So you’re thinking of becoming a digital nomad? Well, there are pros and cons of being a digital nomad s to consider before making the jump. On the one hand, you’ll have the freedom to work from anywhere. But on the other hand, you may find that it’s not as glamorous as it seems. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect from both sides of the coin. Read on to see if being a digital nomad is right for you!
What is digital nomadism?
Digital nomadism is a lifestyle in which people use technology to work remotely from anywhere in the world. This can allow for a great deal of freedom and flexibility and a chance to live and work in many different places.
Digital nomads are often self-employed and use their laptops, smartphones, and other devices to stay connected to their clients and colleagues. Many digital nomads are also entrepreneurs who use their nomadic lifestyle to build online businesses.
Digital nomads typically work in a wide variety of industries, including writing, graphic design, web development, and online marketing. They are often drawn to locations that offer wireless internet access and a low cost of living.
A digital nomad lifestyle can be an excellent way to see the world while still earning a decent income. It can also be a great way to save money on travel costs and to experience new cultures. However, it is important to remember that a digital nomad lifestyle is not for everyone. It can be difficult to stay motivated and productive when working from home, and it can be even more challenging to do so while traveling. If you are considering becoming a digital nomad, be sure to do your research and make sure that it is the right fit for you.
Types of digital nomads
When digital nomadism started being popular, many people perceived digital nomads as remote workers without homes who are places-hopping every week and are always on the go. But actually, there are many different types of digital nomads with varying lifestyles.
The most common misconception is that all digital nomads are young, single people who work in the tech industry and have no ties whatsoever. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
In reality, digital nomads come in all shapes and sizes. Yes, there are some who are young and single and work in tech, but there are also digital nomads who are older, have families, and work in a variety of industries.
Here are some of the most common types of digital nomads:
Always-on-the-move digital nomad
Some digital nomads are always on the move, never staying in one place for more than a few weeks. These people are mainly young people eager to explore as much as possible and do as many activities as their job allows them. They may have limited time for travel and that’s why they prefer places-hopping.
Staying-in-one-place-for-a-few-months digital nomad
I would add myself and my boyfriend to this box. We very much always enjoyed taking our time for exploring the place and the local culture which would always take more than a month. But after a few months at the same place, we felt the urge to change the spot and explore some other places.
Living-in-the-same-place-for-a-longer-time digital nomad
Some digital nomads like the place so much that they stay there for more than a year, and have some rent or Airbnb as a “home base” where they can store their things. They can still travel to other countries occasionally but have this spot as their “alternative home”.
Having-a-home-base-and-travel-occasionally type of digital nomad
And this is us right now. After a few years of living out of a few luggage, we decided to get a home base close to the family. That means that we keep in touch with our community at home but also, we didn’t stop traveling. In addition to shorter journeys, we frequently go on trips of a month to two months in length.
It’s all about the balance that works for you. Of course, these are just boxes and many digital nomads don’t fit into any of them. It’s all about creating the life that works for you and finding the balance that makes you happy.
Pros of Being a Digital Nomad 👏
Working from anywhere in the world
One of the main advantages is that you can work from anywhere in the world. As long as you have a laptop and an internet connection, you can be your own boss and work from home, a coffee shop, or even a tropical beach.
Another big perk is that you don’t have to deal with a lengthy and stressful commute. You can simply roll out of bed and get started with your workday without having to worry about traffic or public transportation. This is basically a remote working advantage that most of us experienced during the pandemic. And I love this because it saves so much of your time every day!
More relaxed dress code
When you work from home or in a coffee shop, there is no need to dress up in business casual or formal attire. You can wear whatever you feel comfortable in, whether that’s pajamas, jeans, or a beach cover-up.
No Office Rules
As much as a dress code, a lot of people find no commuting, no dress code, and no office as a great benefit. We all know that working in an office can lead to a distraction from work. A boss who gives you stress or your colleagues. Lack of privacy in open spaces, or weird looks from colleagues when you come to work a few minutes later.
Make your own schedule
One of the best things about being a digital nomad if you are self-employed is that you can make your own schedule. If you want to take a break in the middle of the day to go for a hike or take a nap, you can do that. As long as you get your work done, you can pretty much set your own hours.
