The Highs and Lows of a Nomadic Lifestyle

Highs and Lows of a Nomadic Lifestyle

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.

It’s a worldwide trend. Nowadays, digital nomads are all over the world having fantastic adventures and discovering the benefits of working wherever they desire. You must be familiar with the term now, but let’s shed light on it once more. Digital nomads are location-independent people who use technology to perform their job. As they work remotely, they can constantly change locations without the need for a permanent, stable place. 

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 49%. You see, parents…it wasn’t that weird! 

But, being a nomad is a lifestyle choice rather than a job title. Individuals choose to explore the path of working while traveling and complete their daily work tasks from anywhere globally, based on a few factors: a good internet connection and a trusty laptop. 

The average keeps getting higher. Not even a year of lockdown could stop digital nomads, and it will become one of the fastest-growing lifestyles in 2021. Several estimations even assume that by 2035 there will be 1 billion nomads on this planet. But is it all rainbows and unicorns, as they say? What are the highs and lows of the nomadic lifestyle?

7 Digital Nomad Myths: Expectation Vs Reality

Nomadic Lifestyle Advantages 

1. Freedom

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 remote worker, you can choose your temporary home base, work schedule, and office setup. There are no limits to where you can be.

If you were used to an in-office routine, this must be shocking. Location independence and flexible working hours sound like the perfect combination for a working scheme, right? And they are! 

Location-independent work allows you to create your plans and change them whenever you please. According to an Ipse survey in 2020, 55% of the interviewed people chose flexibility regarding prefer remote work. You’ll plan your day to suit both work and personal life. Plus, have the flexibility to enjoy several varied recreational breaks. 

A nomad lifestyle provides freedom and all the advantages of a work contract at the same time. So, due to the rapid technological development – broadband connections, powerful laptops and smartphones, web conferencing software, and secure data transfer – you can now be a big firm’s team member from any part of the world. 

2. More Cultures, More Opportunities

The world has a million natural and human-made locations to visit, activities to try, and cultural experiences to meet. One of the benefits of a nomadic lifestyle is you can enjoy all of these in a slow-paced voyage around the world, as you’ll have plenty of time to explore every tourist highlight. Spending more extended periods in a country enables you to appreciate local cultures, cuisines, and customs fully; learn more, and develop 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, and even become an expert at them! For nomads, new adventures loom around every corner. Plus, what can be more inspiring to work than meeting new cultures?

Also, being on the road will help you benefit from opportunities. There are millions of other digital nomads, like you,  working and searching for new adventures, and they can teach you valuable lessons. While you may be an expert in photography, your new friend can be a travel blogger, and you can both share your knowledge to help the other! 

Always remember, as a digital nomad, the more you know, the better job opportunities you’ll reach. And who knows? Maybe you partner up with other digital nomads in the future.

3. Inspiration

There is nothing more fulfilling than going away from your regular context 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 are also meeting 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 with will always help your personal and professional life. Whether they are travelers living away from home, or local people that can share helpful, valuable insights into their home city, they’ll raise your inspiration as well! Plus, life is always better when shared.

4. 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 choose your location and environment to build your office and provides you with such space; you’ll be able to 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. 

Don’t think you can do whatever you want. Of course, you have to put the required hours in and comply with your daily tasks, but your boss won’t watch you the entire day anymore. So, take advantage and organize your schedule to reach excellent results at work while you have fun and enjoy the pleasures of the location.

Learning how to manage your time is the key to a successful nomadic lifestyle. Ensure you have a silent and peaceful space for your productive hours, acquire the right communication tools – like Basecamp or Slack – and enjoy all recreational activities the locations provide. You are the master of your schedule now.

The Disadvantages of a Nomadic Lifestyle

A nomadic lifestyle seems like “living the dream,” but there are also some downsides to the lifestyle, and it’s essential to be aware of them before starting your journey.

1. It’s Expensive to Travel Regularly

Plenty of activities to do, millions of museums to visit, and many experiences to try. But none of these are possible if your bank account doesn’t allow it. 

A digital nomad is a specific job that earns an average salary every month. But your income will depend on the type of work you do. Nowadays, computer programmers who work remotely may command some of the highest salaries for nomads. But don’t panic! You can also develop yourself in other areas too.

How much you make as a nomad will depend on several factors, like if you have a full-time remote job or if you are a freelancer. You’ll have to plan the trip before you do the job research. Some may pretend an adventurous and extravagant journey, while others may prefer a more static routine of cocktails and sunrises. The key is to search for the kind of job that’ll provide you with a suitable income to live comfortably and do all the activities you’ll like. 

2. Loneliness and Isolation 

Never underestimate the importance of emotional connections because being a nomad can get hard sometimes. Homesickness can be a heavy strain on anyone who is away from their home. And loneliness and isolation can become your enemies. 

The truth is that if you enjoy the benefits of a nomadic lifestyle, you’ll have to know that people come and go all the time and that it can get lonely sometimes. Some people are well suited for working independently, but many 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. 

There are excellent coworking spaces where you can comfortably work, meet people, and attend events. 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, 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.

3. Multiple time zones

As a nomad, you need to have an organized and elaborated work plan to succeed. If you do, 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. These uses will allow your remote team to work better together and raise a sense of inclusion between your teammates.

But what happens if we have different time zones? How can we communicate if I am having my morning coffee when my colleague is closing his laptop? 

These doubts might jump into your head if you are working remotely, and especially if you carry out a nomadic lifestyle and your time zones vary all the time. Unfortunately, different time zones in remote teams can become an issue. When international collaboration is poor, you might run into frustration, all sorts of misalignment, and a sense of personal and professional disconnection across your team. 

But it’s all about creating 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. Plus, it’ll be easier for diverse global talent to join your team. 

4. Work-Life Balance

What does this term mean? And mainly, how can it be applied in a nomadic lifestyle?

In short, work-life balance is the state of stability where a person equally prioritizes one’s work demands and one’s 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. But in a nomadic lifestyle, it’s the other way around!

As a nomad, it can sometimes get tricky to balance the activities you want to do and work responsibilities. 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. Don’t strive for the perfect schedule; aim for a realistic one. Some days you’ll be more efficient and achieve great results, while others you’ll prefer to enjoy outdoor activities and clear your mind. Balance is earned over time, not every day. 

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 lifestyle suits you best, and the kind of schedule you’ll carry. 

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!

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