Do you mostly see the pros or the cons of being a digital nomad? Lately I have been receiving plenty of messages from people who would like to adopt the digital nomad lifestyle and are asking for a piece of advice. Although I try to offer valuable information (as much as I know and can), I usually tell them this is not the easiest way of living and it’s not as glam as it may look. There are digital nomad disadvantages you need to acknowledge and if you’re still up for it even after that, you may have taken an amazing decision.
This got me thinking what are the downsides of being a digital nomad? For me it’s pretty simple:
I miss having people around me, especially like-minded people. The ones you can talk to, that understand you and may even share your struggles. We are all different but there are common things that connect us. I miss having those people around me more often, not just a few times a year, but due to this nomadic lifestyle, it can become pretty difficult.
I was lucky enough to have great colleagues around me when I was an employee, so that feeling is pretty hard to fill when I am working by myself. I may be a bit more productive, but I am also an extrovert who needs to talk to people. Having my boyfriend alongside while traveling and working is great, but we all need to exchange ideas with more than one person.
Good Internet connection
If you are used to having great connection anywhere – at home, in coffee shops or even at the metro – it’s pretty hard to accept that sending an email or uploading a photo can become a nearly impossible task.
“Look – there’s a beautiful beach 3 km away, a yoga meetup, a mountain that needs to be hiked, a concert and”… the list can go on. If you are not used to being organized, distractions may interrupt your work, hours could become days, clients could be unhappy and you may find yourself in a position to go back home and get a new job because you weren’t actually a digital nomad, but more of a traveler in need to escape his life.
Don’t you just hate it when you have an important call and your Internet connection seems like it’s messing with you on purpose? Or maybe you don’t even know when you’ll arrive in a certain place and if they have a café with good WI-FI. Sometimes, a small task like scheduling a conference call can become drudgery. And when you finally get connected, there is a couple discussing their problems at the table next to you, a kid is screaming because he want his toy and a group of friends is having a blast laughing out loud. It’s like everyone is trying to stop you from having that important call.
They say that the older you get, the fewer friends you have. Now imagine (maybe you don’t even have to imagine because it’s your reality) that your best friends have kids they need to take care of and even though you are in the same city, it can take a month to actually hang out for an hour. Needless to say that when you’re traveling and maybe getting back to your hometown for a few weeks, meeting them is even harder to achieve. And most of the times, even when you get home, you feel you are not on the same page anymore. You have the same background but your adult life now looks totally different.
Balance between work and pleasure
Sometimes you work too hard, other times you get lost in the new environment. I am mostly guilty of working too much. I may get to a new place, take a look around in the beginning and after that get lost in the daily tasks. If I don’t take care of them, you won’t be able to read the next blog post, my clients won’t see results and I’ll start freaking out that I’m not good enough. Hence, a balance should exist.
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@officetotravel” url=”http://officetotravel.com/overcome-the-disadvantages-of-a-digital-nomad-lifestyle”]After all, each of us is a human being not a human doing, right?[/tweetthis]
Missing friends and family
You may consider it’s the same as the point above, but for me it’s just being able to talk to them, hug them and spend some time together doing nothing in particular. Just feeling grateful they are part of my life.
I am not only referring to eating right, but also the good routine of meditating, morning walk or swim, taking a break at noon, having the most important task done first or any other thing that can help your productivity and lifestyle.
These are my disadvantages, but based on personal interests, desires, and let’s admit – the level of hatred you may have towards the things around you – there can be a lot more. Maybe you don’t get the chance to be in a relationship because most of the people you know have a full-time job in an office they are not thinking of leaving too soon. Or maybe you hate flying… whatever that thing may be for you.
Yes, all of these sound bad. So why are we still doing it?
One of the things I’ve learned in the past years is that downsides are usually just an opportunity to improve the quality of life or of whatever you are doing. I don’t like whining people; I want to find solutions to problems.
Some of the issues like spending more time with parents and friends are hard to achieve when you are traveling or living 5000 km away, but most of these issues can easily be fixed by joining a workation, coworking and coliving camp or any kind of nomad event where you get the sense of a community.
Hence, over the next few weeks, I invited some of the most influential people in digital nomad communities and founders of amazing niched events to share their thoughts and ideas about this lifestyle, the importance of communities and how they overcame their fears as entrepreneurs. We’ll learn straight from them how these nomad events can help us get the best of the lifestyle we have chosen by will.