Working in a coffee shop in Champs-Elysées, having a glass of wine on the banks of the Sena river at night. And flying to Costa Rica the next day to explore the colorful streets of San José before you set up your new remote office under a palm tree by the beach. Sounds impressive, right? Fortunately, all of this is possible in a nomadic lifestyle.
Nomadic Lifestyle Meaning
Nomadic lifestyle means having a job without ties to a specific location. In short, digital nomads are location-independent people who use technology to perform their job.
After over two years of restrictions and pandemics, more people than ever decided to turn their lives around. According to an MBO study in 2020, 90% of digital nomads reported being highly satisfied at work. And since the Covid-19 pandemic, the average of American digital nomads increased by 49%. As a result, the nomadic lifestyle is one of the fastest-growing trends in 2022 – numerous experts predict 1 billion nomads by 2035.
After all, what you need to be a digital nomad are a good internet connection and a trusty laptop. And you can travel the world and ensure a regular income for your adventures with these two.
But is this lifestyle all rainbows and unicorns, as they say? What are the highs and lows of the nomadic lifestyle?
Highs And Lows of a Nomadic Lifestyle
Like any other life path, a nomadic lifestyle has both sides of the same coin. The freedom of moving everywhere can turn into isolation. Or discovering new culture can lead to a lack of stability and a solid schedule.
Before embracing this lifestyle, you need to know what to consider to make the best out of it. Here highs and lows of a nomadic lifestyle to consider before jumping on a flight:
The Advantages of a Nomadic Lifestyle
The first real benefit of a nomadic lifestyle is inspiration. There is nothing more fulfilling than going away from your ordinary life and taking a long trip to find inspiration and reevaluate your life goals.
Full-time travel is a reliable source of adventurous experiences and memorable moments. Your imagination is the only limit you’ll have – Oh, and your bank account too!
Your work-life balance as a nomad will improve if you find the appropriate activities to stimulate your creativity. Breaking out of your comfort zone is enough of an impact to renovate motivations and create new ideas. But imagine how this can improve if you meet new sights, people, locations, and experiences. These off-work activities would be the ones to ensure your following week will be productive and full of ideas.
Nomadism provides the opportunity to meet a wide range of people with different personalities and backgrounds. Making new friends that you can enjoy time will always help your personal and professional life. Whether they are travelers living away from home, or local people who can share helpful, valuable insights into their home city, they also raise your inspiration! Plus, life is always better when shared.
Can you work from a cozy coffee shop in London? Yes. From a penthouse in Buenos Aires? Yes. From a beachside condo in Tulum? Yes!
As a digital nomad, you can choose your temporary home base, work schedule, and office setup. There are no limits to where you can be. Location independence and flexible working hours sound like the perfect combination for a working scheme, right? And they are!
A nomadic lifestyle allows you to create your plans and change them whenever you please. According to an Ipse survey, 55% of respondents prefer remote work for its flexibility. And the freedom it gives to build a healthy work-life balance.
In short, you can plan your day to suit both work and personal life. After the pandemic, most companies open full-time remote positions that allow combining freedom and financial security. So, you can enjoy your freedom with a secure income wherever you are!
3. Discovering New Cultures
The world has a million natural and human-made locations to visit, activities to try, and cultural experiences to meet. One of the biggest benefits of a nomadic lifestyle is the opportunity to travel around the world slowly. Long stays in a country mean having time to encounter local cultures, cuisines, and customs fully. And you will learn more about yourself and the world while growing meaningful relationships.
Hiking in the mountains of southern Argentina; surfing the vast Australian waves; or coffee-tasting tours in Colombia are just some of the local activities you could try – or even become an expert at them! For nomads, new adventures loom around every corner.
And after the pandemic, you can find serval visa schemes for digital nomads to find a home base and move around!
What can be more inspiring to find new ideas for your business than discovering new cultures?
