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Digital Nomadism: Why now is the time for change

Digital Nomadism: Why now is the time for change 

Digital Nomadism is on the rise. The chances are that, if you’re reading this, you either are, were, or are considering becoming location independent. It’s a lifestyle that allows you to explore the world, experience new cultures, and live a life untethered to your desk, often whilst also paying no tax locally. I’ve been a digital nomad for 2.5 years, and I can’t recommend it highly enough… With one exception.

 

I’m currently in Medellín. According to Nomad List, there are around 7,500 of us here at the moment. That’s a lot of Airbnbs to fill, and a lot of new buildings being constructed in the most desirable areas. It’s a lot of bars and restaurants jacking up prices to take advantage of foreign money. And it’s a lot of residents finding that they can’t afford to live in the area they grew up in. In the long term, I don’t see this as being sustainable, when we visit for 3-6 months, and then leave; reaping all the benefits a city has to offer, whilst facing none of the consequences.

 

Something’s got to give. With New York’s Local Law 18 coming into effect, Airbnb has been de facto banned there; Italy may soon have a law to curb short-term rentals across the country; and Portugal has stopped issuing licences for Airbnb. The way digital nomads exist at present is under threat. 

 

Why Change?

 

As it stands, there is no real way for nomads to positively contribute directly and consistently to the cities they live in. There is a definite sense that foreigners don’t really care about their neighbours. Visiting a new place is a means to an end: a way to save money, with an elevated quality of life. People are sick of hearing “OMG it’s so cheap here!”, when what the person saying it means is “OMG it’s so cheap here for me!”. 

 

Why Now?

 

We’re at a tipping point: the world is either going to have nearly a billion nomads by the end of 2035, which according to Worldometer, will be 11% of the planet… Or the bubble will burst, cities and countries will say “Screw this, the increase in tourism doesn’t offset the negative impact”, and it’ll be over. I believe that nomads can be a force for good. We need to show that that’s true, before that opportunity is taken away from us.

 

Why Us?

 

DNfG is just a start, but it’s a good start. Our platform is not an all-encompassing solution, but it is a way to make a positive impact in the cities in which we’ll operate. We can’t undo gentrification, and we can’t fix poverty. But with your help, we can provide funds to charities working with those most affected by inequality; we can show that digital nomadism can be beneficial to cities that accept us; and we can all feel a little better about what we’re putting out into the world.

Our Work in Action

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