Digital nomad, Austin Distel, blogs about flying from one island to another on remote adventures in the Carribean. The plane landed right at sunrise as the traveler backpacks to his tropical vacation.If you use this photo on your site, I would be very appreciative if you would please credit in the caption or meta to "www.distel.co".
Photographer: Austin Distel | Source: Unsplash

Digital nomad – that’s a term that you must have heard going around often. With the internet becoming so powerful these days, being a digital nomad is the new cool. It’s not particularly nomadic – as in, you do get to earn money. But along with that, you get to travel and have the time of your life. Being a digital nomad sounds like a dream come true.

But then, is it really?

Well, everything in life has its good points and its bad points. It comes with the game called life. You win some, you lose some. The best life is when you win more than you lose. That’s what you have to think about when you set your path forward as a digital nomad. So, are you in for winning or just a life that will eventually result in deep regret?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of being a digital nomad:

Travel and Work

man sitting at gate watching a plane take off out the window with the rising sun // Photographer: JESHOOTS.COM | Source: Unsplash

One of the best things about being a digital nomad is leading a life full of adventure. You do not have to work while sitting in an office 9-5 every day. You can just travel to Singapore, sit on the beach, turn on your Wi-Fi hotspot, and start working. Nobody can tie you down inside four walls. You don’t have to worry about taking time off by requesting leave or going for a limited period of time – as a digital nomad, you can work and travel simultaneously.

Digital Nomads walking through city with guitar and 4-hour work week book. // Photographer: Austin Distel | Source: Unsplash "www.distel.co". ❤️

This comes without saying – a digital nomad is free of many things that office life brings. As long as you have your laptop and internet, you can be anywhere and work. You get to choose your favorite location and work from there, drinking your favorite wine! You have the independence of rejecting a project too if you want. You are independent and responsible for yourself. Nobody can order you to do something strictly.

Personal Development

When you are independent and free, you become responsible too. You start budgeting and might adopt minimalism too. You start to understand the maxim ‘Travel light’. The more responsible you become, the more you develop mentally. You socialize with others and get along with professional people who lend their time-tested knowledge to you. You meet up with different people from different cultures, expand your viewpoints, and become culturally enriched. In the end, your mind expands and you can look at life from a new perspective.

Routine Time And Office Politics

Men around meeting table with notepads // Photographer: Dylan Gillis | Source: Unsplash

Office life is bound to be mundane. You have a routine to follow, you do not have the freedom to work in your own way – you just have to follow orders. It can be really toxic too. There are always people trying to get better than you, stealing your ideas, or badmouthing you to get a better position. Office politics will leave you drained. A digital nomad does not have to deal with such toxicity. Rather, they would probably dive into a philosophical chat with a traveler while typing away on their keyboard.

Meeting People and Networking

campers sitting around tent  eating // Photographer: Clem Onojeghuo | Source: Unsplash

Networking is really important in this world. You should have a little bit of extroversion to meet with new people, learn from them, and develop professional relationships with them. Being a digital nomad helps you meet people from all over the globe. You can set up a meeting with them, learn from them, and even get recommendations from them that can help you grow professionally. You can meet millionaires and learn what they did right. You can meet broke people and learn where they faltered. It will be a learning experience but most of all, you will be creating a network. And this networking will be of immense value too.

Well, networking seems really ‘flowery’ if you look at it now. But there are some cons to consider too:

Loneliness

black and white of man sitting alone on bench in large empty space // Photographer: Matthew Henry | Source: Unsplash

Loneliness is one of the challenges that you will face as a digital nomad. You can’t form long-lasting relationships with anyone knowing that you will be gone within a few days or a month. Plus, quite naturally, no one would want to form a binding relationship with you. Yes, you might be the cool person in the group and people might aspire to be like you. But you are not someone to date or be friends with for the long-run.

Burnouts

man rubbing eyes at lookout on the water // Photographer: Bruno Aguirre | Source: Unsplash

Time management becomes a problem when you are working remotely. You don’t have fixed office hours and then you start having a very erratic work schedule. You may take random breaks, go near deadlines before finishing a task, or even procrastinate and end up working late nights. It takes a toll on your body and eventually, you go through burnout phases. Mindfulness and using productivity techniques like the Pomodoro method might help.

Workaholism

The lack of routine and office hours can also result in workaholism. The thing is, you don’t have the time frame between 9-5. In an office, you don’t have to think about the work once you leave the office. However, since remote jobs run on your terms, you end up working at any time possible. You take up a lot of work or different work from different sources and in the end, you might find yourself working all day long, like a forced workaholic.

Homesickness

There is no home for you. You have left it and you will often feel homesick about your family and friends. Even when you are traveling, you won’t settle down anywhere and call it your ‘home’. So, during your travels, your friends are limited and even the most homely locations won’t last for long. You have to be moving after all.

Taking Efforts To Adapt

The biggest challenge is mostly related to the constant traveling. Since you won’t be settling down in one place for a long time, you will have to make a conscious effort to learn the language, be one with the people, learn about their culture, etc. It might seem exciting at first, but eventually, going through the same conscious effort, again and again, will be mentally exhausting. Plus, there is the work that you have to complete. These conscious efforts will eventually take a toll on you and your life.

Being a digital nomad can be really fulfilling, but you have to accept the shortcomings that come with it. It’s a complete package after all. So, weigh the pros and cons and start your path as a digital nomad. If you are cut out for it, it’s going to make your life worth living.

Are you planning to be a digital nomad? You can also learn more about freedom culture and living an exciting life by watching this video.

Mayukh Saha

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