Things That Matter

Latinos And People Of Color Are Increasingly Becoming Digital Nomads. Here’s How

The pandemic has uprooted many long-standing facets of life. The biggest change for many came last year, in 2020 when most people were forced to change their home/work-life balance. At the start of the pandemic, many of us were told to work from home and for some of us, that privilege remains.

Plenty of people are taking advantage of that newfound freedom and becoming so-called ‘digital nomads’ working remotely from all over the world. But one look at the travel blogger world – especially the digital nomad community – and it looks like an overwhelmingly white space.

Thankfully, there are many more POC digital nomads entering the space and claiming their place in the community. But who are they and how are they doing so safely?

First, what exactly is a digital nomad?

In the most simple terms, a digital nomad is someone who works remotely – away from their home community and, oftentimes, their home country. They are people who need two essential things to work, a laptop and a good wifi connection. That’s about it. Because a digital nomad has the ability to work from their laptop, it enables them to work from anywhere in the world.

Being able to move abroad is often a symbol of money and privilege. It can also indicate a degree of freedom, a sign that one need not be constrained to a certain area of the world or lifestyle.

Although many digital nomads will say that inclusion and diversity are tenants of their philosophy, there’s no denying that most digital nomads are white Americans. This can make the community less welcoming or appealing to people of color, who may be interested in also moving abroad and traveling.

The digital nomad community is slowly becoming more inclusive and diverse.

@packslight

also, and maybe most importantly – pierogis and vodka 🥟 I loved Warsaw and Krakow! #remotework #digitalnomad

♬ original sound – 𝑻𝒊𝒂𝒚𝒏𝒏𝒂🦋

It’s important that no matter what we do, all of us have the opportunity to find our tribe. Especially those of us who haven’t felt represented in the wider space: queer people, people of color, transgender people – visibility is everything.

That’s why it’s so encouraging to see many more POC starting to embrace the movement and build their own communities within a community. Many are choosing to do so as an escape from the U.S. and its blatant racism and racial injustice.

@buildwithjoy.co is one of many helping create representation among digital nomads.

For many POC digital nomads (or even solo travelers), people often question how we’re able to travel at all. White people are so often celebrated or looked up to as trailblazers, adventurers, open-minded people for exploring new countries and cultures. But for Black and Brown travelers, that’s so often not the case.

Lino Montalvo, a digital nomad (who avoids using that term) currently based in Mexico City, told mitú that he’s found it difficult to integrate himself in the local nomad community because he’s Mexican-American and many assume he’s a local. He’s also been denied entry to certain events and venues while other nomads have been welcomed with open arms – he blames colorism within the Latino community for this but says that “the digital nomad community has a lot of work to do to make sure that everyone feels welcomed.”

@vianessac is a Madrid-based digital nomad helping other Latinas find their way.

Many started out in the digital nomad world after taking a solo trip abroad that left them with the desire to keep traveling. Yes, it is difficult to save enough coins to get your visas, a passport, COVID-19 tests, plane tickets (and so many other costs), but for many, the trade-off with life in the U.S. makes it worth all the planning and costs.

Would you move abroad if you had the privilege? Or maybe you’re already a digital nomad? Let us know in the comments!

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