Before the cataclysmic events of 2020, digital nomadism was on the rise. The radical events of 2020 changed the landscape of work and travel as we know it today.
After lockdowns and quarantines, many workers couldn’t face the reality that waited for them in the office. Instead, many employees opted to continue working remotely, and when that was no longer an option, many changed careers. In 2021, the year of the great resignation, over 47 million Americans quit their jobs. It’s hard to say exactly why so many workers decide to leave the office or change their careers, but it’s clear the events of 2020 served as a massive wake-up call to many.
The Data on Nomads Settling Down
Now almost 3 years removed from the events of 2020 and a year after the great resignation, many digital nomads are settling down. According to Bloomberg, a record number of Americans are moving to Europe in search of affordable housing and a more settled life abroad. Would be digital nomads are now abandoning their wandering ways and planting roots in the old world. Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, and Greece rank among the most popular destinations for new expatriates. Americans wanting to move to Greece rose sharply by 40% between April and June. France and Italy also saw a sharp rise in American demand for local real estate. Additionally, many real estate agents and agencies now cater almost exclusively to want to be expatriates who are searching for new homes abroad.
Here are some of the reasons that Some Digital Nomads Are Finally Settling Down:
Not everyone is cut out for perpetual travel. Keeping an intense work schedule and juggling multiple clients while traveling abroad has left many digital nomads burnt out. Whether you’re a freelancer or hold down a remote job, balancing traveling and working can be a bit of a juggling act. We travel to experience other cultures, connect with nature, meet new people, and see the world, an also work hard. Many new digital nomads are realizing that location independence doesn’t always guarantee a healthy work-life balance. Work usually takes precedence and the constant pull of seeing the sights, the pressure is a lot and it ends up being quite stressful. Settling down and planting roots abroad gives many travelers the freedom to explore another culture and make the most of their free time traveling a new area while also giving them the stability to focus on work at the same time, in a healthy balance.
Discovering Welcoming Communities of Expats
Not all who wander are lost. Sometimes, they’re just looking for a sense of community they haven’t found yet. While we often travel to get away from our own culture and immerse ourselves in a new one, we may still be in search of a community of like-minded individuals. Travelers who settle down abroad and become expatriates usually do so together, in communities or neighborhoods with their fellow travelers. A community of open-minded travelers makes for good company, neighbors, and friends. When we travel, we learn that we are not alone. There are people all over the world who are just as hungry for adventure as we are. Travelers who encounter enchanting communities of fellow adventurers often choose to settle down and begin a life abroad.
Many former digital nomads shift careers out of necessity or ambition and can no longer pursue a life of perpetual travel. I personally know a handful of former travelers who pursued careers abroad to keep their adventurous spirit alive while gaining the stability of a traditional 9-5. These consultants, engineers, and bankers chose to lead a life of adventure by moving to a new country rather than giving up their travel dreams altogether.
Living life on the road can be isolating. Moving from place to place at a fast pace makes it hard to foster real connections. When you inevitably do find someone worth keeping in your life, you may want to slow down a bit and enjoy things and take your time as you explore together, maybe even settle down. Shifting from a digital nomad life to an expatriate life is easier than you think. As previously mentioned, there are communities of ex-pats all over the world.
The unprecedented events of 2020 changed the landscape of work and travel as we know it today. 2020 introduced the working population to the freedoms of remote work, and it spurred a travel surge. Now almost 3 years later, remote work has evolved to include expatriates all over the globe who have turned their dreams of living abroad into a reality.