You see it in the news and on social media, but what is a digital nomad? How do you even define digital nomad? What is the digital nomad lifestyle REALLY like?
Want to find out what it’s like living as a digital nomad? Read on!
This post is for everyone out there who wants to find out exactly what the digital nomad lifestyle is like.
DIGITAL NOMAD MEANING
According to Wikipedia, a digital nomad is defined as. . .‘a type of people who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their life in a nomadic manner.’
I don’t know about you, but that is confusing to me! The digital nomad meaning is. . .
‘someone who is able to work from anywhere and chooses to spend their time travelling around or living abroad for extended periods of time.’
Like most *buzzwords*, the digital nomad definition is pretty simple.
Technically, I have been a living as a digital nomad for three years.
But, I actually only started travelling full-time time in January 2019.
Over the past year, I have been backpacking about Brazil and am currently working remotely in Argentina.
THE DIGITAL NOMAD LIFESTYLE
The digital nomad life is often imagined as the ultimate dream life.
Visually stunning photos document their perfect life of nonstop travel in dream destinations.
However, digital nomads don’t show you the hours spent behind a laptop. They don’t highlight the late nights trying to make a deadline.
Digital nomads often hide the early mornings squeezing in a couple of hours of work before catching a flight.
ADVANTAGES OF THE DIGITAL NOMAD LIFESTYLE
1 You are in charge of your time
When you are self-employed or working remotely you are able to design your schedule.
If you don’t want to work the typical 9-5 hours then you don’t have to!
Personally, I like to work early in the morning for a few hours before going to the beach for the afternoon. Then, in the evening, I’ll work a little more before either socializing or going to the gym.
As long as you are self-disciplined then a digital nomad life allows for a lot more flexibility in your day-to-day life.
2 No Commute
Working remotely means that you don’t have a commute. No more wasted hours sat in traffic jams.
I listen to my friends’ situations and I feel luckier than ever! Some of them spend an hour on the subway to work and then an hour back?!
Other friends have a 50-minute drive there and back, more when there is heavy traffic?!
5 DAYS A WEEK?!?! FOR THE REST OF YOUR WORKING LIFE?!
People waste their lives going somewhere that they don’t even want to be! Being a digital nomad means you are able to work anywhere and any time you want.
Many digital nomads are self-employed. They are their own bosses.
Even working freelance, digital nomads have alot more autonomy than the average 9-5 job. I am also far more motivated than I ever was when working in a traditional job.
4 Location Independence
The most impressive advantage of the digital nomad meaning is being able to base yourself in some insane locations.
Currently, I am writing this sat in a beach bar in Brazil overlooking the sea.
I woke up early and worked for a few hours then headed out on a road trip to explore a new beach with a friend.
We ate freshly caught fish right on the beach and napped away the afternoon under the palm trees before enjoying a stunning, multicoloured sunset.
Becoming a digital nomad means you are free to work in a ski resort, a beach town – anywhere with a stable internet connection!
DISADVANTAGES OF BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD
1 Work-Life Balance
For me, as I’m a freelancer working remotely, if I am not working then I am not being paid.
As such, I rarely take more than 4 consecutive days off every few months.
Often, I end up working at the weekends to make sure I meet a deadline.
For example, if I want to take time off during the week then I have to make up the extra hours at the weekend.
If you are not careful, you need to define your work-life balance otherwise digital nomad life can get very intense.
The definition of a digital nomad is synonymous with working alone. Often, I feel kind of bored without having co-workers to chat to when I want!
As someone who LOVES to talk, choosing to be a digital nomad is a slightly strange career choice.
I am in front of a computer for 6-8 hours a day completely alone. The fact that freelance work is very solitary is something I struggle with on a daily basis.
Therefore, when possible I arrange work dates in coffee shops with other digital nomads or remote workers.
If you are someone that likes working in a team then perhaps being the digital nomad life isn’t for you.
3 Constant Travel
Being free to travel around the world and work from exotic locations is amazing.
However, the non-stop travel and lack of a permanent home can be exhausting. There are times that I would trade being a digital nomad if it meant I could have my own sofa to relax on.
Digital nomads often complain of shallow friendships or trouble finding a romantic partner.
Sometimes, I feel very isolated from my family and friends in England. It is hard to confide in people who have only known you for a few days or weeks.
Having a romantic partner is something else I miss. Often, I catch myself looking wistfully at those couples travelling the world together.
Where do they meet each other?
Is there some secret Tinder App for Digital Nomads I don’t know about?
4 Unhealthy lifestyle
In hostels, the socialising tends to revolve around drinking. Working remotely means that I drink far more than I would in a ‘normal’ lifestyle.
I also hate cooking, so I tend to eat out 100% of the time. Eek! I have gained a fair few kilos as a result.
However, this is a downside that I can easily rectify if I choose to make my health and fitness more of a focus. I don’t have to eat out all the time or drink 4 times a week.
These things I choose to do because it’s a fun part of the digital nomad lifestyle.
Maybe I need to learn that just because something is fun doesn’t mean it is good for you!
NOW YOU KNOW HOW TO DEFINE DIGITAL NOMAD… IS IT WORTH IT?
That’s a photo of me enjoying a gorgeous Brazilian sunset on a Monday evening after working all day.
I think it’s fair to say that at the moment I am loving the digital nomad lifestyle!
The feeling of being on holiday never leaves me. Every day I am excited to see what each day brings and I love being in beautiful sunny places.
Meeting new people that I wouldn’t normally meet in the UK is a real privilege and I learn new things every day!
However, like anything in life, there are good and bad points to life as a digital nomad.
Although I am loving the sense of freedom and adventure, one day I would like to settle in one place.
Living out of a suitcase eventually loses its charm just like all novelties in life.
But if you are considering taking the leap and becoming a digital nomad for a couple of years. . .
THEN DO IT!
Related: Top 5 Remote Jobs For 2020