Meet the digital nomad who has lived in Airbnbs for four years
If you want to understand what a digital nomad is, look no further than Orlando Osorio. The 33-year-old is from Venezuela, works for tech companies in Silicon Valley and currently lives in Mexico City.
He describes himself as having no fixed address. Instead, he lives in airbnbs all over the world, and the apartments double as an office.
Would we all benefit from this way of life? A to study carried out by three American universities found that living abroad increases “clarity of self-concept”. Simply put, it means that you are clarifying what you want, your values, and your beliefs by changing where you live.
So how is the clarity of Orlando’s self-concept going? It was not an easy task, but we managed to find him and ask him. It ended up being a delightfully philosophical conversation.
The interview has been edited for clarity.
Watch the video above to learn all about the Orlando trip.
Hi Orlando, thanks for chatting with us. What makes you so want to travel?
We have been taught that it is better to drop anchor and stay there for a long time. To do this is good, they say. It brings stability and security. It is fundamental to have a solid and solid ground, they say. Frankly, there is a lot of truth to this. Moving can be overwhelming. It is difficult to establish routines and develop deep bonds with friends and neighbors, which was especially difficult for me. But at the same time, traveling is a great way to take a step back. In my case, it changed my mindset.
I have learned that motivation, willpower and discipline are fundamentally linked to our physical and personal environment. This means that in order to generate positive changes in ourselves, sometimes it is enough to move from one place to another, stop interacting with some people, and start interacting with others.
What have you gained from traveling so much?
Traveling and living elsewhere has meant a lot to me. Interact with other people and study their lifestyles, spend more time alone, have good days that make me feel good about myself and dreadful days that make me appreciate the value of the things I left behind me.
I have become a subject of study for myself. Having new experiences made my internal debates much more interesting.
Wow, it really looks like the clarity of your self-concept is pretty well placed! If there are so many benefits, why do you think more people aren’t becoming digital nomads?
I think people like to take a vacation, but they never really consider taking a long break from their non-vacation routines. Say, change cities for a few months while working. They get stuck easily when they start to think about it. Some think it’s too expensive. It’s not. Others like to imagine problems that are not there.
But the main thing that keeps people at home, in my experience, is attachment to their possessions. The point is, when you go away for just three or six months, you don’t need to figure out all the little details.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the digital nomad movement?
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many tragedies, but it has also shown that remote working … works! But very few people took this opportunity to move to a new location. The virus has broken through cultural and technological barriers that prevented remote work from being performed in the past, allowing some people to work from anywhere. In this way, people can plan their days in such a way that their professional and personal lives can coexist peacefully. The definition of a suitable workplace has changed and remote working is benefiting.
So here’s my challenge: temporarily put away the things you own, go on a trip, find a new place to live and tell me how it changed you.
What advice would you give to someone who might be tempted to become a digital nomad?
Remember that embarking on a trip of six months or less simply means packing up your things (temporarily), letting go of your apartment (temporarily), and simply going to a place you want to explore.
I have found it important to understand that an adventure like this does not last forever. The trip is temporary and its mission is to give you space in your life for new discussions with yourself, new stories with others, and serendipity (my favorite perspective of all).
I leave you with a quote from Matthew McConaughey “Do yourself this favor. Whatever your answer, don’t choose anything that will put your soul in danger. I would add to that – maybe you haven’t found your soul because you haven’t explored enough yet
Watch the video above to see Orlando on the road.