4. Growing Community
Being a nomad on the road will help you benefit from infinite opportunities you couldn’t foresee in your hometown. There are millions of nomad groups working remotely and seeking for new adventures. You can learn valuable lessons for your personal and professional growth by joining different nomad communities.
The nomadic lifestyle is different for everyone. You can meet people from all over the world who are facing the same doubts and expectations. And learn from their experiences or take inspiration for your next adventure. Over time, you will grow your nomad community you can reach when you need help or support.
Finally, you could even meet your future partner to launch a new remote business, you never know!
5. Control Over Your Time
Bye-bye office! No more sitting in your cubicle in the same sterile and uninspiring atmosphere every single day. You’ll create your working environment now and your schedule too!
A nomadic lifestyle gives you the freedom to create your home office and take control of your time. Look down on those mandatory eight hours you sat on your rolling chair, chewing gum and watching the clock every two minutes. If you want to visit a museum tomorrow, you’ll set up your meetings during the morning and move on to other tasks for the day after.
However, remember that you won’t be able to do everything all the time. Unfortunately, deadlines exist in remote jobs too!
You need to organize your required hours and comply with your daily tasks. But your boss won’t watch you the entire day anymore. So, as long as you give excellent results at work, who cares if you are enjoying a beach in the meantime?
6. Minimal Needs
Finally, a nomadic lifestyle teaches you how to understand what you really need. Sometimes, we get stressed from our work or family dynamics and tend to overbuy or focus on things we don’t have. And instead of improving our lives, we accumulate things hoping to feel better one day.
When you travel on the road, you need to select what to bring with you – in your backpack and mind. After a month in Columbia, you realize that, after all, wearing the same outfit for a few days isn’t the end of the world. And you don’t need to buy new fancy items. Because your new life experiences are better than anything you can buy to grow as a person.
Of course, a digital nomad still needs to buy tech devices, clothing, and food. The point is living out of nothing. But select what you need based on fundamental necessity, instead of the compulsive demand of having new things!
The Disadvantages of a Nomadic Lifestyle
A nomadic lifestyle seems like “living the dream.” Still, there are also some downsides to the lifestyle, and it’s essential to be aware of them before starting your journey.
1. Travel Regularly Is Expensive – and Tiring
As a digital nomad, you can work remotely. But as for office jobs, what you can do always depends on how much you earn and your time.
Most digital nomads opt for long-stay journeys for two main reasons: money and work. Moving from different locations means extra costs for transport and time to find convenient accommodation. In addition, you need to combine your travel days with your work schedule.
After all, you still have work tasks to finish. Or some position requires a set time to be online during the day. It doesn’t sound so relaxing traveling on a train when you have an important deadline and poor Wi-fi, right?
One of the biggest challenges of a nomadic lifestyle is to find a convenient solution to keep traveling without devastating your finances and piling up work tasks.
2. Find An Ideal Workplace
When you travel as a digital nomad, you can find alternative solutions to save on accommodation. From dogsitting to hostel deals, you can find affordable accommodation to travel around. However, most digital nomads struggle to find an ideal workplace.
Especially moving across several locations quickly, you risk being late at work because you can´t find a place to focus. For example, co-working spaces are the new normal – and a great solution to make connections in a new city – but they impact your budget. And cafes are very romantic, but also noisy. Or try to work on a beach in Italy at lunchtime in July – you are going to get blind and burn in half of an hour.
So, before planning your journey, consider where you will work when booking accommodation, coordinating with your team members if you need to postpone or change tasks.
3. Loneliness and Isolation
Never underestimate the importance of emotional connections because being a nomad can get hard sometimes. Nomad groups are everywhere, but growing personal and meaningful relationships is different, especially when you miss your loved ones – nostalgia will hit you at some point!
Homesickness can be a heavy strain on anyone who is away from their home. And loneliness and isolation can become a challenge. If you enjoy the benefits of a nomadic lifestyle, you’ll have to accept that people come and go all the time. And some relationships will keep growing from a distance, while you start all over again with new people and cities.
