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Digital Nomadism: Enhancing and Expanding an Enriched Experience

December 2, 2022

TRANSFORMING
WORK

WITH
SOPHIE WADE

Digital Nomadism: Enhancing and Expanding an Enriched Experience

Digital Nomadism: Enhancing and Expanding an Enriched Experience

Rowena Hennigan is a university lecturer at TU Dublin, published academic author and researcher, remote work expert, and digital nomad. She lives her ethos “work is not a place” and transitioned from working remotely—starting in 2007—to establish a digital nomad life for herself and her family. Rowena explains how digital nomad options are expanding to encompass slow travel, nomad families and communities, and extended business travel. She shares her experiences and learnings that have helped her improve productivity and performance as a remote and traveling worker.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[02:52] Rowena’s journey starts with leaving Ireland for a drier climate as her daughter was sick.

[04:19] Moving to Spain improved her daughter’s health and changed their perspectives.

[05:02] During the pandemic, they wondered “why not travel all 4+ months of the school holidays?”

[07:38] The new possibilities and value of extra curricula activities for her daughter.

[08:52] Digital nomads emphasizing time without devices.

[10:47] Why any remote worker or digital nomad should master teaching skills.

[11:45] Establishing virtual learning agreements to create common ground.

[13:06] Understanding when/how you learn and the role of asynchronous interactions.

[14:27] Good educators are constant reflecting and ensuring they are accessible and understood by all.

[15:37] Setting up effective meeting norms.

[16:59] It is essential to manage expectations and dealing with the nuances of any human exchange.

[18:40] The importance of vulnerability and honesty to have productive conversations.

[20:18] The emergence of digital nomad hubs and communities—for families too.

[21:56] New nomad education options being offered that span more than one location.

[24:40] Discussing productivity for digital nomads and what’s sustainable for you personally.

[26:15] The benefits of slow travel—adding extra days away and working remotely effectively.

[28:53] The changing profile and lifestyle of digital nomads.

[30:31] The mentality of nomads who crave new experiences around where they work.

[33:21] Improving upon “helicoptering” in/out of places for meetings and events.

[34:15] The enriching experiences and leaning into curiosity and broad interests.

[36:20] Developing a habit of tourism—near and far.

[37:44] IMMEDIATE ACTION TIP: IMMEDIATE ACTION TIP: What new digital nomad experience might you explore considering the emerging and expanding options including work trip extensions, new tourist locations, and nurtured nomad communities.

QUOTES

“Work is not a place.”

“Any good educator will be constantly reflecting.”

“Can you travel slower? Can you extend your time? Can you take it easy on the way back rather than rushing to and from?

“We need to look at workload and make sure that with the act of travel I can do it as well within my performance and I’m managing everyone’s expectations because we can use remote work to supplement and complement that, but we have to do it with intention.”

“Increasingly, there’s a big slowmad, slow travel movement that’s emerged. It’s because of things like sustainability.”

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