The digital age has birthed a revolution in location independence and a generation of so called digital nomads working from hammocks and beach loungers in far flung places. This post explores the phenomenon of remote working, the tech, tools and services that make it possible and the mindset required to give up a traditional career and embrace the laptop lifestyle.

The planet has become a much smaller place in so many ways. Budget airlines have brought exotic locations, once the preserve of the wealthy, within easy reach of the average Joe.  The onset of the digital era, lower costs of technology and emergence of the world wide web have conspired to make the world a vastly more accessible place. Younger generations have lived through this shift in technosocial dynamic and capitalised on its many benefits. Backpacking around exotic lands with a laptop and smartphone in tow has become nothing short of a birthright to the youth of today.  And many are realising that with the modern technology and services now at their fingertips, the “gap year” can be extended indefinitely.

And from this brave new world the “laptop lifestyle” has evolved. Easy travel and accessibility to the internet has made remote working a very real prospect where it had been nothing short of impossible for the majority as little as 15 years ago. With affordable computers, smart devices and an abundance of innovative online services, it has never been easier to make a living online. Whether working for somebody else remotely or setting up and running your own business, the options for making a living online are endless. Blogging, e-commerce, digital publishing, app development and freelancing through a service like Upwork or Fiverr are all viable options and the online services to make it possible are in abundance. The concept of geo arbitrage is also a very influential factor. An individual living in a developing country whilst earning western wages online can live a relatively lavish lifestyle compared to if they were earning a local wage.

So why isn’t everybody doing this? The technology is available and it has been proven possible. This is very much down to  individuality. Working online is not everybody’s cup of tea, despite the dominance of the internet in modern life. Some people, by their very nature, would rather scratch their own eyes out than sit at a computer for a living. Others find the thought of living overseas, away from the security of a regular job, home, friends and family, simply unappealing or, indeed, downright terrifying! And of course there are some who just do not have the character or mindset to run their own business or work effectively outside of a structured workplace and routine. The laptop lifestyle is definitely not for everybody. But for those who have embraced it and the technology that makes it possible, it truly is a remarkable way of life that others can only dream of.

Andy Trowers is a staff writer for the popular online sales aggregation website http://www.canada.for-sale.com/.

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