In the long run, a lack of stable relationships makes you feel lonely. Some people are well suited for working independently. But most of us still appreciate the company of joining communities and sharing the off-work experiences with others. So, before you leave on your nomadic journey, check if the locations you choose have the sense of community you expect.
Try to create a social environment for yourself through local and online networks. Also, keep in touch. Maintain strong connections with family and friends from home, and inform them of your whereabouts and plans. Solitude and independence will be a part of your daily life now. So bond with these feelings and let time adjust to them.
4. Multiple Timezones
Working as a digital nomad with international teams and clients means dealing with multiple timezones. You’ll regularly video chat with your colleagues, hear their ideas, discuss them, and gain insight into what the workplace is like on the other side of the world.
But what happens if we have different time zones? How can we communicate if I am having my morning coffee when my colleague closes his laptop?
These doubts might jump into your head if you are working remotely.
Unfortunately, different time zones in remote teams can become an issue. When international collaboration is poor, you might run into frustration and misalignment.
The challenge is establishing processes that allow you to work in different time zones and logistically benefit from it. Communicate clearly about time zone boundaries with your team; keeping a dialogue with your global counterparts will help you ensure that everyone’s boundaries are respected and that there are equal odd-hour meetings for all.
Get specific when discussing dates and times with peers. If not, it can confuse or slow your processes. Also, agreeing to the same time zone will help you keep the whole team in the same line.
5. Work-Life Balance
What does this term mean? And mainly, how can it be applied to a nomadic lifestyle?
In short, work-life balance is the state of stability where a person equally prioritizes one’s work and personal life demands. Some of the common reasons for a poor work-life balance include increasing responsibilities at work, working longer hours, and raising duties at home.
It looks like in a nomadic lifestyle, it’s the other way around! However, you need solid strategies and a routine to keep a healthy work-life balance over time.
As a nomad, balancing the activities you want to do and work responsibilities can sometimes get tricky. There is so much to do in a foreign country! You’ll be visiting particular locations, making new friends, trying new plates, and meeting with other cultures. How is it possible to focus on work and be productive?
Don’t overwhelm yourself. There is no “perfect” work-life balance, and most digital nomads struggle with this challenge.
Don’t strive for the perfect schedule; aim for a realistic one. Some days you’ll be more efficient and achieve great results, while on others, you’ll prefer to enjoy outdoor activities and clear your mind. Balance is earned over time, not every day!
6. Lack of Stability
Last but not least, you will miss stability at some point. Sooner or later, you will find yourself thinking that the post office job you quit at home wasn’t so bad after all.
That’s normal. Traveling and working all the time is rewarding but also challenging. Moving to different places means finding a different routine all the time, and putting effort to meet and connect with new people. And some cultures will feel more ‘a home’ than others.
You will feel tired and overwhelmed because of a lack of stability. A nomadic lifestyle means finding internal stability that helps you adjust wherever you are. For example, instead of thinking that practicing yoga every morning is your only solution, consider that doing yoga is one of your safe moments of the day. Sometimes it will be in the evening, some others in the morning. It will depend on how you feel and where you are.
Stability means having clear daily activities that help you achieve your goal. How you organize these activities – it’s up to you!
Now You Are Ready To Become a Nomad
Let’s get honest, becoming a digital nomad won’t be all you expect when you do your Google research. You’ll have to live it to understand it. But all these advantages and disadvantages will help you know which nomadic lifestyle suits you best.
You’ll enjoy the luxuries of this lifestyle, where you’ll be able to create your plans and change them whenever you please. Maybe sand, suncream, and laptops aren’t the best combination. But you’ll be staring at a deserted beach from your new office. What can be more inspiring and motivating than that?
As a nomad, you’ll expose yourself to new situations, challenges, and ideas every day. Whether it’s understanding a country’s subway system, meeting new traditions and cultures, or surfing with strangers, your personal growth will thank you for this journey. You’ll learn the keys of digital nomadism, becoming more open-minded, confident, and better organizing your remote work life. And these qualities will serve you forever!