The other day I was perusing BBC news online, and an article on digital nomads caught my eye. Since quite a few of us expats in Mexico work from our homes digitally, I wanted to know if the impact of the global pandemic has created even more digital nomads in Mexico and the rest of the world.
We have been following the lives of a few digital nomad couples since 2017 (https://www.expatsinmexico.com/expat-entrepreneurs-in-mexico-digital-nomads-discovering-mexico/ and
https://www.expatsinmexico.com/working-in-mexico-as-a-digital-nomad/). Both couples fit the mold of younger, digital-savvy twosomes who are peripatetic adventurers who want to see the world.
The BBC article, “Is the Great Digital Nomad Workforce Actually Coming?” looks at research done to measure the rise in remote working in America as a result of COVID-19.
According to the BBC, “Globally, the rise of a large, new group of traveling, remote workers is one of the prevailing narratives about a COVID-19 reformed work world.” Even Airbnb, the BBC said, has shifted its focus from short-stay accommodations to long-term rentals, meaning at least a month or more. Airbnb thinks many people will hit the road and work from the beach, forest cabins and elsewhere.
But, and a big but, the article pointed out that only some groups of workers at specific types of jobs will be able to embrace a digital nomad lifestyle.
The BBC defines digital nomadism as, “people who choose to embrace a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle that allows them to travel and work remotely, anywhere in the Internet-connected world.”
Although we have plenty of expats of all ages who work from their homes in Mexico for companies as either digitally-connected employees or consultants, many more are entrepreneurs who are writers, English language instructors or run online businesses.
My wife Felice has her own digital sales and marketing company that helps realtors in Mexico market their properties in the U.S., mainly through the company she used to work for, the Bay Area News Group.
Of course, Expats In Mexico is a prime example of a global digital magazine that can be operated from anywhere in the world. Although it was created in California, the portability of the business and a fiber optic, high-speed Internet connection allows us to live in the place we truly love, Puerto Vallarta.
The BBC reported that a mid-2020s study of the digital nomad population in the U.S. grew about 50 percent from 2019 and some companies are even now allowing their staff to work remotely. Even more impressive, a pre-pandemic study in 2017 showed that 43 percent of U.S. workers were already working remotely, at least some of the time.
Beverly Yuen Thompson, an associate professor of sociology at Siena College in New York who studies digital nomadism, said successful digital nomads have a passport, no criminal record and not much debt.
Being well-educated with a strong entrepreneurial streak is a big help, also, no matter what age you are. No wonder we have so many digital nomad readers. Nearly three-fourths of our readers have at least a college degree and many hold higher degrees.