More time for travel and adventure
Since you’re not tied down to one location, you can take advantage of opportunities to travel and see the world. You can visit different countries, experience new cultures, and see some amazing sights. And since you’re working online, you can usually do all of this while still earning an income.
Learning opportunities from different cultures
When you are constantly exposed to new cultures, you have the opportunity to learn about different customs, traditions, and ways of life. This can be a huge benefit if you’re looking to expand your knowledge and understanding of the world.
Improved mental health
Some people find that working from home or from different locations allows them to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life and improve their mental health. If you’re someone who struggles with anxiety or depression, this can be a huge benefit of being a digital nomad.
If you’re a social person, you’ll probably find that digital nomads are some of the friendliest people around. Since they’re constantly meeting new people from all over the world, they tend to be very open and welcoming. And since you’re likely to have similar interests, it’s easy to make friends with other digital nomads.
Since you have the flexibility to make your own schedule, you can easily find a work/life balance that works for you. If you want to take a few hours off in the middle of the day to go exploring, you can do that. Or if you want to work a bit later into the evening so that you can have a long weekend, you can do that too!
Me and my boyfriend love surfing, so being able to go surfing in the middle of the day, during the lunch break is priceless, let me tell you!
Since you’re constantly exposed to new people and new situations, you’ll likely find that you grow and develop as a person. You might become more independent, more adaptable, and more open-minded. And since you’re constantly learning new things, you might also find that your skills and knowledge base improve.
Cons of Being a Digital Nomad 👎
Missing family and friend’s life events
One of the main drawbacks of being a digital nomad is that you often have to miss out on important life events. This can be anything from a close friend’s wedding to your grandparent’s funeral. While you can try to schedule your travels around these events, it’s not always possible.
Being disconnected from family and friends
Another con of being a digital nomad is that you can often feel disconnected from your family and friends. This is because you’re constantly on the move and often don’t have the time or energy to keep in touch with people back home. Additionally, as you travel to different parts of the world, you may find it difficult to maintain relationships with people who don’t share your nomadic lifestyle.
Loneliness and isolation
Another downside of being a digital nomad is that you can sometimes feel lonely and isolated. This is especially true if you’re traveling solo or if you’re in a place where you don’t know anyone. Additionally, as you move from place to place, you may find it difficult to make lasting relationships.
The constant travel can be exhausting
While constant travel can be exciting and adventurous, it can also be exhausting. This is because you’re always on the go and never really have a chance to relax and recharge. Additionally, as you move from place to place, you may find yourself constantly packing and unpacking, which can be tiring.
It can be difficult to get work done
One of the main challenges of being a digital nomad is actually getting work done. This is because you’re often working in new and unfamiliar environments, which can be distracting. Also, as you travel to different parts of the world, you may find yourself in different time zones. This can make it difficult to coordinate with clients or teammates.
You may need to sacrifice your privacy
Another con of being a digital nomad is that you may need to sacrifice your privacy. This is because you’re often working in public spaces, such as coffee shops or coworking spaces. Additionally, you may find yourself sharing accommodation with others, which can be cramped and uncomfortable.
Spending more money on healthcare
For some, this point can be irrelevant. But for someone like me, who has a chronic sickness, might be tiring to be always searching for new pharmacies and doctor’s offices. Sometimes it can be challenging to find the place where they accept you. Also, having a European Blue Insurance card does not help you from paying the fat bills at the doctors and pharmacies abroad.
No more space for possessions
As this might sound so trivial for somebody, not being able to buy a new pair of trousers because of lack of space in your luggage is a big problem for others 🙂
The pros of having the freedom to work from anywhere also come with the con that you might overwork yourself. Being able to work from the beach or from a cafe might lead to working more hours than you would at an office. This can lead to a work/life imbalance and burnout.
You need to have solid wifi to be able to work
There were so many places that we wanted to travel to but decided not to. And the reason was only because of poor wifi in the country/area. If you are a digital nomad, you need to be connected to solid wifi the entire day. For this, you might need to change the destination.