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Rise of the digital flâneur

An apartment building in Northwest Portland

You've heard of the digital nomad: people who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and conduct their life in a nomadic manner.

I've worked remotely for nearly as long as it's been feasible. Way back in 2007, only a year out of college and into my first job, I took the plunge into remote working and never looked back.

I remember being among the first wave of remote workers in Portland. It was becoming more common to see laptops in cafes, but it wasn't as normalized as it is now. I remmeber thinking that this style of work was going to change the landscape of cities and the way we think about work. It has.

I never gave it much thought, but for the tenure of my remote work career, I've appreciated and enjoyed the sense of adventure that comes from the freedom to work anywhere. There are days—workdays—I spend walking from cafe to cafe, exploring, taking photographs, joining friends for meals, cycling, shopping, and experiencing the beauty of the city. This is a beautiful privilege for which I am deeply grateful.

When my friend visited from Seattle over the weekend, she mentioned Portland was the perfect city for the budding flâneur. I couldn't think of a better word to describe the essence of this lifestyle.

dig·i·tal flâ·neur (n): A person who uses digital technology to earn a living in pursuit of experiencing beauty in the everyday.

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