For many of us, it’s a challenge just trying to survive our typical routine with, or without technology. Nomadic life takes that to an entirely new level, offering some trade-offs in exchange for a truly global life independent of the usual burdens back home.
However, a host of new questions arise: What will it cost? Where are the best cities and neighborhoods? Is it safe? How will I stay in touch with friends and family?
In December 2015 my wife and I quit our jobs, sold the cars, and rented out our homes. Traveling to over 30 countries since then reinforced the idea of becoming nomadic expats.
Logistics to support this requires a unique mix of skills along with the ability to adapt to changing conditions. Feeling like you’re standing on solid ground can depend on your ability to do this well. Ultimately, we found that “home” is wherever we are, as long as we are together.
Technology Is Our friend…no, Really!
Being a technology “geek,” I cannot resist using a new device or app. The lure of how it can improve my situation is irresistible! How does it work? What can it do? Is it better than how I do it now? Who can benefit so I can share it? In fact, sharing is the most important part of being a member of the digital nomad and expat communities.
Technology continues to transform lives today in awesome ways. Cellular coverage has become truly global, many times in even the most rural villages and WiFi access is virtually everywhere. Cell phones have evolved into what are in reality handheld computers (that just happen to make phone calls). Tablets, combined with a keyboard, can nearly replace a computer. Applications on those devices can securely access everything you need to manage life’s adventure.
A dedicated nomad needs to embrace what are sometimes highly variable conditions.
Leaving that modern airport terminal built only a few years ago can quickly move you into marginal conditions in a developing country.
Technology Devices as a Lifeline
Your devices many times will be an anchor to what is known when what’s around you seems unsure. That bus from the countryside could be more tolerable while reading a book (maybe on your Kindle?) when sharing space with locals on the way to the mercado with their chickens and sacks of mangoes.
There are many topics related to technology that are critical to expat life, including:
- Staying connected to your most important relationships with technology
- How to use the same cell phone everywhere and avoid costly roaming charges
- What devices work best – computer or tablet or both?
- Taking on the serious task of securely managing finances
- Mobile apps that have completely transformed travel planning
I’m excited to share the lessons I’ve learned roaming the world and look forward to an active exchange of ideas with our TCI community.
Hopefully, technology will be a friend to you as well as a traveler or expat. Let me know if you have any technology-related questions.
by: Michael Wagner