Whenever I see posts on becoming a digital nomad, they are all about the glories of it. I have to say, I absolutely love owning my own online business, and working from anywhere in the world. It is glorious. As glorious as can be.
Not All Roses
But I want to warn people that it is definitely not all a bed of roses, and I would warn you that if you are planning to take this task on, that you should be really careful of the pitfalls of being a digital nomad. I don’t even say this as a tongue-in-cheek thing.
I really believe these five reasons are important to keep in mind when you first plan to start on your own glorious journey as a digital nomad. It’s about seeing both sides of the coin as much as possible. Nothing is all good or all bad. Let’s be Zen-like about it, and tell the world what the true story is all about. That’s what I want to do for you – pull back the curtains so you can see what it’s all really like.
You Will Miss Your Family Like Crazy
Thank the Lord for Facetime and Skype, because without it, I would miss my family back home like insanity. Spending a few minutes every few days talking to them face-to-face really does help. If you are not close to your family, then this won’t be an issue for you. But I am extremely close to my family. I love my sister and brother like crazy and I miss giving them a hug or even just being close to their smiles. I miss my mother’s home-cooked meals, and I miss my Dad’s sense of humour.
This is not a strong enough reason not to become a digital nomad. You can always take a flight back home if the craving for your mum’s butter chicken gets to be too much, especially as flights keep on getting cheaper and cheaper. But this is a big one. Most people spend a lot of time as digital nomads wallowing in self-pity as they miss home. Instead of taking advantage of everything in their new country, they keep on eating foods from their home country, hanging out only with people from their home country, and sitting at home missing home.
Don’t do that to yourself. Have a plan for yourself if you know you will miss your family. Maybe schedule a break in the middle of your sojourn to go back home, especially on the major holidays. Or schedule your digital nomading schedule so that you live six months in the new country and six months in your home country. However it is set up, you are the creative one here. Think about this as engineering your life to suit your needs.
Stop worrying about how everyone else is doing it. That’s the power of becoming a digital nomad. It’s all up to you. You engineer your life the way you want to. No one else matters here. Only what you want matters.
Certain Things Are Hard To Find Outside of North America
I might be a spoilt princess, but I like my luxuries. I am not completely a princess in that I can rough it for a few days, even a few months. But after that, I want hot water, I want a shower with good water pressure, I want my tampons, and I want a natural sunscreen that isn’t carcinogenic or skin-whitening.
The good thing about living in such a globalized world is that almost everything is available everywhere! That’s why digital nomading is so great. Sometimes in some places it feels like you never ever left home – there are enough foreigners around and the infrastructure is so amazing that you feel like you are living in a developed country. For example, the Nimman area in Chiang Mai is one of those beautiful areas. Not only do you have the luxuries and amenities of a developed country, but you also have the pricing and attractions of a developing country. It’s the perfect combination of both. I love it!
But of course nothing is ever perfect, not that I’m complaining. I’m just sharing. You will not find certain products or it will take a Herculean effort to find them. Sometimes these products are absolutely not needed, and you will realize that you can do completely fine without them. Other times, you wonder if you could pay someone to send you a truckload of it from back home.
An example of this would be tampons. It’s almost impossible to find them in some places. It is a culture thing. It’s not a big deal at all to some people. To others, it is a deal-breaker.
Dating While Travelling Is A Pain In The Behind
Maybe I’m just crazy, but I am not looking only to hook up for a one-night stand when I travel. I’m so fearful of these men especially in Thailand where STDs are as common as the cockroaches. I also am looking for a deeper connection than a one-night stand would dictate. So here I am. Single and happy.
I’m definitely not saying that dating while travelling is a necessity at all. I can go months without having any sort of companion, sometimes even years. But I have to warn you if you are looking to date while travelling in some of these digital nomading spots, it is a different beast altogether.
I love the digital nomading community and I love the people it gathers. But relationships always changes things and people. Or maybe it’s just me. Forewarned is forewarned, though.
Gaining Weight Due To The Copious Amount of Delicious, Cheap Street Food Is A Surety
Thank freaking God, I’m so tall, and even if I gain weight, it doesn’t show until a lot of it is on me. But one thing is for sure. I eat a ton of food here in Thailand. Not only do I love their curries, and street food, but because I spend so much time walking everywhere I tend to be hungry literally all the time. I eat almost every second of every day. My mouth does get a lot of exercise here.
Unless, it’s an extremely hot day, which is when I end up hating food, and drinking just smoothies, I spend most of my time foraging for food in this great country.
I know lots of people who have told me the 10-15 kgs that they put on due to the fact that everything is cooked or fried in oil here.
So be wary, my friend. Eat all the fried chicken you want, but then try to not skip that run or yoga class you booked for yourself. Balance.
The Heat, Humidity, Exhaust, and Dust Will Get To You
There are some days when I literally don’t want to get out of my air-conditioned room. I don’t want to deal with the vendors, or the heat, or the draining humidity, or the exhaust fumes that blow in my face constantly, or the fact that my body is always covered with a layer of black dust.
On those days, I stay at home, order in, and watch a lot of Korean soap operas. I recommend that you plan for that as well. There will be days when you will want to be an introvert, and other days, when you will want to be a complete extrovert. Plan for both eventualities.
The good thing is that there are so many digital nomad Facebook groups nowadays, that you can find friends to hang out with, that it is really easiest thing to meet people while travelling.
Remember that self-care will become your best friend especially when you are moving around a lot, working, and living such an unusual lifestyle. Take care of yourself, and these crazy days will become less frequent.
I Absolutely Recommend Digital Nomading
As you can see the cons of digital nomading are inconsequential. When you are actually living and breathing the air of a new country, and you look around to see all the newness, everything else fades in comparison. Life is so good as a digital nomad, but it isn’t for everyone. Make sure you see all the different avenues before you take the plunge.
I love it, and so do many others. But it is a very personal decision for sure. If you are interested in having a chat about it, or asking me any questions, email me at boomshikha at themillionairehippie.designextreme.com dot com.