Last Thursday, a digital nomad event was organised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, by DocuDoka. The occasion was the Dutch premiere of the movie One Way Ticket, followed by a panel discussion. Because of my research about digital nomads and the effect of their workplace on their creativity, I was asked to join the panel.
About One Way Ticket
So what is this movie about? The One Way Ticket website says the following:
“With a reliable internet connection and modern technology, people around the world are hitting the road combining work and travel to explore other cultures and ways of life. They realize they don’t need to pay high rent to be near their place of work, but also that there is no reason to spend the rest of their lives in the place they were born. They work and live from anywhere they want, without limiting themselves to one location.
As this new generation rises, companies and governments have also started to adopt new strategies.
Is this the future of work or simply a form of neo-colonialism? Through interviews with advocates, academics and authorities, this film examines the issues surrounding the supposed “dream life”.”
Sounds pretty cool, right? I can tell you, it was! The documentary, made by Youjin Do, answers questions such as “Who are digital nomads?” and “What kinds of social/economic/cultural factors affect this phenomenon?”. However, it also looks at the diverse demographics of digital nomads, and gives founders and employees of remote companies a chance to speak. The movie touches upon the subject of the so-called ‘dark’ side of digital nomadism (think of taxes, visa issues, and gentrification), and also the government’s perspective on this shifting.
After the viewing on the movie, I was invited to join the stage together with Simone Grau, Fairouz Kaddour and Anastasia Sergeeva. The panel shared their personal and professional experiences with the audience. Fairouz. travelled around as a digital nomad herself while running her own creative agency together with her boyfriend. Simone lives in Cologne while working for a company located in Berlin. Anastasia, researcher at University of Amsterdam, provided the audience with her scientific view on the topics at hand.
The topics we discussed were first of all the importance of friendships and relationships while travelling. This because life as a digital nomad can easily become lonely. It is hard to maintain relationships when you change location every few weeks. We also talked about gentrification. This is the arrival of wealthy people into a poor area, that start pumping money into the economy. This may seem good at first. However, what happens is that the area becomes so expensive that the locals at some point cannot afford to live there anymore.
It was a lovely experience to be surrounded by like-minded people that want to travel and work at the same time, but that also want to live conscious and want to give back to the community.
Want to see the Digital Nomad Documentary too?
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Did you also attend the premiere in Amsterdam on March 1, 2018? Or have you seen the documentary somewhere else already? Let me know what you thought in the comments!
Pictures by DocuDoka and Diana Beekvelt.
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