We all may heart of it, the Digital Nomad Lifestyle, but what does it actually mean being one? Well, being a Digital Nomad is choosing to have a full-time “online” career whereby the person is not location depended. This means that a Digital Nomad can work from anywhere in the world where there is a solid wifi connection or where there are flexible job opportunities. These careers can variate from creative jobs to IT, coaching, sales, and so much more. I’ve put “online” between two quotations marks because you can definitely choose to work offline too, but then I would rather call it, being a travel-nomad. But in the end, who cares what name you put on to it, we aren’t defined by labels, right?
Even though this lifestyle seems like the perfect Disney story, it absolutely isn’t all glitter and shine. If you are dreaming of this lifestyle just to be able to travel around the world while having the perfect vacation 7/7, then it will most certainly turn into a big disappointment. Therefore, If you want to choose a Digital Nomad Lifestyle, you need to be aware of the cons before starting this new life journey. You should see this lifestyle as a new life path, not an escape from the reality. Because the reality is… you are responsible for creating your perfect life, not the other way around.
Like I said before, the big misunderstanding of this lifestyle is that it is often seen as a long relaxing vacation. Therefore it can be pretty stressful when you start this lifestyle, being totally unaware and unprepared. Because when you come to the realization that everything costs a lot of money, then stress will start to pop up. And yes, as we all know, there is only one way to get money to keep on traveling full time. It’s work, sweat, and dedication! On the other hand, the amount of money you need does depend on your way of living of course. The less you spend, the ‘less’ you need to work. But that is up to you. So if you want this lifestyle just to sit back and relax all the time, then I would recommend you to think again. You need to find the right balance between work & travel.
When you live back home, in a cozy house with pets, a stable work, a partner and maybe some kids, you are able to create a sort of routine in your life. This can provide you with a certain feeling of stability and security. Think about a morning routine, a work routine, a routine for your private activities,… It can make your life a bit easier and less complicated. On the other hand, if you live the Digital Nomad Lifestyle, you need to be prepared for a sometimes chaotic and pretty unstable life. So, you need to be ok with that in order to fit into this lifestyle. If you see yourself more as a person who needs rules, waterproof plans, absolute organization and in need of a regular routine, then this might not be the right fit for you.
We live in a beautiful world full of people to connect with. Being able to connect with so many different people from all around the world can sound perfect. And it certainly is of course! Still, if you travel alone, you need to be aware of the many times that you will spend by yourself. So before you leave, you need to ask yourself if you like those alone times. As a full-time traveler, you certainly should be comfortable with the silent moments.
You will say as many ‘hello’s ‘ as you will say ’till we meet again’ during your journey. (Goodbye’s sound too permanent in my eyes) If you create a whole new bond with someone on the road, it can be pretty hard to leave them again when you continue your travel. These can be short but intense friendships! Strong friendships who may last on long-distance. Therefore a big THANKS to the internet.
As a full-time traveler, you can’t take a huge amount of clothes with you. Therefore, you need to be comfortable and ok with the fact that a lot of the time, you will wear the same outfit. You can buy something new in the country you are currently staying, but then you might need to get rid of something else of course.
Having a solid Wifi connection is very big important while living the digital nomad lifestyle. If you don’t seem to find a good Wifi connection, you are not able to do your job! No job = no money = no travels. This can be a struggle sometimes.
While you are traveling, you will need to keep yourself motivated to do your job properly, while seeing tourists enjoying their well-earned vacation. Too bad, you are not on a vacation and you really need the money to keep on traveling. It’s your responsibility to keep this lifestyle going. Don’t worry, with the right work-life balance, there will be enough time to explore and enjoy the places you are traveling in.
If you want to start a Digital Nomad Lifestyle, you better leave with a good career plan. Most Digital Nomads don’t rely on just one income, they rather rely on many. You need to make sure that the money keeps flowing in because otherwise, you will return home sad and disappointed. If you have multiple incomes, it gives you a bit more security than just relying on one. Maybe, think about the combination of active income with passive income. Or you could also consider finding a temporary job in the country where you are currently staying.
If you mix up the travel and working part, it can get a bit exhausting sometimes. Certainly, in the beginning, you will have the urge to travel fast and to see as much as possible. But sometimes it’s better to travel slower and to give yourself the time to adapt. Because every country has it’s own ways, own shops, own specialties,… it’s not like you are at home and you can go to your usual shops. No, you will need to explore everything over and over again. Therefore, give yourself the chance to breathe in, look around and enjoy the moment.
We all leave people behind who are close to our hearts, so I’m sure you will to.
Even when you are pretty fine leaving everyone and everything behind, there will be that moment you’ll secretly miss them all. Social media is amazing to stay connected with your loved ones on distance but still, there is nothing better than a real hug or talk once in a while. Maybe you should consider to occasionally return home to give them a visit when you feel like it’s needed.
Maybe you are a naturally social person who isn’t afraid to walk to the nearest stranger or maybe you aren’t that social at all. Still, whoever you are, you will need to ask strangers for help sometimes. Definitely when you travel all alone! Maybe your car broke down, you got lost, you can’t find the bathroom (Urgent!),… Be brave enough and find the courage to open your mouth to ask for help. Most people won’t bite.
These are a few of the most common cons that come with the Digital Nomad Lifestyle.
I’m sure there are many more but it also depends on your own personality, and what you find annoying or disturbing. Still, besides the cons, there are also a lot of beautiful pro’s that you certainly shouldn’t forget. Decide for yourself which one’s weighs the most for you. Be honest and true with yourself, because choosing to be a Digital Nomad is a big life-changing choice.
Love & Joy