5 Downsides of Being a Digital Nomad
Whilst thinking positively is a great trait, it’s also good to be a bit realistic. Being a digital nomad is an amazing experience, but we don’t want to sugarcoat it.
Just like most things in life, being a digital nomad comes with its pros and cons. The good news is that being mindful of these downsides makes them a bit easier to tackle!
Let’s get into the 5 Downsides of Being a Digital Nomad that you might not have considered.
Some peace and solitude have never hurt anyone, but loneliness is a whole different ballgame. As digital nomads, we travel, that’s what we do. We’re never in one place for too long, and that means leaving things and people behind. It means leaving your family and friends behind.
And whilst connecting with new people on the road is great, we tend to leave them too. Curious about how to make friends on the road? Check out 5 tips to make friends on the road.
Don’t get me wrong, we don’t mean any harm, it’s just in our blood! But the truth is that humans are inherently social beings. We thrive in the company of others. This is where loneliness comes into play. That creeping feeling that we are alone, with no one to lean on.
As digital nomads, we’re more exposed to this feeling; and not even the beach can cure it. So what do you do, when those feelings of loneliness pop up? Try to schedule regular video calls with your loved ones! It won’t be the same as seeing them in real life, but it will feel good to see a familiar face.
For more tips on loneliness, check out our article on how to not be lonely as a digital nomad.
2. Missing out
We’ve already established that digital nomadism can be lonely sometimes. But what about the things you’ll inevitably miss out on?
You might not have an extreme case of ‘FOMO’, but seeing birthdays, weddings, baby showers, and other significant events go on without you, can be saddening. Going back home for each and every one of them is just not sustainable in the long run.
Make the right choices for yourself
So what do you do to overcome this? Firstly, you need to come to terms with the fact that you’ve chosen this lifestyle. It’s something that makes you happy, and you’ll have to make some sacrifices.
Communication is key
You can also talk to your loved ones to make them aware that you’re feeling this way. Let them know that if there’s a big event coming up, they should tell you far in advance. Maybe you’re in luck, and the flight tickets are cheap!
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Visas, taxes, paperwork – we all got to do it. As a digital nomad, this process can be a bit more complex, especially if you’re working abroad.
It’s your own responsibility to make sure you’re following the rules and regulations. No amount of “I didn’t know”, can get you out of trouble if you’ve missed out on something.
You should always consult government websites, and make a checklist well in advance of your next travel. It might also be a good idea to reach out to some people who have done it before you, they’ll know how to go about it! Check out our collection of articles on Digital Nomad Visas to get inspired for your next travels!
4. Doing research
You’re in charge of doing all the research for your travels (unless you read this blog – we actually do it for you 😜).
You need to sort out flight tickets, accommodation, and visas. And when you finally get to your destination, you need to navigate public transport, find local grocery stores, and get internet access.
You might want to get a hold of a portable WiFi router from Skyroam Solis, one of our partners. As the name suggests, this is a small device you can take around with you, which essentially creates a WiFi network wherever you are. This allows you to be independent and find your way, wherever you are.
Get rid of the hassle (flights, transport & accommodation)
One way to help you avoid these hassles is booking a guided (sometimes even multi-country) trip with a company like G Adventures. They have all kinds of options in all kinds of price ranges. Everything is very well taken care of with locals working for the company. It truly feels like you get to know the culture, people, and places you visit
Sometimes in a foreign language, and a completely different culture. To keep organised, invest in a planner or notebook.
Write down your checklists, useful websites and resources, travel itinerary and everything else you might need. Perhaps you should also learn some useful phrases in the language used at your destination?
5. Keeping up with work
As a digital nomad, you probably won’t have an office, and no colleagues around to motivate you.
You are your own motivation, and we all know how difficult that can be. You have deadlines coming up, and you just can’t seem to finish the work. What do you do?
A good idea can be to take a step back and think about why you’re doing this in the first place. This is the lifestyle you’ve always wanted, and you need to put the work in to maintain it.
Make a habit out of creating a designated workspace wherever you are. Stay organized, and work during your peak performance hours.
Oh, and don’t forget to take plenty of breaks. You’ve definitely earned them!