional way (i.e. on an office desk), be it to make ends meet or simply because you somehow got into it, you can also work on “something” remote for the very same reasons. To get along for a while. Same shit, different setting.
If you work as an accountant in a “normal” company and don’t like it, chances are you experience the same when doing it remote. In the end you spend your time on something that you don’t really enjoy and is not getting the best of you.
If you work on “something” you don’t like and enjoy it, doesn’t matter if it is traditionally at an office desk or remote.
Yet, being able to choose your location and the according settings is something unprecedented; few people had this luxury feature available in the past. Maybe successful authors relaxing in a hammock dictating their ideas to their secretary. The fact that more and more people are and will be able to integrate their work into their lifestyle, hence they are able to create their work around their desired lifestyle, not vice versa, is the key point.
In the moment when it is not needed anymore to go to whatever place at a certain time to earn your next funds but you can simply continuously pursue your job or, even better, your self-created occupation is the moment you started building up a sustainable solution in contrast to being depending on a job in precarious or inconvenient conditions. Forget about the daily commute in x-city, losing real lifetime every day on the road; people that you are forced to see on a daily basis although you are more than reluctant to do so; and being in the continuous flow of consuming things of which you know all too well that they are not of any improve of your life quality.
The key point is to create your work around your lifestyle, not vice versa.
I know that this is a bit oversimplified. Also digitally you can depend on determined jobs, conditions can be precarious or not ideal, even worse if you have to deal with problems and setbacks all by yourself and you are not or might not be around in a familiar setting. I know that there are other huge challenges when pursuing this sort of lifestyle which is by far not made for everyone. And I am more than aware of the fact that the mere luxury to think in those terms is a huge privilege.
Yet, I personally see it as a better and more sustainable solution in the long run as further above mentioned models. It is or can be a very important first step to aim for higher goals that you might have in your life. Those that you hopefully don’t forget along the way; those that were the reason for you one day to embark on this journey.