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Polysedentarity Vs. Nomadism

Here’s why not to define yourself as a digital nomad

Digital nomadism has been popularized recently by the possibilities of the internet and new outsourcing in developing countries, in particular.

Polysedentarity, unlike nomadism, allows to create deeper links with people. It is not a matter of taking advantage of a low cost of living, but of starting a process of adaptation within a population. This process begins with learning the local language and refusing to live in a bubble between expats.

Polysedentaryism As A Solution To Life’s Problems

Many people ask themselves which country they would like to spend the rest of their lives in. I think the question is badly put. This question should be put in the plural. Having two places to live allows you to enjoy the benefits of complementarity. Unhappy people are unhappy because their life is extremely polarized on one dimension. Now imagine that you split your life between a developed and a developing country. You could benefit from the best that each environment has to offer. For example, non-industrialized and less industrialized countries have much stronger family values, larger families and a higher respect for the elderly. These same countries generally have an agriculture that is less chemical and more organic. The food in general is of better quality because of this. In developed countries, you generally have better working methods, access to a wide variety of manufactured goods and a better educated population. The evils of modernity are combated by going “back to basics” so to speak, that is, by traveling to more traditional countries. Conversely, traveling to developed countries allows one to see the best in terms of productivity for example.

The Interest Of Sharing Your Time Between 2 To 4 Countries Each Year

Living in 2 to 4 countries each year gives you the opportunity to spend 4 to 6 months per year in these countries. In doing so, you can, over time, deepen the relationships you build (the idea being to return regularly to these countries, say at least once every 3 years). You will build relationships that are more or less strong, which you can continue to maintain from a distance. You will constantly benefit from the complementarity mentioned above. Let’s imagine that there are 6 dimensions to life: work, family, health, relationships, intelligence and spirituality. You could travel in such a way that you have the opportunity to optimize each of these poles in the different countries where you will live. Overall, you will potentially have a more balanced life than if you stay in one place too long.

The Roots

The problem with the digital nomad is that he lives uprooted and his culture is ultimately only online. He only connects superficially with people and in my opinion, sometimes behaves like a neo-colonist. Why? Because digital nomads are people with superior purchasing power who come to take advantage of the differences in the cost of living without really caring about the lives of the people around them. A bit like in the colonies where a small part of the population was living in opulence while all around them was living in misery.

Hedonism Vs Responsibility

Digital nomadism, which was popularized by Tim Ferris in the 4-hour week, is in fact an ode to hedonism. The idea behind the whole book is: “Travel, the pleasures you can’t afford here, you can afford every day there”.

Polysedentarity is not a hedonistic lifestyle, it is above all a more conscious lifestyle, I would say because its goal is to live with the people and not to take advantage of them. It is the result of an awareness that can be:
“to be happy, I need to get out of my bubble”
“I need to cultivate a form of gratitude that forces me to go out and see how the rest of the world lives”
“To be happy, I can’t stay in my comfort zone, I need to go out into the unknown and immerse myself in an environment that is different from my own.

Polysedentary implies a willingness to immerse oneself in the lifestyles, languages or culture in which one finds oneself, which is not the case for digital nomads. The polysedentary respects the places where he stays because he aspires to be considered more as a local than as a simple visitor because he will come back and merge more and more with the population.

What to remember?

– The term “digital nomad” can be considered as an insult.
– Polysedentarity is a more viable and respectful alternative to digital nomadism
– If you have a superficial relationship with the population and its culture, you are not in a polysedentary approach

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