The AZ that rocked 2021: the new digital nomads


SINGAPORE – Working from home has become the norm during the pandemic.

The house could be a Housing Board apartment in Yishun or an Airbnb apartment overlooking the sparkling Adriatic Sea in Stobrec, Croatia.

This is where Mr. Hendric Tay, founder of content media agency and travel publication The Travel Intern, chose as the first stop on a 10 month remote work trip around the world – as part of the Airbnb home sharing platform’s Live Anywhere campaign.

The 34-year-old travels with three colleagues, including co-founder Cherie Sim, and works remotely while running the Singapore-based company. Their accommodation will be sponsored by Airbnb.

The quartet left Singapore in October and has so far visited Croatia and Spain. The itinerary also includes countries with a vibrant remote work culture, such as Japan, Thailand, and Portugal.

Between border closures, stay-at-home notices and, more recently, the emergence of the new variant of Covid-19 Omicron, pleasure travel has been for the most part elusive. But a handful of people have managed to combine work and leisure during long stays abroad.

Digital nomads are a growing trend and travelers’ attempt to get the best of both worlds, observed Accenture, a multinational firm specializing in IT services and consulting.

Airbnb also noted an increase in longer bookings. Its Travel and Life report, released in May, found that the share of stays of 28 days or more increased 10% in the first quarter of this year, compared to 2019.

For Mr. Tay, long-term work and travel was a dream even before the pandemic. He says, “Running a community-led business as a digital nomad is very out of the ordinary in Singapore and I would like to inspire more people to do the same. “

Another digital nomad, Ms. Ho Ming Xia, has been working in countries like Sweden, Austria, Finland and France since August.

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