Published by: Myrtle Bautista
Have you ever heard of a digital nomad?
It is the modern-day twist to freelancers or people who fulfill their job roles remotely with the help of technology. Their trademarks include their trusty laptop, backpack, and a wireless gadget or network to keep them connected to the digital world 24/7.
An important breakthrough among the digital nomad community is the growing number of black creators worldwide. Their influence continues to create massive ripple effects on society as a whole.
Wanderers on the Web: What it Means for the Black Community
The freedom to walk the earth—to partake in a journey in any location they set their eyes on—is considered a dream come true for most individuals. It’s akin to an escape, a breath of fresh air, or the mark of new beginnings. In contrast, embracing the life of a digital nomad may have deeper implications for the black community.
Black people are among the most common targets of racism and discrimination in the workplace. Women have it much worse since they are at the receiving end of major setbacks and restricted career opportunities, despite their qualifications and impressive credentials that highlight their fitness for the job.
Hence, the level of freedom coupled with becoming a modern-day wanderer could mean a thousand different things to them. It could mean freeing themselves from an oppressive country, seeking a safer refuge, or breaking the chains of minimized success. In other instances, it reflects how they want to push boundaries and make their voices heard. After all, in a world where color and race remain a factor in determining one’s success and stature in life, sometimes the only way to be free from such oppressive chains is to build a new path where others can follow suit.
Breaking boundaries and making it work
The lack of proper representation and career breakthroughs paired with the unjust treatment they constantly receive are more than enough motivational factors that make moving from place-to-place worth giving a shot.
The question is, does becoming a digital nomad really work in their favor?
It is profoundly amazing how far the world has come since the invention of the World Wide Web.
Realistically speaking, there is racism in every corner of the world—even among the black community. There are also the financial challenges coupled with not having a permanent place to live. Living expenses and freelancing rates differ from country to country. Nomads have to consider whether there is a balance between what they spend and what they earn in their freelance gigs.
Some might think that pushing for a nomadic lifestyle seems to bring more losses than gains. Well, that’s just what it looks like on the surface.
These game-changing nomads are persevering against these hurdles to make a change. A significant number of black digital nomads are pioneering their businesses and showcasing their skills and experiences. Some are influencers using the connectivity of social media to share their journey with fellow wanderers and aspiring nomads.
Admittedly, things may not always turn out the same for everyone.
To be a present-day vagabond entails a letting go of a certain level of comfort. Hence, why the majority of nomads work as either freelancers or entrepreneurs. They cannot be tied closely to a single organization or company, otherwise moving to a new place wouldn’t be possible.
Sacrificing a stable, 9-to-5 job tests whether the said way of living suits them or not. It’s not easy finding a freelancing job or partner who will not take advantage of the fact that they will be working with a person of color. A significant number of nomads have also brought their families with them on their chosen path. Disagreements and doubts on whether to continue traveling inevitably become an issue.
Black digital nomads have a crucial impact on their community, despite the struggles, the unique setup, and the irony of being a techie vagabond. Representation is important, especially for the black community. Representation serves as a ‘voice’ that tells the world they matter, they exist, they each have a story, and they will not be brought down by unprogressive and discriminative perceptions.
Take aspiring digital nomads for instance. Traveling and leaving their comfort zones can be quite a scary experience. As such, knowing and seeing fellow members of one’s community sharing their interests and aspirations gives them a profound sense of comfort. Some are hesitant to travel the world freely because they need more guidance on how to actually get started.
The growing number of black men and women choosing to take the risk for a newfound and modern-day adventure exhibit the thriving community of digital pilgrims. There are tons of unique stories and backgrounds that they need to hear. It might point them to an answer that’s relevant to their situation or dilemma.
At times, it’s not even about their reasons or goals for roaming the globe. Over time, as they find people who share their sentiments, culture, and their identity, the journey takes a whole new meaning for everyone who becomes a part of it.