Answers to all your questions about digital nomads

May 19, 2021

6 minutes to read

Opinions expressed by Contractor the contributors are theirs.

Pandemic or not pandemic, the digital nomads on Instagram continue to serve us photos in exotic places and meetings at the beach. Who wouldn’t want that? Well, we’re sorry to burst your bubble, but the reality isn’t as glamorous as the photos you see on social media. In this article, we answer all of your burning questions about digital nomads and explore what it really means to be one.

What is a digital nomad?

The term digital nomad refers to the self-employed and entrepreneurs who choose to work remotely and are constantly on the go. The emergence of modern technology and communication channels like Slack and Trello have made this way of life possible.

Related: 3 Growing Niches Digital Nomads Can Tap Into The Next Decade

Differences between digital nomads and teleworkers

We see a lot of people using the two terms interchangeably, but they are not the same. The difference between a digital nomad and a telecommuter is the ‘displacement factor’. Digital nomads are constantly on the move, but teleworkers work from home or in a nearby coworking space.

Why are digital nomads a trend?

Digital nomads have been around for several years, but the pandemic increased the hype when it forced everyone to work from home. Many employers have started to appreciate the benefits of remote working. The pandemic has also exposed the myth that you have to be snuggled up in an office to do a job. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 56% of workers have jobs they can do remotely, which just proves our point. Companies like Twitter, Paypal and Uber have decided to adopt remote working practices permanently.

What future for digital nomads?

We dare say that digital nomads are the new normal, and the statistics don’t lie.

Should you become a digital nomad?

The digital nomad trend is not for everyone. It’s not as easy as getting on a plane for God knows where, and contrary to popular belief, the digital nomadic lifestyle is for people with the financial means (that is, i.e. stable income) and no liability tying them to one place e.g. spouse and children). Otherwise, we hate to tell you, but it will be pretty hard for you to get it to work. There are challenges just like any profession or lifestyle, but we believe that nothing is more rewarding than working on your terms.

Perception / expectations vs reality

Before buying a ticket and getting on a plane, make sure you know the realities of the digital nomad. Examine your intentions and make sure you don’t do it on a whim or motivated by fantasies in your head.

Perception: Digital nomads have all the freedom and time in the world. The main perception of digital nomads is that they spend most of their time sipping mimosas on a beach and sightseeing.

Reality: In fact, many digital nomads work all the time and have neither the space nor the energy to engage in leisure activities. A lot of digital nomads admitted to overworking. They also tackle procrastination; it takes a lot of discipline to stick to their scheduled work hours and fight the desire to spend time doing something other than work. It’s easy to lose sight of your tasks and deadlines when you don’t have a supervisor around your desk in an office.

Perception: A carefree life. Many people think that “Hakuna Matata” is the hymn and theme of every nomad.

Reality: In truth, there are thousands of things a digital nomad needs to worry about; they include finding accommodation in a safe neighborhood, navigating the culture, trying not to break laws, finding a coworking space to operate from, taxes, etc. The nomadic lifestyle may seem glamorous, but it can get quite dark. Many travelers have disappeared or been killed in foreign countries. The immediate concern of most nomads is to be safe as soon as they arrive in a country.

Perception: Financial freedom. Many people believe that digital nomads regularly earn big checks and are financially independent.

Reality: Digital nomads fall into two categories: independent / independent entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. They spend a lot of time pitching clients for gigs or contracts. It takes time to build trust and develop a good relationship with a client. Many nomads accept lower wages than they deserve due to stiff competition. Most digital nomads are financially responsible for themselves, so they take care of the bills on their own like accommodation, food, clothing, utilities, etc. Keep in mind that currency exchange rates and the cost of living in a country play a role in your financial strength; for this reason, many nomads travel to low cost of living countries like Indonesia.

Perception: Strong internet connection. Many people think that there is a stable internet connection everywhere.

Reality: Many digital nomads consider the availability of WiFi before traveling to a country. Poor internet connection means freelancers can’t do their jobs and meet deadlines, and if this happens frequently, they can lose their jobs and the client’s trust.

Perception: Traveling. Digital nomads are always on a plane that flies to one place or another.

Reality: Don’t be fooled by Instagram photos; some digital nomads secretly dislike frequent travel. They say it’s exhausting and time consuming. Sometimes all they want is stability instead of planning trips and booking tickets. It is exhausting to constantly plan your trips and work on logistics, especially in countries that do not speak the languages ​​that the nomad knows.

Perception: Lively social life. Partying and hanging out with friends is the order of the day.

Reality: Believe it or not, many digital nomads struggle with loneliness, anxiety to make new friends, and homesickness. It’s common to feel lonely and sometimes regret the decision you’ve made. Making new friends as a stranger is not easy, and when you do, it will take time for you to open up and trust them. You will likely be spending all of your time working, watching movies, and catching up on social media.

Related: 8 Ways To Make Money As A Digital Nomad

We hope we haven’t scared you to reverse your decision to be a digital nomad. We want you to consider the factors involved and make an informed decision carefully. Good luck!

About Andrew Miller

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