R. A. Woldoff and R. C. Litchfield, "Digital Nomads: In Search of Freedom, Community, and Meaningful Work in the New Economy" (Oxford UP, 2021)

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In the space of a few weeks this spring, organizations around the world learned that many traditional, in-person jobs could, in fact, be performed remotely. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, however, some individuals were already utilizing new options for personal mobility and online work to strike out on their own.

In the new book, Digital Nomads: In Search of Freedom, Community, and Meaningful Work in the New Economy (Oxford UP, 2020), Rachael A. Woldoff and Robert C. Litchfield examine the growing demographic of individuals disaffected by the daily grind of office work who have left the U.S. and Europe to work remotely from low-cost global hubs around the world. These “digital nomads” seek out communities of like-minded unconventional people—what they call a tribe—in places like Indonesia, Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, or Portugal. Taking advantage of advancements in mobility, technology, and telecommunication, digital nomads are venturing around the world in search of a new way of living and working.

Through dozens of interviews and several stints living in a digital nomad hub in Bali, Indonesia, Woldoff and Litchfield show why digital nomads leave their conventional lives behind, arguing that the creative class and Millennial workers, though successful, often feel that “world class cities” and desirable jobs are anything but paradise. Digital Nomads follows these new workers through their transitions into freelancing, entrepreneurship, and remote work, and explains how digital nomads create fluid, intimate communities abroad.

Complete with a preface that addresses how COVID-19 is inevitably changing the landscape of work, Digital Nomads offers insight into the new ways people are balancing freedom, work, community, and creative fulfillment in the digital age.

Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland. To discuss and propose the book for an interview you can reach her at galina.limorenko@epfl.ch.

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