Should you become a digital nomad?

The short answer is yes; if you’re already thinking about it you should at least give it a try.

Something about the lifestyle has caught your attention and piqued your interest. That means there are things that you would like to gain from it compared to your current life. Just beware that it’s not all beach selfies and a carefree laptop lifestyle.

Take into consideration that:

  • It can be more work to be a digital nomad than to work your current job. It requires discipline to get your work done before playing. You’ll need to research places to work from that have good Wi-Fi and that are comfortable for you.
  • You will have to find lodging, book transportation, and navigate situations where you may not be fluent in the local language.
Pro tip: Working from your laptop on the beach actually really sucks! Don’t do it. Seriously…sand in your keyboard…it’s not fun.
You’re better off finding a cafe or coworking space to work quietly, away from the sun, sand, water, and drunken tourists, and then heading to the beach in the afternoon.

If living as a digital nomad no longer sounds so appealing, he’s some reasons why you should still give it a try:

  1. Flexibility to see places and have experiences you’ve dreamt of without leaving your job behind.
  2. Experience new cultures that will shift your perspective of the world and yourself.
  3. Learn to navigate new and difficult situations, therefore developing more competence and confidence in yourself.
  4. Meeting new people and having interactions with individuals who become a part of your life. These people and interactions will leave a lasting impression.
  5. As you travel and have new experiences, your perception of time changes and slows down. You will be making so many new memories, everything will stand out vividly in your day to day life.
  6. Especially if you’re American, it can actually be incredibly cheap to live as a digital nomad compared to life at home. One of our contributors averages $20K – 24K a year in total costs. That means anything earned outside of that can go into savings. And she still lives a very comfortable life (think biweekly massages type of comfortable). If you’re North American making even a average wage of $50K a year….you could save enough money for a down payment on a house are a single year of travel.

All of this is to say that there are many upsides and downsides to becoming a digital nomad. There is nothing wrong with staying where you are if you are happy. There is nothing wrong with taking this lifestyle out for a test run before jumping all-in. That choice is all up to you. Just remember, you can always go back to where you started.

Written for Lost & Lore by Trevor Carlson

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