An Indian digital nomad is an incredibly rare species, with disadvantages like a weak asf passport and less earning potential, it’s not surprising that I don’t see a lot of my brown countrymen around the world.
It’s no surprise and I doubt anyone will debate that being from any developing country puts you at a disadvantage at a global level, that’s just the way the current world economics works (for now?). For example, an average engineer in India earns $434/month(source) pre-tax which let’s be honest isn’t a lot. In India, it is decent as everything in India is much cheaper however it still makes it incredibly hard to save up an emergency fund to have the confidence to embark on the “digital nomad lifestyle”.
Also in absence of any welfare system and the barely enforced minimum wage of $0.28/hour (yeah that’s right 28 cents), exploitation is huge especially due to the sheer number of people, supply is incredibly high while demand is low thus dropping the prices (salaries).
Also having a passport from the developing world is a pain in the ass, most of my counterparts from developed nations rarely have to worry about visas, but being an Indian passport holder I have to worry about visas almost everytime I take a flight and usually have to show insanely detailed bank statements etc. When I got a visa to the USA it took 3 months (yup 3 months, imagine that the next time you are complaining about spending 30 mins filling an e-visa form lol) and an insanely long interview process.
Sounds like it’s impossible to become an Indian digital nomad right? Might as well pack up and give up on the idea of working and travel huh? Well only if you believe so, the above problems along with culture and other factors are a real issue only if you let them be.
Almost every Indian digital nomad I meet seem to always complain about the above issues, however, if you’ve ever met me the in real life or read my other articles you wouldn’t even know that I deal with those problems because the truth is that complaining about them isn’t going to change anything.
Is earning potential in India low? Well, then don’t work in India or for Indian companies. Are Indian advertisers not willing to spend? Well then don’t work in the Indian market. You’ve got the internet, it’s democratized “The American Dream” to everyone in the world.
I look at being an Indian digital nomad, the same way as I look at dating… I’m about 5’3” (yeah fml) which let’s be honest is a disadvantage when it comes to “the dating game”, and I have 2 options: Spend all my time complaining about genetics or other (real) excuses, or invest in myself in becoming the kind of person who attracts the right people in his life, who don’t really care about something as irrelevant as height.
I’m sick of Indians complaining, most of the time their excuses are absolute bullshit. A few issues are actually real; like I’ve talked to people who work in fields to provide for their family but the same people tell me about how later in the night they spend their time learning how to code. Unless you are dealing with something like that, please stop complaining about why you can’t-do something.
Everyone has their own problems and fighting a battle you don’t know about. Just visit /r/digitalnomad and you will just see the struggle everyone is going through.
With an Indian passport, you can visit over 40 countries without a visa, sure it may not be the 150+ that you would get with a European passport but unless you’ve been to every one of those stop writing articles about “passport privilege”. I’m not dismissing it or saying that it doesn’t exist (it does), I’m just saying that spending your entire time complaining about why someone from New York or London has it better than you isn’t going to really help you.
Will you get more likes and fans if you write posts about complaining about the disadvantages? Yeah. Why? Because it’s always easier to complain and talk than it is to actually put in the work and deal with a situation. Hell, by writing this post I’m going to lose a couple of followers but you know what? f*@k it, this has to be said.
My advice on how to become a digital nomad is the same for a person in an Indian village as it is for someone on the other side of the world. Take a skill, get good at it and start doing it for people that will benefit from it. I did that with SEO and now I consult 6/7 figure businesses and help them come higher up in google and I’m even in the first 40 results out off over 10M results worldwide in Google for the word “SEO consultant”. Google or even Facebook for that matter doesn’t care that I’m Indian or American or whatever so please aspiring Indian digital nomads, you have disadvantages but stop complaining about it and put in the work. You have access to the same resources as someone across the world.
Also, anyone can just buy WordPress hosting and start a blog or take their camera and start recording video and upload youtube. They’re so many successful Indian bloggers like Harsh from ShoutMeLoud or Shivya from The Shooting Star who have done it.
I remember growing up with many things in life everyone around me told me “people like us can’t do that” and that’s what’s happening right now with the culture in India. I’ve had people complain to me about not being able to grow youtube channels or get jobs on Upwork or whatever and always blaming being Indian or other crap instead of actually learning how to market on youtube or how to market your skills.