If you look around a bit, you find that the digital nomad lifestyle has a lot of hype to weed out from the realness.

People make outrageous claims about the awesomeness, and downplay the drawbacks.  Online business know-it-alls offer their cure-all tonics in downloadable format.  We’ve seen it all, and keep seein’ more.

My favorite source of amusement is the depiction of the digital nomad lifestyle: the photos get preposterous.  I guess it makes sense: the idea of location-independent is downright mythical to some people, after all.  But ohhh, the chuckles.

Here are some of my favorite digital nomad pics.  Some are tongue-in-cheek, and some are just… deeply misguided.

Surfin' More Than The Interwebs

Surfin’ More Than The Interwebs

I love this guy.  I think I might rock this look tomorrow.  This one is clearly staged of course, since every authentic digital nomad knows to bring a paddle when taking your laptop out on the open ocean, so you don’t get wet fingers on the keyboard.  (Just kidding; don’t try this.)

Laptop On Beach

The Quintessential Beachy Businessperson

Looks comfy, eh? We see this guy all the time in blog posts about takin’ the show on the road, but we never see him, y’know: on the road. This creature simply doesn’t exist in the wild (or at least it doesn’t for long). Though I would love to see someone rockin’ this look perched atop a seafoam-kissed crag… generally these creatures evolve into a more casual beast in relaxed attire, enjoying the benefit of a restaurant roof or umbrella for shade.

Butts And Stuff

Let’s Put Our Laptops In The Sand

This is a great way to end up ‘topless, fast.  That laptop is sitting right on the sand.  Never mind the fact that she can’t see a thing on that screen, anyway.  And we’ve already established that gizmos and sand go together like sex and sand: don’t even.

High On Trees

Work In A Tree Like This Dude

A striking image!  We digital nomads learn pretty quickly that wi-fi signals are stronger when you’re up in a tree.  And neckties come in handy when you want to swing from branch to branch for better reception.  :-P

What It’s Actually Like

Lifestyles vary, but for the most part we keep attire casual, and opt for breezy restaurants and cafés in the shade. When we take a break, we just hop into a swimsuit and enjoy the water… without a laptop in hand.

For working from anywhere, we think about things like:

  • keep equipment cool, dry, and safe (and free of sand)
  • work where you can see your screen, away from direct sunlight
  • make sure that you’ve got decent wi-fi (or that you’re working somewhere that’s worth the slower speeds)
  • weighing whether you need the heavier laptop, or you can get away with the lighter tablet for the day
  • which restaurant or café has the best combination of food/wi-fi/location/ambiance/etc for the moment
  • dress comfortably and casually

Fun fact about dressing comfortably: as I write this, it’s a rare occasion that I’m wearing a suit vest and pants.  Why? Because I decided I’d enjoy looking dapper for a vintage motorcycle sidecar tour I’m about to enjoy.

Comfy means doin’ what you enjoy — and we wish you more and more enjoyable comfort each day.  :-)