Freedom, having control over your life, seeing the world and experiencing novelty. These are some of the things being a digital nomad is all about.
Digital nomads are people who work remotely, online while travelling. You can break the name down to “Digital”, which comes from the use of digital means to do the work and “nomads” due to the fact that people who choose this lifestyle, keep traveling from one place to another without having a base, very much similar to the nomads who roamed the desert.
Being a digital nomad has many pros. The main one as mentioned above is the freedom. You are in control of your life and your time, as long as you do the job, it doesn’t matter where you are, the world is your adventure.
The second most important benefit, among many, is the experience you get from traveling around, seeing different parts of the world, how different people live. It’s truly an eye-opening experience that helps you grow. It also helps you realize how small we are in the universe and yet how we are all connected.
However, life is all about giving and taking. Digital nomadism can have a lot of advantages, but to enjoy these advantages there is a lot you need to sacrifice.
Becoming a digital nomad doesn’t mean only having perfect Instagram shots; behind every shot, there can be a difficult experience, an unexpected difficulty or deep loneliness. That’s why you need to prepare yourself well for your digital nomad journey.
Here is a list of 6 things you need to give up, in order to make it as a digital nomad.
1. Material luxuries
In order to make it as a digital nomad, there is no escape from embracing minimalism. Your life will be literally out of your suitcase, or in some cases, your backpack.
That’s why here, we want you to expand your understanding of the word “luxury” as much as you can. Actually, we want you to consider everything that you don’t absolutely, definitely need, a luxury.
This extends to your physical books that should be replaced with an e-reader, your workout equipment (down to the smallest one) that can be replaced with a run or a short-term gym subscription in your destination. Also, your bulky electronics and your “fancy” items like the beautiful bags or shoes or 4 t-shirts instead of 2.
The general advice is, keep things to a minimum, you really need much less thank you think you do.
2. The 9 to 5 mentality
You are no longer an employee working 8 hours a day and waiting for your days off to relax. Your life is already on the road, and you decide how to handle your time.
Your boss will not be there to push you to meet deadlines, you have to learn how you get motivated. Your meetings will be replaced with online meetings, and charming your clients with your charisma has to come through a screen.
The concept of “holidays” will kind of lose meaning. It will be replaced with taking a break.
Living your life on the road means that the concept of “Home” will disappear. Of course, the house where you grew up will always be there, your memories, your family and your friends will also be there. However, it might not feel the same when you will be back there.
Friends and family will move on with their lives, you may miss a birthday, a wedding or you may not be there physically when your friend is going through a hardship, and you need to be ok with that.
You will find home in yourself, and being on the road will be where you feel comfortable. You will replace the feeling of homesickness with longing for adventure and new experiences.
The sense of stability is one of the 1st things you leave behind the minute you decide to become a digital nomad. Having a steady routine, the way you are used to everything back home, all of these are things you should let go off.
If you wake up everyday and take your coffee at a specific place and on Sundays you go to the movies and on Thursdays you eat this specific thing; don’t be so sure that you will find, or that you will be able to do the same things where you will go. Afterall, doesn’t being a digital nomad mean letting go of the routine and experiencing new things?
Learn to adapt your routine to your destination, or create a routine based on where you are.
It is said that expectation is the worst enemy of adventure. You might have a certain image in your head about how your experience will be, what you will see and what you will be able to do and what money you will make…etc. Let us tell you this, nothing is for certain.
That’s part of the adrenaline rush of the life of the digital nomad. You will meet unexpected situations, people, adventures, destinations. Even if you plan everything, life always has a way of surprising you. That’s part of the adventure, use it to test yourself, your strength and your growth and learn to enjoy it.
6. Validation from others
Imagine how much you might have to teach yourself not to depend on the validation of others in general… triple that if you decide to become a digital nomad.
Many people, including even those close to you, will not understand your lifestyle or your reasons for becoming a digital nomad. Why would you leave a stable life or a good job behind and choose an uncertain lifestyle?
Imagine if you took everyone’s opinion personally and spent your time trying to prove to others that this lifestyle makes you happy, wouldn’t that be a great waste of your time?
You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. You chose this lifestyle for your own reasons and there are millions of people who made a similar choice out there. You don’t need anyone’s approval or validation.
What was/is the hardest thing for you to leave behind? Let us know!