Unquestionably, digital nomadism represents one of the modern lifestyles that were not known in business literature and social studies in the past. But is it genuinely a modern trend?
The term “digital nomadism” was derived from traditional nomadism, which signifies the way of life of nomads and gypsies, those who are not tied to a fixed place. In the past, they might not even have owned passports to any country. Digital nomadism, however, is an evolution from this traditional lifestyle, thanks to technological advancements. I won’t delve into the definition of digital nomadism in detail in this article, as I have discussed it in the Introduction to Digital Nomadism.
What I’ve mentioned above represents my perspective on digital nomadism. My name is Anass Habrah, a digital nomad of Syrian origins, specializing in managing e-commerce stores remotely, which is my source of livelihood. In addition to that, I delve into other areas such as search engine optimization and the application of artificial intelligence in the eCommerce.
My Journey to Digital Nomadism
I was born in the city of Hama in Syria in 1985 and was raised in an educated family until I reached university. Due to financial constraints, I had to choose a major I wasn’t keen on since I couldn’t afford to travel and bear the expenses of studying elsewhere, far from home.
I graduated from the university with a dental technician degree and then sought employment in the dental equipment trade in Saudi Arabia. This phase of my life spanned from my graduation in 2003 to 2009. Throughout these years, I gained extensive experience in the dental equipment business.
Even when things are tough, it’s important to speak up for what we believe in and keep trying our best. 😊🌟
A turning point in my life began in 2010 when I joined Henry Schein, an American e-commerce dental equipment company, working for its representative in Saudi Arabia. This marked the onset of my foray into the world of technology. However, with the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011, it became impossible for me to return to Syria due to my public support for the Syrian people and opposition to the ruling regime, a position I shared on social media platforms.
As a result, my journey into digital nomadism began. Suddenly, I found myself without a homeland and had to adapt to this new lifestyle.
The First Stop: Life’s Circumstances and Challenges:
Just months before the outbreak of the Syrian revolution, I formed my small family by getting married. With the onset of this revolution, economic crises followed one after another in the Arab region. These circumstances presented me with new challenges, especially when I lost my job, pushing me to explore alternative opportunities.
The First Step Towards Digital Work:
During these tough times, I decided to delve into the realm of e-commerce. My genuine starting point was Udemy, a platform renowned for its training courses. However, the journey wasn’t straightforward. To make the most of it, one needed to possess good English skills and choose highly-rated courses.
Launching My Own Platform:
After six months of continuous learning, I managed to launch my e-commerce platform, SOUQ DENTAL, focusing on dental supplies. The main target market for the platform was Saudi Arabia, catering to companies, institutions, and dental clinics (B2B). I found my self enter the world of entrepreneurs.
Expansion and New Challenges:
As time passed, suppliers and agents flocked to the platform, giving a significant boost to sales. However, I faced legal challenges in Saudi Arabia due to my foreigner status and not being a Saudi national. This situation forced me to sell the platform and settle for a job within it.
Seeking New Land:
The cost of living in Saudi Arabia increased in recent years, prompting me to find a place more suited to my income level. Thus, I chose Istanbul to live with my family. Living there was considerably more comfortable, especially when having an external income source, given the economic and living conditions in Turkey. However, I’m still an eCommerce Manager at SOUQ DENTAL and a digital nomad :).
How did I manage an online store remotely?
The role of an e-commerce store manager is a matter of debate when it comes to physical presence. During my experience over the last 3 years, I managed the store remotely 100% efficiently with increasing sales annually despite the global economic conditions that worsen year after year.
How did I achieve this? It’s technology. Simply, I was able to manage the online store remotely using simple tools like email, WhatsApp, and a team management tool called ClickUp.
Does that sound convincing to you? If you still have doubts, let me know in the comments so I can elaborate further.