Rachael A. Woldoff, Robert C. Litchfield: Digital Nomads – In Search of Freedom, Community, and Meaningful Work in the New Economy (Osford University Press 2021)
Many thanks to Pallas Athéné Könyvkiadó for sending me the book!
Advances in technology, mobility and changes in the world of work have made it possible for a group of people to emerge, who have no need for a fixed place to work, can live and work anywhere in the world and need nothing else but a stable internet connection. They are digital nomads. They were mostly members of Generation Y (born between 1981 and 1996) who got tired of working in big cities around the world and preferred freedom. To do this, they sold their assets, got rid of their property, and left behind their family, friends, and often the successes they had achieved until then in their work. This subculture values nonconformism, positivity, and creativity above all else in addition to freedom.
The writers wrote this sociological study of nomads living in Bali, mapping the factors that contributed to the emergence of the nomadic lifestyle: the repulsive effects of work and residence, the attractiveness of new environment, and the role of the community. Although individual freedom is the main goal of nomads, finding a community that shares their values is just as important. In the book, we can also read about why Bali has just become a major destination for digital nomads (some of Elizabeth Gilbert’s popular book, Eat, Pray, Love, and the film made from it, also takes place in Bali), as well as the shadows of the nomadic lifestyle. This is because digital nomadism often takes advantage of the fact that life in a developing country is cheaper, and the strengthening of tourism increases the environmental pressure on the island (in the case of Bali) such as the waste problem. Furthermore, a nomadic lifestyle can have a negative impact on an individual’s social relationships and privacy.
Whether or not you agree with the digital nomadic lifestyle, the book itself was a great experience for me as I was able to investigate a world hitherto unknown to me.