27-year-old Marketa Karvaiova stared blankly at her computer screen. Her office job as an I.T. wasn’t cutting it lately, and she hungered for something more.
“I just don’t want to live my life in this boring way,” she later said.
2 years later, the now 29-year old sits in a reporting classroom at Anglo-American University to explain why, and how, she left her I.T. job to become a digital nomad.
“It was the best decision I could possibly have made,” Karvaiova says with a smile.
Digital nomadism, in essence, is an ever-growing immersive work/life experience where individuals travel the world while working from their laptops.
“Digital nomads tend to be younger, tech-forward, and ambitious, working mainly in IT, creative, or the knowledge economy,” states an article from Investopedia.com.
Not only that, but the digital nomad experience appears to enable a sustainable, eco-friendly way of living. This is a major advantage for those involved in environmentalist issues related to creating a more habitable planet for future generations.
Karaiova explains that many digital nomads prefer to take the “green” approach to everyday life. “A lot of them use trains instead of planes, and they try to, for example, be at one location for a longer time.”
Riding a train, according to eurail.com, “is the most environmentally friendly way of traveling.” Train travel is a popular way to reduce greenhouse gases often emitted by buses and cars.
Karaiova isn’t the only one who believes in the importance of being an environmentalist-nomad. Jessica Johnston, a content creator, and traveler from Fredonia, New York, feels the same.
“I’m a huge supporter of anything that helps better the environment… I’m not perfect, but as long as we make an effort every single day, it helps. Little things I try to do include limiting my single-use plastics, picking up rubbish every time I’m on the beach, choosing to eat vegetarian, and just generally trying to educate others on the importance of the little things that can help.”
Johnston has been traveling for a number of years as a digital nomad. She keeps a blog and Instagram account, called backpackwithme, where she displays her adventures.
Greta Thunberg, a 17-year-old Swedish climate change activist, is arguably a digital nomad, as well. She travels the world in environmentally-friendly forms of transportation –like the sailboat– and posts pictures and videos online spreading her message on a global platform.
In 2019 at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Thunberg said, “I want you to act as if this house is on fire, because it is.”
Though climate change has been dismissed by some extremists, the majority of popular beliefs stand with the current argument that the earth has a solid 12 years to be saved.
Digital nomads are also looking into ways to create a more sustainable lifestyle during their travels. According to the Oxford dictionary, in recent years, sustainability can be defined as “avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.”
Some primary examples of sustainability include using an electric car, taking trains, purchasing reusable water bottles, recycling plastics, etc. These are ways to create a more prominent future for generations to come.
Karaiova explained that while she was living in Thailand, it was nearly impossible to breathe because of lower air quality. A lot of fields were burned in the area, and she said she learned to appreciate the quality of Prague’s air.
Karaiova never really thought about air quality until she experienced life without it.
In this sense, she says that “The experience of digital nomads gives you more perspective.”
“Traveling as a digital nomad made me dig deeper.” Although digital nomadism isn’t entirely environmentalist, it still has its place in the eco-friendly world.