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When you Google the digital nomad life, chances are you’d be directed to websites or blogs featuring happy people, working in exotic places, traveling, food, wine and sunshine.
While those, might not be lies they are not full truths either.
See, the digital nomad life is like the moon, there is a less seen side of it that is not altogether ugly, and it is not glamorous either, but nobody talks about it because it has not been that closely associated with the cultivated image.
For everyone out there, here’s some facts that you don’t normally hear about the digital nomad life:
- You’re only as free as your internet connection. The internet is life for digital nomads, because it’s an online job. So the next time you see those pictures in sunny beaches in Phuket or sunsets in Bali, think that those smiling digital nomads are never a stone’s throw away from the nearest, strongest, most stable Wi-Fi connection. Not only is internet life for most digital nomads, fast, reliable and stable internet is life.
- The transition to the digital nomad life is a scary and unnerving thing. Being stuck in the 9 am to 5 am and getting used to the lifestyle and getting suddenly pulled out to a life that is so free can fry even the most hardened of nerves. Prepare for the jump.
- Instability is real ladies and gentlemen. Part of the jump that you are preparing for should be the transition period where your pay isn’t that stable yet. Unless you find an online company that is stable and is willing to hire you full time immediately, then expect to bounce from one job to another. When you begin, especially when freelancing, you don’t even know when or where your next job might come from.
- No coffee buddy. Motivation issues and loneliness can be a real thing being a digital nomad. When you need motivation, there’s no coffee buddy to hang in the pantry with to get those creative juices flowing. Even a table buddy to banter with in the afternoon is nowhere to be found.
- With less friends, comes less enemies. One of the most constant company that comes with working in an office environment is the office gossip. Office gossip or office politics’ evil cousin. When you’re a digital nomad, your office is a computer screen, and your officemates are nothing more than email handles. That means, no office politics, no office gossip and that can be a real breathe of fresh air.
- Your constant presence is going to be heavy on some people. If you’re not traveling or fulfilling your Instagram goals chances are, you’re going to be at home and a constant you might just to be too much for your friends and family. All those years of you being only available at night and on weekend, and then there you are suddenly all day, every day. People in your life might not be used to having you around all the time.
- You’re alone. Once you adopt the digital nomad lifestyle, there’s no back office support for you anymore. There is no HR to look after your insurance, there’s no legal to monitor your work, no accounting to look after the finances, and it’s just you. Before your digital nomad life, you had whole departments of different people watching your back, now, there’s just you.
- It’s not get up and go. You have to invest in one way or another. You can’t just give your 9 am to 5 pm grind, then come over to the dark side. You have to research and acquire the necessary things like a reliable laptop, a great bag for traveling, and a backpack, portable batteries and many more. Shoes, slippers, sunnies, hats suddenly become things that you do research on. Destinations become week-long assignments. Hotels become splurges and you look for the paths less taken.
So, there you go. Here are just some of the things that nobody talks about when it comes to the digital nomad lifestyle.
Everybody keeps talking about the good stuff, the sand between the toes, the amazing shots of sunsets and surfing while working, nobody talks about the less glamorous part of that life.