DEAR OLDER GENERATIONS: A MESSAGE FROM DIGITAL NOMADS
May 6, 2017
I’m a digital nomad and when I saw this video by Global Degree it resonated with me so much I decided I had to share it with as many people as possible. While this video sends a direct message to the older generation, I feel like it directly applies to the large majority of my generation aswell, the millennials.
The video apologizes to the older generation for straying from the course they coerced us to take. The three-minute film helps explain what is a digital nomad, why they are on the road and how we view the world.
“We can see there is a bit of confusion to what us millennial travellers are all about,” the Canadian voice-over in the video begins.
There is a lot of confusion and here is why. At the hostels I stay at, I am amidst the drunken british backpackers on a four month bender through Southeast Asia. I am typing away while the loud Aussie tries to explain to everyone in the room that he can outdrink the British guys. Theres nothing wrong with these guys. They are on vacation having, what they perceive to be, the time of their lives. But a significant portion of the older generation views all travelers in the same light. Digital nomads aren’t here for a beer a snorkel and to return home. This is our lifestyle, our job and we aren’t a temporary fixture.
“We are digital nomads and the entire world is our workspace, our classroom, our playground and our home.”
The stunning drone shots may have contributed to my love for this video but the message continued to resonate with me as the video went on.
It was one line in this monologue of truth that really struck me. It justified many factors of my lifestyle and I had a vividly clear moment of reflection.
“Sorry if we take photos and videos of everything we do and share with our friends online. It was someones post and words of encouragement that gave us the strength to follow our passions in the first place.”
I immediately stopped and thought about who had been the person, or what was the photo or video that lit the fire beneath me and it didn’t take me long. I was in college in Oregon, U.S.A. I had traveled alone to the states to play soccer and study digital communication. I discovered Vimeo and one of the featured videos of the week was a short video of a guy riding a motorbike through Vietnam.
This was before everyone had a GoPro and before travel videos were the ‘in’ thing. It was professionally produced but it was still raw. It made me feel motivated, empowered and inspired me to go out and see the world. But it was just a three minute video. I wanted to create something that made me feel the same way and others feel the same way too.
About a year and a half later, I went to Indonesia to make a video and a story about riding a moped around Bali. During my first 24 hours in Bali, I crashed the moped at 40km/h and smashed out my two front teeth. I didn’t cry, I wasn’t dissapointed, I didn’t even worry. Bleeding all over, carrying two big backpacks, I laughed my way to the local hospital to get stitched up. I was content because I was in my element doing what I love and I didn’t even know it.
Without going to much further into this story, the point I am trying to make is that the guy who made this video completely changed my life. I literally would not be writing this to you, sitting here in Belize if it weren’t for him.
I know my content has had the same effect on people too. Each day I get messages on Instagram and via email thanking me for being an inspiration. Often I brush it off a little, thinking am I really inspiring people? If I stop to think that maybe by going out and living this crazy life I might just be the factor that helps someone find their path whatever it may be, that is powerful.
The video ends with a powerful message pushing the viewer to reflect on their own life.
“So we’re kind of this massive community in support of following dreams and overcoming fears. We believe there is a difference in living and merely existing. But there isn’t much difference between merely existing and death. So for that reason… We choose to live.”
When I reflected on my life, I was content, I was happy and I guess if you felt that way to watching it you are on the right course. Nothing is ever perfect, but to be content with where you are is huge.