Remember digital nomads? Those lucky, carefree millennials who ditched the office and the daily urban grind in favour of a blissful existence in some far-flung tropical beach cafe, their only limitation being the quality of the wifi. The pandemic’s remote working revolution has given this alternative lifestyle “project” new impetus – and now its pioneers want to get rid of our traditional concept of the nation state too.

Anthropologist Dave Cook meets the people behind this radical vision, and describes his adventures tracking digital nomads around the planet over the past seven years. It turns out the realities of this lifestyle are much less idyllic than you might imagine – from daily worries about money, tax and Amazon algorithms, to the shady practice of “dropshipping”. Meanwhile, Rachael A. Woldoff and Robert Litchfield discover friction amid changed economics and demographics in destination towns and cities.

Mike Herd

Investigations Editor

Vasin Leenanuruksa / Alamy

Digital nomads have rejected the office and now want to replace the nation state. But there is a darker side to this quest for global freedom

Dave Cook, UCL

As an anthropologist, I have chronicled the digital nomad lifestyle for the past seven years. The reality is far less glamorous than you might imagine

A tourist has makeup done ahead of Day of the Dead on Oct. 30, 2021, in Mexico City. Alfredo Martinez/Getty Images

As countries ranging from Indonesia to Mexico aim to attract digital nomads, locals say ‘not so fast’

Rachael A. Woldoff, West Virginia University; Robert Litchfield, Washington & Jefferson College

Locals usually see tourists as a way to boost the economy. But at a certain point, resentment starts to build.

New Tory leader and Brith Prime Minister Liz Truss. EFE-EPA/Neil Hall

Why new British PM Liz Truss needs to pay more attention to Africa

Nicholas Westcott, SOAS, University of London

It’s in Britain’s interests to help the African continent reach its potential.

Why Ms. Marvel matters so much to Muslim, South Asian fans

Safiyya Hosein, Toronto Metropolitan University

Ms. Marvel represents a break from the ‘Muslim equals Middle Eastern’ portrayals popular in western media.