Who am I

Researcher. Explorer. Eternally curious.

My name is Mari Toivanen. I am a Doctor of Social Sciences and a sociologist by training and I have been working as a researcher since 2008 when I embarked on my PhD studies. My PhD (2008-2014) and postdoctoral studies (2014-2017) dealt with diaspora movements and communities, and I particularly focused on the Kurdish communities in France and Finland. In my current project on digital nomadism (2020-2025), I have moved from forced migration research towards examining life-style mobilities. Here’s the link to my academic website.

I became interested in digital nomadism in the fall 2017 when I worked remotely from Thailand and discovered a co-working space through the recommendation of a friend, who had been conducting a digital nomad life for years. The idea to apply for funding for a project on digital nomadism stayed with me, and I sent an Academy Research Fellow application to the Academy of Finland (the National Research Council) in 2019. I returned to the same co-working space in 2019, right before the Covid19 pandemic and conducted some preliminary interviews while working on another project. The project received funding and started in the fall 2020.

Why this blog?

There are a couple of reasons as to why I decided to found this blog. The idea came about while doing fieldwork in Mallorca, Spain. There are so many interesting insights and observations that seemed to come up every day concerning this phenomenon that I wanted to share them more widely. The academic publishing can take years for the findings to be available to interested readers, so I find this is a quicker way to relay observations directly from the field.

More importantly, I wanted to be able to “give back” in a way to numerous digital nomads I have had the pleasure to interview and interact with already. We have spent hours discussing this life-style, different aspects of it and I humbly hope that this website could serve as a way for them to learn more about the various aspects of their chosen life-styles and what kind of a global phenomenon they are part of. For this purpose, I am not limiting the website’s focus only on the ongoing project of mine, but I have also included sections here that offer links to interesting news stories, blogs, websites and academic papers that I have come across on digital nomadism.

Ps. Besides being a researcher, explorer and eternally curious, I’m also a newbie when it comes to creating a website… So bear with me as I update and make it gradually – often through trial and error – a more user-friendly site 🙂

I hope you enjoy the website!