No matter where you look, it seems like more and more folks are deciding to become digital nomads. And it’s no surprise, seeing as how the “work from anywhere” way of living is pretty enticing. Though, if you do choose to take this leap into a different life, make sure to consider some aspects of this lifestyle that may not be immediately obvious.
Believe me - it’s not all sipping sangria on a Mediterranian coast, though that’s definitely one of the perks.
It’s More Viable Than You Think
Let’s start off with the more positive side of deciding to become a digital nomad. For one, the global work environment has changed quite a lot in the past two decades. The internet has allowed for a level of connectivity without precedence. So, there are fewer reasons than ever to be stuck in one office for 8 hours a day for the rest of your life. Instead, your line of work may allow you to become a true digital nomad!
So, what does being a digital nomad entail in the first place? Well, this basically means having a completely flexible work environment. With the power of a good laptop and a solid internet connection, you can actually keep working as you travel!
More than 5% of Americans worked from home in 2017 and that number continues to grow. The tech industry is particularly well-disposed to such a lifestyle.
Naturally, just like pretty much any other way of life, being a digital nomad has its pros and cons. But it’s still a pretty welcome shift compared to boring old office life.
Slow Travel Is More Sustainable
If you decide to become a digital nomad, chances are that you’ll be tempted to buy a round-the-world ticket right away. Visiting a different country each week might seem like the most exciting travel plan ever. However, take my word for it, travelling slowly is a far better idea.
This largely depends on how serious you are about the digital nomad lifestyle. If it’s something you want to try out for a couple of months during a specific project, by all means, travel at any pace you’re comfortable with. But if you want to sustain this lifestyle for a while, there are many other considerations to make.
In my experience, to make this a sustainable lifestyle, you’ll want to spend 3-4 weeks in one place, so that you can really make the most of the location. You’ll also have to think about the stuff you’re leaving back home - storing your valuables long term is something you should take care of well in advance.
Remember that staying on the road for any prolonged period of time takes quite a lot of energy. Consider spending about a month in each place you visit and you’ll reap a couple of important benefits. First, booking accommodations for a longer period of time is cheaper than paying for a single week. You’ll also be able to establish a more comfortable routine if you stay in one single location for more than a week or so.
Work Smarter Instead Of Harder
Don’t be fooled by Instagram - if you decide to become a digital nomad, it won’t all be fun and games. Sure, you can spend some time drinking lattes on the Amalfi Coast. But you’ll still have to work to pay for this kind of lifestyle.
The good news is, if you can adapt to this style of life, working from anywhere will actually teach you how to work smarter instead of harder. As you pass through an endless array of new places, people, and experiences, you’ll soon learn how to complete your work more efficiently, allowing you to spend more time in pure enjoyment of your surroundings.
With this in mind, however, there are a couple of things that you shouldn’t forget, business-wise. Most importantly, you need to think about where your clients and/or your team are based. Depending on where you travel, you could be stuck working odd hours. So, make a new schedule that will balance your work with the potential new time zones.
Find New Communities
Many people who decide to become a digital nomad believe that they don’t need a community when they travel. After all, they’ve got family and friends back home as their social support system. And as true as that may be, shared experiences are what truly bring the most enjoyment while you travel. After you spend some time on the road, you’ll realize just how true that is. Indeed, it won’t be long before you start longing for some deeper connections with people - dealing with loneliness as a digital nomad is not always easy.
Luckily, there are many people who are leading the same lifestyle as you, especially these days. So, when you do meet people, make sure that you try and form long-lasting relationships. Going beyond the surface level with other digital nomads will make you feel like you’re a part of a huge community - something all of us want deep down.
This is why a lot of people tend to stay at freelancer co-living spaces while they travel. This is a new trend where a bunch of like-minded people from all over the world stay and work in a single location, typically for a couple of weeks.
If you want to work and travel around Europe, you’ll find plenty of these co-living spaces, with people from all walks of life and different cultures. Sharing a joint living space and many daily life experiences will have a big positive impact on your fast-paced life!
I hope you enjoyed my list of things to consider before you jump into the digital nomad life. If you did, please feel free to leave a comment below or share this piece with someone you think might find it interesting. Happy travels!