The Nomad Lifestyle
Today’s nomad lives life on our own terms. But until about 12,000 years ago, people lived nomadically, moving from place to place.With the emergence of agriculture, we began to form permanent settlements and cultivate crops.
Fast forward to the 1960s, when we experienced the rise of the free-spirited hippie and flower generation that defied societal norms. Some hippies chose to live a nomadic lifestyle, traveling from place to place and living in intentional communities.
Today, a modern nomadic lifestyle is gaining traction. It is not as free spirited as the 60s as this new way of living is tied to economic freedom and working (and living) from anywhere. And a new wave of family nomads is emerging; not just individuals.
Currently, over 35 million people embrace the nomadic way of life, and estimates suggest this number will reach 60 million by 2030 and a staggering one billion by 2035. For many modern nomads, the appeal lies not only in traveling but also in fulfilling the ancient need for community. People enter each other’s lives, choosing whether to stay or move on to the next adventure.
And there are also digital nomad visas that allow people to root in an increasing number of countries around the world. It also spurs new digital nomad health insurance, co-living options, new company policies and things we have yet to imagine. The first digital nomad village opened in Madeira this past year.
I was just invited to join the second Internet Country cohort, which is “a remote adventure for highly curious people seeking to learn more or start contributing to potential countries on the internet.”
But not all is rosy. This lifestyle shift impacts local economies, particularly in Portugal, Spain, and Mexico, where the nomadic population has surged. As housing and living costs rise, resentment from locals grows.
The Modern Nomad
While freedom, conscious living and well-being remain priorities, many nomads are also on a spiritual journey. We balance remote work with personal growth, often while co-living and enjoying leisure activities. There is no one definition of nomadic lifestyle because it’s something that can only be determined by the person creating it.
The latest trend is rural co-living for nomads who crave both travel and village life. With high-skilled, educated professionals no longer confined to big cities, new opportunities emerge. For those who prioritize experiencing the world and finding connected communities, this lifestyle is appealing. It fosters excitement for self-sufficiency, like growing one’s own food and connecting with others in novel and ancient ways.
Imagine living and working for a month in a beach town. You get to choose whether you surf before or during the work day, followed by hiking, biking or yoga. When you’ve had enough, you move to a world class ski town, hitting the slopes. And when you miss city life, return to an urban center for a change of pace.
With growing interest and demand, the modern nomadic lifestyle offers immense potential. And yet. it’s not for everyone. Who will be the next 25 million to join over the next seven years? And what can be created for and by a billion people practicing new ways of living and working by 2035?