The Digital Nomad Lifestyle
Being a full-time digital nomad truly does give you the freedom to create a lifestyle and routine that you love.
It shifts away from a lifestyle where you work a 9 to 5 office job on weekdays, waiting for the weekend to explore your passions and pursue your hobbies. And that’s if you even have time then…
But is it for everyone? No, probably not.
Although I am yet to find someone who doesn’t want to be location independent and have the freedom to live, travel, and work anywhere in the world, becoming a digital nomad does require some significant adjustments in your life.
I hope that with this blog post, I will help you decide if the digital nomad lifestyle is right for you.
I also want to give you a real perspective on the life of a digital nomad, which is often overhyped with highly edited images and exaggerated captions.
What Is The Digital Nomad Lifestyle?
“Digital nomads are people that leverage technology to be able to live, work and travel anywhere in the world, independent of any specific location.”
The digital nomad lifestyle offers you the ability to live, travel and work anywhere you want. You also have the means to travel around (being nomadic) full-time, visiting any country they choose.
Some digital nomads spend 2-4 weeks in a country before moving on, while others, like us, prefer to spend 2-3 months in one place, before traveling to the next location.
The best part is… You get to decide what you want to do based on your work and preferences.
Is The Digital Nomad Lifestyle Right For You?
So, is the digital nomad lifestyle right for you? There are some things you need to consider.
To help you with this, I have written down the 4 “Are You Willing” questions that I had to answer before becoming a digital nomad.
1. Are You Willing To Give Up A Steady Stream Of Income?
This is probably the hardest question to answer, but it is also the most necessary.
Transitioning from a ‘steady’ full-time job where you get a good paycheck every 2 weeks to a freelancer or business owner where the paycheck only comes when you find work and do it, can be scary.
But at the same time, it’s also exciting…
I remember the first client we ever signed into our business. It was very exciting because finally, I was making real money, from my own hard work. And, I got to keep all of the profit.
It was amazing to me particularly, because I realized that my earning potential was defined by the number of hours I worked each week.
We could work as much or as little as we needed, using our time not only for work but also to explore our passions, discover new locations and do more of what we enjoyed.
Moving from a full-time job to living the digital nomad lifestyle can definitely be a little scary and sometimes a little tricky, but is a very necessary step to work through.
2. Are You Willing To Work Hard?
Starting any new business venture involves a lot of hard work.
I remember working 10-12 hour days for a couple of months before we really started earning enough money to travel. It was another few months of hard work after that before we felt comfortable enough to really relax and be able to travel and work comfortably.
Even after you are earning enough money to travel, you will likely still work hard.
Most digital nomads that I have met easily work 8+ hours, 5-6 days a week. The difference is they absolutely love their work and are very passionate about it.
They also get the freedom to choose when they work. That means that if they want to take a 3-hour lunch break to go to the beach and then come back and work in the evening, they can.
This may be to your surprise but hard work is a big part of the digital nomad lifestyle.
3. Are You Willing To Become A Minimalist?
As a regular traveler, you won’t have much room to take heaps of stuff. Everything that I take with me fit’s in my 20kg suitcase and 7kg carry-on bag. That’s it…
Digital nomads have no choice but to embrace a minimalist lifestyle. But truthfully, having less stuff is actually really freeing.
We are amazed how every time we come back to our home countries to visit family and friends, the amount of stuff they have. And more amazingly, how much stuff they have, but don’t use.
It reaffirms to us how freeing a more minimalist lifestyle is. If you want to live this digital nomad lifestyle, you will need to have a small packing list and become a minimalist.
4. Are You Willing To Learn New Skills So You Can Compete In The Online Marketplace?
Our businesses are primarily focused on digital marketing. And although I have a business degree, everything that I have learned about digital marketing really was self-taught.
Ironic I know. But a 4 year, $60,000+ Bachelor of Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing didn’t help us that much with starting our digital marketing agency.
I leveraged platforms like Skillshare and Udemy to learn new skills which kept me up to date with the latest industry information, tactics, and strategies in digital marketing.
That combined with my slowly growing experience, eventually snowballed into a unique set of skills and specialties which helped us get more clients and ultimately own and operate 3 businesses remotely.
Regardless of what field you are in, you will probably need to do some learning.
If you have a background in the business that you will create as a digital nomad, you have an advantage.
If not? I am proof that you can teach yourself and make it happen. If I can do it, I guarantee you can too.
Living That Digital Nomad Lifestyle
Not everyone is cut out for it and that’s okay.
To become a digital nomad you need to be able to answer ‘YES’ to all 4 of those questions.
You also need to be highly adaptable and disciplined – 2 things that I haven’t always found easy.
If you are somebody who likes to have strong roots planted down firmly, enjoys a comfortable routine, and prefers a more predictable environment, the digital nomad lifestyle probably isn’t for you.
And as I said, that’s ok!
However, if you are someone who embraces change and can work independently, then you are all but set for a life of constant adventure and exploration as a digital nomad.