If there’s one thing that anyone with a bit of wanderlust in them contemplates at some point, it’s the life of a digital nomad. Because when you love to travel, and you have a hankering to see the world, that feeling never really leaves you. Until you do something about it of course. But how? Either you can get a travel-related job – that not everyone wants to do, or you can try something out for yourself. And this is why the digital nomad lifestyle can be so appealing. You get to travel when you want, to wherever you want, and you make your own money along the way. What more could you want?
Well, as appealing as the digital nomad lifestyle can be (and it really can be), it’s not always so glamorous. There are always going to be highs and lows of the lifestyle, and before you make this your dream and set off on your own, it’s always worth knowing the reality that you’re facing. That way, you’ll know what to expect before you try it for yourself, and you’ll even be able to decide whether or not you think this is for you. Because if you want to have freedom and explore the world on your own terms, you can. But you should definitely make sure that you really want it.
Kicking off, we’re going to talk about your working life. If you’re not a freelancer right now, then this is going to be a bit of a career change for you, so let’s run through what your digital nomad working lifestyle will look like.
Before you even think about how glamorous the freelance lifestyle can be, you need to get serious with yourself. Yes, you love the idea of taking your laptop and working from anywhere, but this is only ever going to be feasible if you can be disciplined. Because there’s nobody out there to motivate you to work or a boss standing over your shoulder asking you to get it done. You have to love what you do that much that you’re constantly motivated to work.
Generating An Income
The main reason for the point above is that, if you’re not able to get the work done, you won’t make any money. And that can be tough on everything from your mental state to your ability to actually get out and see the country you’re currently in. So, you need to make sure that you can get clients and generate and income too.
Also, if you’re a social person that loves working with others, remember that you’re going to be working alone. And yes, it can get lonely. But, it’s not all bad. Because you are free to set your own working hours and work where you want. And that can mean that you network and meet other digital nomads on your travels so that life doesn’t feel so lonely after all.
As a digital nomad, you’re on the go. You up and leave your life as you know it, and who knows where you might end up. Needless to say, this may have some kind of affect on your relationships.
When you’re in a relationship, deciding to up your life and head off on your travels can be tough. Because the other person is left behind. Well, not always. You may even decide to go together, which can often make or break your relationship. But if you are heading off on your own, and your partner is staying put, you might like to see LifeHack.org for tips on long-distance relationships. It will be tough, there’s no doubt about it, but you may be able to make it work. Otherwise, you may want to end things before you leave.
When it comes to your family, this can be such an emotional pull – especially if you’re close. But it’s not goodbye; it’s just goodbye for now. And when your family know that this is something you’ve always wanted to do, they’ll support you. Who knows, it may be the perfect excuse for them to meet you in Bali!
Then, you’ve got your friends. And you’re not going to want to worry about them too much. Because a true friend stays a true friend whether you see them everyday or every few years. Those that cut you out, probably aren’t real friends. And the best part of all, on your travels, you will 100% meet new people and make some of the best friends in your life. And what could be more exciting than that?
Money is obviously going to be a big factor in all of this. Because you can travel as cheaply as you like, but you do still need some money to do it. And being a digital nomad can, of course, impact on that.
It may be possible for you to just head off with very little to your name and see where you end up. But we need to get real here, that’s never the best approach. It’s a bit reckless if anything else. So, before you even get started, you’ll want to save money for travel. This can mean that you won’t be able to become a digital nomad for a set period of time until you’ve saved. But yes, that is the reality of living a life of freedom in the future.
As we touched on in the work section, you then also need to make sure that you make money to keep up your travels. Your savings are a great buffer and will get you started out, but you will need to make sure that you’re getting paid along the way to keep funding your lifestyle. So you have to be willing to work hard.
Saving It Some More
Not everyone will want to do this, but you should also think about saving money as you travel. It’s great incase you have late payments, or you lose clients unexpectedly. It’s sensible yes, but it’s a way to make the digital nomad life less stressful.
If you think you know yourself now, then you’d be oh so wrong. Because there’s nothing like traveling the world to really develop yourself personally.
Traveling alone can be lonely. Working alone can be lonely. And some days, it may all hit you, and you’ll feel homesick and wonder why you did this in the first point. But these moments make you stronger. You’ll have wobbles along the way, but when you’re back home or you find somewhere to settle, you’ll know it made you as a person.
Exploring Your Interests
The best part about this lifestyle is that you get to do and see anything and everything. So you’re free to explore anything that you love. From hiking, to cooking, to learning a language, and visiting vineyards, read HermannWineTrail.com for more on that, you can do it all. And you’ll be able to really uncover who you are and what you love.
Challenging Your Weaknesses
And yes, you will get to push yourself too. Because you will find that you get tired, or scared, or just fed up. But you get to push past that. This really is how you grow as a person. You’ll realize that you’re actually so much stronger, and much more capable at conquering anything you set your mind to, than you ever thought possible.
Finally, there’s your health. Because this can knock you health-wise, but it can also do your mind and body the world of good. So here’s some food for thought on the matter.
You’re going to get sick overseas. Unless you’re super lucky. Getting sick while traveling is easily done, so these tips should help you to avoid it as much as possible. Whether you’re exhausted from the travel or just being on the go all of the time and your immune system dips, or you accidentally drink the water, you will get sick. So prepare yourself now and try to avoid it as much as you can.
Sometimes, you’ll want to ride it out. You may even visit a pharmacy. But when you’re sick, there are things you can do. You can get local doctors to treat anything minor, if it’s really necessary. If it’s bad, then definitely think about contacting the local Embassy and going from there. Either way, you’ll want to do something to help yourself heal.
But it’s not all bad. In fact, you may even find that your digital nomad lifestyle actually improves your health. Because not only will you get exploring and working on you, but you can choose to eat well and look after your body in the process. And this is always going to mean that you get healthier.
Across all areas of your life, you’re going to find that there’s excitement and challenges when it comes to being a digital nomad. So you just need to decide whether it’s the right life for you.