Becoming a digital nomad sounds like the dream of a lifetime for many wondrous souls out there. Travelling around as much as you want, a free birdie crossing seas… Who doesn’t want to live a free life? One that you can wake up whenever you want and be wherever you want.
Do you really know how a digital nomad life looks like? Don’t get me wrong! I absolutely love this lifestyle and wouldn’t have changed it for the world. But there are many things that you need to know and consider before jumping into the heavenly pool because it’s not all rainbows. This is real life afterall!
You will be just as busy as a 9-5 job
Digital nomads don’t just sip cocktails on a beach and place a laptop on their lap during sunsets. A job is a job. You will most likely be working on something that you enjoy more than office work and definitely will be working in a location that you like. But that doesn’t mean you will be any freer than you were with your previous job.
It’s by no mean a lifestyle to escape responsibilities. You are still carrying as many responsibilities, if not more. Taking this lifestyle as a way to avoid heavy workload may not be what’s in store for you. Do it because you are passionate to travel the world while doing your best to make your work shine!
Your schedule can be really off
Not only you don’t get to wake up whenever you want, you may even have to wake up at 4am for a business call due to the time difference. It can be so draining at times.
Perfect for flexible people that don’t like planning ahead because sometimes you can’t really plan things in advance when duty calls.
A digital nomad lifestyle is not an escape
I have met fellow digital nomads along the way that got into this lifestyle for the wrong reasons. They just wanted a long escape from home. Depending on how you see it, I feel that if you do something just to escape, it’s not really going to help with the situation. Unless you plan to never return home, there’s one point where you will have to face “reality”.
Never put your career on the basis that you just want an escape. Do it because you want to experience life, cultures and the world. Do it because you want to add value to yourself, not because you want to run away from something you will eventually have to face anyways.
The scenery and excitement are not worth a boring job
A lot of people take up jobs they absolutely hate because they can’t find better jobs as a digital nomad but they want to remain overseas. It really depends on how you see it. But the people that are doing a boring job suffer just as much as they were back home. They still weren’t happy even if they were living their “dream life”.
Think about your career path. At the end you should be doing a job that you truly enjoy rather than being miserable overseas at a dead-end job no different than home. Jumping to the first job you can get in order to maintain this lifestyle isn’t worth the sacrifice.
Always look for a place with good internet
I can’t remember how many times I booked a heavenly place for the views and how secluded it was just to find out their internet was close to non-existent.
As a digital nomad, the internet is your biggest asset. So many times during my travels I went for the scenic place and ignored the importance of having a stable connection, it didn’t go well.
Opt for places with good reviews on WiFi. I know it sounds stupid but it’s much needed. Also, wherever you go, you need to make sure you have unlimited data on your sim in case the WiFi at your place doesn’t work. It can add up to a considerable amount of money but it’s worth the investment to maintain a good reputation of not ghosting your employer.
You will learn to be resourceful
Travelling around is fun, and also costly. You have to pay for accommodation, food and other necessities. It can add up to a rather large sum of money every month, especially if you move around a lot.
You will find yourself a lot more skillful in many ways after becoming a digital nomad, on how to save up, how to be efficient and how to build your interpersonal relationships with others in every new place you go.
Culture is a mindset, not an experience.
Many digital nomads have been to half of the world. Perhaps that makes them feel superior and more cultured, sometimes you can see digital nomads attacking other people and their culture on the basis that they have been around the world.
Let me be perfectly clear that most digital nomads aren’t like that. Many are humble and kind, just that there are always bad apples in the tree. Travelling the world doesn’t make you open-minded automatically if you are not susceptible to new ideas and cultures.
When you become a digital nomad you are bound to clash with some cultures at one point. There’s no way every culture can suit you all the way. The important factor is how you deal with it.
Having seen the world doesn’t really grant you the right to trash other people’s culture just because they are different, given that their culture doesn’t infringe anyone’s rights. Either you can try to embrace the difference by trying it out, or simply smile and walk away if you decide it’s really not for you.
It’s going to be the experience of a lifetime
I haven’t met someone that has been a digital nomad for half a century per se, like for their whole career. Most people became a digital nomad to explore and many found a home abroad and settled down there. And there are those that decided there’s no place better home at the end and gladly returned home with a proud smile.
No one knows how the digital nomad life will work out for you but at the end, I haven’t met anyone that regretted their decision either. Whether it’s a good or bad experience, people I met have always been grateful for their choices and the experiences they encountered along the way.
Being a digital nomad was the best decision I made. I don’t want to settle down in one place and being a freelance journalist and a video editor, this nomad life gave me so many opportunities to see the world and hear stories. Choose this lifestyle because it suits you, don’t go out of your way to suit this lifestyle.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kimmy is a freelance journalist and a video editor travelling the world to collect stories and make a positive influence. She runs her own website, that shares stories from women of all backgrounds to empower and inspire.