If you thought that being a digital nomad is a dream, then think again. It's not all sunshine and roses. Read on for some of the challenges faced by digital nomads...
Digital nomads, otherwise known as location-independent professionals, are living what most people would call “the dream.” They have the freedom to work whenever they want, wherever they want, and as often as they want, doing whatever they want… That’s a life that many people want but aren’t ready for.
You see it all the time on social media. Your friend will post a random picture of themselves sitting on a mountain top or you’ll see them standing in front of the Eiffel Tower on a Tuesday afternoon when most people are working. You can’t help but be tempted to adopt that lifestyle so you can travel the world too but lots of people feel that it’s more trouble than it’s worth.
That’s where people get things all wrong. The hardest part of being a digital nomad is making the decision to actually become one. People are afraid that in becoming one, they’ll run out of money during their travels or not make enough money to survive. Well, that should actually be the least of their concerns if they are considering that lifestyle.
Most digital nomads have multiple sources of income and that’s how they’re able to survive and travel. One way digital nomads can earn an income is by offering online services like being an ESL teacher, a virtual assistant, or a tutor. Whichever route you choose to take, the earning potential is there. Of course, a key question they would need to answer first is " What internet speed do I need to work from home " (wherever home happens to be) and ensure that they can meet those requirements.
Another way they can earn an income is by building an e-commerce store and selling products online.
Apart from earning an income, there are challenges that digital nomads face that most people won’t be able to see from a social media post. Living and working as a digital nomad definitely has its perks but with every adventure you embark on, you’re going to encounter some challenges. They’re not challenges you can’t overcome but they’re definitely challenges worth reflecting on.
In becoming a digital nomad, you’re going to sacrifice your personal relationships. Now, that’s not saying that while you’re gone, your loved ones are going to completely forget about you and not care about you anymore but you will be missed and you’re going to miss them as well.
Sacrificing your personal relationships is going to be hard but to make such a major move like digital nomadism, your loved ones will know that it must be something that you’re very passionate about doing and will typically be very encouraging… that’s typically with friends and family. When it comes to romantic relationships, they can be a little more difficult to maintain.
Long-distance relationships are hard for some and easy for others and easy for others but when you make the decision to make this kind of move, you have to understand and know that when you leave, the relationship may not be able to withstand the distance.
When you make the decision to become a digital nomad, it’s very important for you to go ahead and start doing research on some of the locations you want to visit. You will want to look at what the cost of living is for those areas and you will also want to look at their infrastructure.
It is an advantage if the country is developed and has fast and reliable internet. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to travel to a destination and not be able to get any projects done due to poor internet connections… the internet is the “bread and butter” of your success so you definitely need to make sure that you’re doing thorough enough research.
According to brightthemag.com, because digital nomadism has gained an immense amount of popularity, some countries are designing infrastructures specifically for the nomadic community. It further states that places like Bali and Chiang Mai have infrastructures just for digital nomads.
This is an issue digital nomads face from time to time but when emergencies happen during your travels, it’s important to know what to do. You might be out enjoying a nice dinner at a local restaurant but moments after you’ve left the restaurant, you start to feel sick to your stomach… Or you notice that someone has been following you to every store you’ve been to
Unfortunately, health and safety issues are things no one can avoid ideally, but there are things you can do to reduce your risks.
Being a digital nomad definitely does have its perks but it also has its fair share of challenges too. It was mentioned earlier that digital nomads are living the dream in the aspect that they can work whenever, wherever, and as often as they want… Well, look at that as being a blessing and a curse.
As a digital nomad, you have to work in order to make money and if you take a lackluster approach to making money, then you will indeed run out of money; that’s the blessing and the curse. Whether you're looking for a way to make money online or just want to earn some extra cash, there are plenty of ways to do it. Creating your own product, improving an existing one, or inventing something new are all great ways to put your skills to work.
When working a full-time 9 to 5, it may have been frustrating to have to work overtime but that was because your boss told you to. As a digital nomad, no one is going to ask you if you can work overtime… it will be completely up to you whether you’re going to put in the extra work to get things done.
In making that decision, it can also cause you to lose grips with your work-life balance. If you’re not careful, you can do too little. At other times, you will have to work all the time to make up for time lost. Essentially, you’ll be taking the fun out of working and traveling… you won’t be able to enjoy the country you’re visiting.
Do you still want to become a digital nomad? If you are one, have you faced any other challenges as a digital nomad?
This is a guest post.