Is being a digital nomad worth it?
New nomads or people wanting to take the plunge and start their journey always ask the same question; Is being a nomad really worth it? And the answer isn't as simple as you might hope.. Yes and No.
Like all lifestyles, there are good things and bad things about being a nomad. Some people will tell you it's the best thing since sliced bread and others are convinced that it's the worst thing imaginable. It all depends on your experiences, your attitude and your willingness to embrace change.
But let's take a look at some of the highlights and lowlights that fellow nomads have pointed out;
You get to see the world. So so much of it. The life experience gained from traveling is unparalleled. You'll meet great people from all walks of life that will teach you valuable lessons and you'll see amazing things like historical monuments, natural wonders and man made marvels. This point alone is enough to make it worthwhile in our opinion.
It can be expensive. Plane, train and bus tickets are not cheap. And considering nomads move to a new destination every 3 - 6 months, this can become costly. The best way to combat this issue is to ensure you have a well paying job or a good sized savings account to sustain yourself before starting out on your journey. Many nomads rely on freelance work to get by which is a good way to boost your income.
You'll have great time flexibility. Working remotely or as a freelancer allows you to work when and where you feel up to it. You want to take an early morning hike? No problem, your work can wait till you're done. Most nomads spend less than 4 hours a day on work which leaves a nice chunk of time for exploring new cities or relaxing by the beach.
Flexibility is great but beware the time management trap. The freedom of working short and infrequent hours can often lead to procrastination or demotivation. We suggest having a basic routine to stick to on a daily basis that will help to keep you on track.
Work from anywhere. Freelance workers are able to work from anywhere in the world as long as they have their laptop and a good internet connection. Have a zoom meeting poolside or finish a logo design from your RV camper. The possibilities are endless.
It can get lonely. Constantly moving to new countries can mean that you lose out on spending time with family and old friends back home. Yes, you can always zoom call but it's just not the same as receiving a hug from your mom. If you're a social butterfly, making new friends in your new city will be a breeze and these days, there are many nomad community forums and groups to help you meet up with like minded people along the way.
The sense of freedom you have when you know you can go anywhere and do anything is incredibly fulfilling. No boss to ask permission if you want to take a day off. No landlord beating down your door. Its marvelous.
Communication issues. Visiting foreign countries can bring up some language issues as not all countries have English as a first language. Google Translate and other similar apps will become your best friend is such cases. Also, consider learning some basic words and phrases in popular languages like Spanish, French or German. Duolingo is great for that.
You'll have less responsibility. If you're going to be a full time nomad, chances are you'll give up your apartment/ house which means you wont have utility bills, no plants to water and the expense of maintaining a car.
Logistics can be a nightmare. Planning on where to go next, how to get there and where to stay once there can be a daunting task to undertake. However, this can be resolved easily by using accommodation sites specifically for digital nomads. Sites like Floasis allow you to choose a destination based on what sort of experience you're looking for and will offer you accommodation options based on that experience. From there, its a simple matter of doing some basic research into the chosen area and booking your flight!
If you're considering the nomad lifestyle, the best advice we can offer is to give a trial. Maybe try going on a short trip within your own country. If its goes well, you can start expanding your horizons. And just remember, nothing is permanent. Should you decide that this lifestyle isn't for you, Home is just one plane ticket away. Go have fun!