Towards the end of last year, mid-November I was fortunate enough to attend the UX South Africa Conference. An annual event that brings the brightest minds in the UX space together in a room for 3 days. Attended by both local and international UX specialists, there was certainly a lot to learn.
While the programme was amazing there was one presentation that caught me off guard and had me enthralled. She introduced herself as a Digital Nomad — a term that I, now, have added to how I describe what I do. Even if I’m only a week in. She spoke of travelling the world with nothing but her laptop and a backpack full of her dearest possessions. Spending up to a couple months at many of my top bucket list destinations.
Before I get swept away and get into the nitty gritty of Digital Nomadism let me introduce myself. My name is Samantha and I recently joined the Brain team as a copywriter, content creator, and creative collaborator. I come from a long line of agency experience including substantial stints at traditional agencies like Ogilvy, Leo Burnett and TBWA.
When the opportunity came about to join Brain and really change up what I was used to in agency life, I leapt at the chance. Brain has embraced the idea of agile working, multi-location based project teams and cultural diversity which basically sums up what I believe is the magic recipe for successful business going into the future.
Always committed to development and training and also truly invested in their team’s growth, when I mentioned wanting to attend this year’s nomadcruise.com I was pleased (but not surprised) that I received a great deal of support from the team. The only proviso was that I record as much as possible so that everyone else in the extended team could also benefit from what I’ve learnt.
Which brings me to today — the day before we embark on our epic journey across the Atlantic Ocean from Cartagena, Colombia to Lisboa, Portugal. I am joined by about 130 Digital Nomads with skill sets ranging from web and app design to coders to writers like myself to entrepreneurs running online businesses. The mix of vocations, people and cultures are broad and I believe it means that this will be a rich learning experience.
So what does being a digital nomad mean?
The simple answer — someone who works in the digital space and chooses to work well…anywhere there is a good internet connection really. Whether it’s in Plaza Trinidad in Cartagena, Colombia or Cafe Caprice in Cape Town, South Africa, as long as you can stay connected you can work.
Truthfully it is more nuanced than that — so many people are approaching the practice of combining travel and work in the way that suits them best. In the last few days, I’ve been introduced to some really exciting projects being run by project teams in as many as 5 countries globally.
It feels like I have found myself in the centre of the digital nomad movement — inspiring individuals who are driving the future of the working world are everywhere. So once again I’ll find myself in a room with some of the best and brightest, up and coming talents in the tech space. It’s all too exciting.