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Opinion

Millennials – the new (digital) nomads

Our generation, the millennials, might be the generation of (digital) nomads. We, millennials, are often called out for being lazy, spoiled, and narcissistic by the older generations. But, I can say for a fact that, by looking around me at other millennials, this is complete and utter bullshit. I am pretty sure you would agree. How in the world can we be called lazy if all we do is try to search for our (dream) job that does not demand thirty years of experience? Is it laziness because I am 25, and thus do not have thirty years of work experience? Or am I spoiled because I do not want to work in a shitty job for the next forty years until I would ever be allowed to retire?

Our generation is getting full of (digital) nomads. Because we feel the impossibility of some job security or a normal house to live in, we will find our own paths in Amsterdam or anywhere around the world (I would go for another planet as well if it were possible). So when we cannot find this security, we will find it elsewhere. Therefore, we became (digital) nomads. Why digital? I will get there in a minute. Let’s first talk about the nomad thing.

Modern-day nomads
Are we really nomads though? That depends on which definition of nomad you use. I guess most of us are not really walking around for years with our tribe, our cows, and with all our equipment on our backs looking for a nice field of grass on which we can gather fruits and vegetables and hunt deer. No, it is probably more like trying to look for a temporary or permanent home, somewhere around the globe. Some of us have moved to Amsterdam (or not) for this purpose, others are planning to move, and others might have already found their permanent homes (lucky you).

While traveling through Central America, I have met hundreds of people that actually could be compared to the traditional sense of “nomads”, carrying their backpack around from place to place. Some follow this way of living for several weeks, others for years.

Is there place for more digital nomads?

Creating our own jobs
And here comes the digital part. Since we, millennials, cannot be assured with a secure job and home – we became nomads, traveling from place to place, and we created (and are still creating) our own jobs. Our generation created more freelancers than ever. Very often this includes a job that does not require much more than a laptop and working internet. This has brought us to the new type of nomads: the digital nomads, the working travelers, or the traveling workers. Call it how you want, but one thing is for sure: the concept ‘home’ has become more dynamic.

This just leaves me wondering: is there place for more digital nomads? And if so, how can you be different from the rest so that you can still ‘sell’ your ‘product/service’? Well, ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’. But seriously, yes, everybody can become a digital nomad, and there is always a niche that has not been thought of. Dear millennial, just follow your dream and never surrender to the crazy demands of society.

Cover: Chamoetal Zeidler

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Chamoetal Zeidler