Peter Levels — developer and entrepreneur who in 2014 set a goal to launch 12 startups in 12 months. Levels managed to create two services that have become popular among freelancers, the choice of places to stay NomadList and the project to search for remote work RemoteOk. Sam Levels led a nomadic life — the Dutchman managed to work in Hong Kong, and in Thailand and in other countries. “His blog has become a source of inspiration for office workers stuck in the building from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” writes the author of the notes on Quartz. In the summer of 2016 Michael Thomas traveled to Europe and found that Levels have returned home to the Netherlands.
“He decided to return to the old way of life. In just a few months before I abandoned the idea of perpetual travel — being in different countries, I increasingly suffered from loneliness”. Thomas decided to find out whether are not faced with a similar problem with other freelancers who move from country to country. “In the 2008 edition of the Economist published an article about entrepreneurs who travelled the world with her laptop and phone. At the dawn of the mobile era, this idea seemed completely new, but it appeared in the 1980-ies.
Then adviser to the French President, Jacques Attali, used the term to describe the nomad lifestyle of wealthy people who in the future will be to travel around the world in search of entertainment and new opportunities. The prediction proved prophetic”. According to Thomas, in subsequent years, the culture of nomadism developed rapidly. The 2009 edition of National Geographic and Dell launched a blog dedicated to that lifestyle. But by 2010, the author continues, formed around him a whole industry conferences, trainings, blogs and so on.
The motto of the community was. “Get paid to travel the world”. Nomad is a person that managed to combine travel and work remotely. Its a dream about an endless vacation. The movement expanded, and tropical regions like Thailand and Indonesia filled with professionals working remotely.
An additional advantage of this lifestyle is that freelancers could move to a cheaper region that retain earnings and thus raise their own standard of living. Peter Levels, says Thomas, received an MBA from the University of Amsterdam in 2012. After he went to travel the world. “Life after graduation was very boring. I wanted to escape from the routine, and I decided that to move to the other end of the globe.
As an adventure,” says Levels. Since then the developer has visited dozens of countries in Asia, Europe, North and South America. “His business became successful, and the Levels began to earn tens of thousands of dollars per month. It seemed he lived his dream,” Thomas wrote. Once I stood at the window in his rented apartment in Colombia and realized that I dont know anyone.
And all this is not what I would like to do. Yes, photos from different places of the Earth looks cool, but I dont feel any connection with these places. According to the Levels, he began to develop depression. “I felt lost. Who am I.
Your personality is largely determined by your environment. Moving from place to place and not having friends, you lose part of the personality. Even I am strong enough and emotionally stable people — weret ready”. Michael Thomas notes that the lifestyle of the Levels gave him freedom, but in the end he didnt need.
He finally figured it out when he was visited in Colombia, one of the friends. Levels wanted to go to Amsterdam, where he could visit his family — and to communicate with their relatives in person and not via Skype. After three years of travelling the businessman returned home. “The life of a nomad can be challenging — especially on a psychological level. Numerous studies not only prove that personal contact with colleagues can be important for career building, but also show that prolonged loneliness can be harmful to human health”.
Its much harder than it looks on pictures in Instagram. Its nice that the Levels are not embarrassed to talk about these issues, although he is personally interested in the development of the industry. “This does not mean that the Levels decided to abandon travel, not at all. He just plans to put down roots and stay in one place,” says Thomas. “It seems that in this lifestyle, solid pros, but constant traveling there are a lot of downsides,” explains Levels.