Wondering what’s it like being a digital nomad in India? Here’s the inside scoop.
I started my digital nomad journey nearly two years ago. Life pre-nomad didn’t, well, have many nomads in it. The ones I knew were the ones whose lives I wistfully thought of whenever my going got tough. “I wish I was them,” type of thoughts.
It was a Tim Ferris-thing everyone under the age of 35 (I’m just guessing here) aspired to but would probably leave on the bucket list till they kicked the bucket. Such was the slant of my thoughts (and the topic of my conversations) in those days:
A whole lotta dreams about being location independent, but not a whole lotta action.
This changed dramatically once I took the leap and skydived out of the
I was meeting them in airports, at hotels, in restaurants, randomly on the street, and in every of the 500 digital nomad
But India never came up, cos
very few none of them had ever been, or held any intention of being, a digital nomad based in India. Digital nomad hubs are scattered across the planet, but India’s for hippies or luxury travellers, neither of which work while they’re there.
So when The Wealthy Backpacker asked me for an interview, I was happy to contribute to the cause of breaking at least one of the 10,000 stereotypes about India: That it’s off-limits for nomads.
They publish a monthly lifestyle bulletin called The Global Lifestyle, and each month spotlights a different country and a nomad who’s based in it. Since it’s a member-only publication situated behind a paywall, the interview is reproduced below. Check out the PDF issue here.
The digital nomad who took the leap with her 10-year-old son by her side. Nadja dove in as a journalist in the blockchain/crypto space and now runs her own blockchain communications agency, Wordarium.io, remotely based in India.
For Nadja, the idea of leaving her highly paid corporate position in pursuit of a better life was a spur of the moment decision. “I had wonderful professional status and thought that I was providing well for my child as a single mom, but I was not spending time with him,” she explains.
Nadja and her son
From the get-go, Nadja knew that she could not be a digital nomad lounging on the beach. Over time she overcame her overworking habits, but her core values of action, meaning and purpose would continue to guide her life. Nadja explains, “the biggest challenge for me
Being a digital nomad as opposed to a
Being a Digital Nomad: Personal & Professional
With a background in journalism, Nadja accepted a journalist position with a blockchain publication without any understanding of the
What is so special about Nadja’s journey is that her 10-year-old son has been by her side the entire time. The decision to take her son out of school was an easy one when private school teachers encouraged that she medicate her son with ADHD and Autism. Rather, Nadja introduced her son to unschooling where he could learn from life and explore his curiosities.
After being on the road for a year and now based in India, her son is also a worldschooler, using the world as his classroom. In their current lifestyle, Nadja is no longer limited on time spent with her son, which is one of the most rewarding gifts a parent can receive.
The Lure of India
Nadja’s long-time interest in India finally led her there for her son to participate in a two-month unschooling camp. Though they did not have plans to move there, they haven’t turned back since.
Like any other place in the world, India has its perks and challenges. Nadja encourages seeing India not as a country but as individual states, given the widely different cultural traditions, food, and language that vary from state to state.
Culture shock was definitely something that she experienced from pollution and unexpected metropolitan cities such as Delhi to a more profound discomfort of society’s view of her shaved head (where in
In her process of unlearning workaholic habits, Nadja was inspired by locals who truly embrace a balanced life. “After
Inspiration has no shortage. From the lively creative scene filled with talented dance, art, and music, to the beaming religion and spirituality witnessed in the people and architecture alike, Indian culture is perfect for digital nomads looking for that creative push.
Another great perk Nadja shares is the bustling local culture of entrepreneurship. Many individuals who have a full-time job also have aside hustle, and they are not afraid to support you. “There is a great culture of support to help you on a business level. The sense of community that people have here, the sense of respecting each other as human beings
Nadja’s journey is an inspiration to us all, especially for parents who are looking for a truly unique opportunity to raise their kids in a nontraditional, eye-opening way.
Of course, this is a very brief overview of life as a nomad in India. Our telephonic interview spanned nearly two hours, and I admire the team for being able to condense it into just two pages!
Check out the PDF here to dive into the research undertaken by The Wealthy Backpacker on using India, the land where ‘yes’ means no, and ‘no’ means yes, as a digital nomad base. The issue provides an overview of an array of topics relevant to potential digital nomads (or other foreigners, whether short-term travellers or expats), including:
- India’s history and political climate
- The economy
sub-continent’sgeography and climate
- Society, culture, and language
- Travel and transport
- Medical services
- Visa policy
- Popular destinations
- Cost of living
- Pros and cons for digital nomads
They perfectly sum up one of the reasons why, as a vegetarian, I am in foodie love with India (apart from the fact that the food is to die for):
Vegetarians will be spoiled for choice, and there will be no need to explain that you don’t eat meat/fish or need your food to be cooked in a special way – many Indians follow a vegetarian diet, and vegetarian (or simply veg, as they are known here) options are available in virtually all restaurants, hotels, onboard domestic flights, trains etc. Meat eaters should know that eggs are considered non-vegetarian, so if you ask fora non-veg meal, you may just get an
omeleton rice, instead of lentils on rice!
At the end of the day, being a digital nomad in the most crazy-beautiful country on earth is the experience of a lifetime, and yay me for living it! (I suffer daily power cuts, ok? Lemme gloat to my heart’s content. I deserve it.)