I fell in love with travelling at really young age- my father’s job involved moving to a different country every few years, and he took his young family with him every time. I’d like to think that’s where my wanderlust came from. I can feel at home pretty much anywhere in the world, and the combination of gestures, smiles and the attempt at broken local language can get me through any sticky situation.
I’d like to think that’s where my wanderlust came from. I can feel at home pretty much anywhere in the world, and the combination of gestures, smiles and the attempt at broken local language can get me through any sticky situation.
There is a huge difference between traveling to sight-see and attempting to transform your life to that of a digital nomad. I am attempting to do that latter for the next four-five months.
I write this sitting in a cafe in Lisbon, my home for the last week. Lisbon caps off week two of the next seventeen weeks on the road.
That’s right- I packed up my life in a carry-on (and a purse), and with my Eurail pass in hand, I am working from the other side of the world for the next 5 months.
And you know what? It’s not as hard as you think it is.
Being location independent, or a digital nomad is not certainly not for everyone, but it is so worth it for those who are able to make it work.
Why do I want to work from the road, and not from an office? Because the world is a huge place, and being stuck in one part of it my entire live is a waste. Just because the cubicle isn’t for me right now, doesn’t mean that I need to become a waitress or a street performer to be able to support myself, or save for my future.
I have been extremely intentional with the type of business I’ve created, and how I’ve set up my team. We’re pretty much either working remotely or on client side, and luckily my role doesn’t require my physical presence anymore.
You have to work hard for what you want to have. This 5 month adventure is a my beta-test to see if I can work, travel, and still maintain a work-life balance that motivates me to do more, and be more.
While being a digital nomad might not be for everyone- (it’s extremely hard to do if you have a family, kids, and/or debt), it might be something to consider if seeing the world is on your list of things that will amplify how you feel about your life. Besides who doesn’t want to be working with various cafes all over Europe.
The key to all of this comes right back to being extremely intentional with everything that you do. Whether that’s paying off your debt, or saving for a house or changing careers (all of which I have done over the last few years). Life is a series of steps that leads to things that ultimately makes us content.
Do I have moments where I’ve questioned my own sanity? YES, ALMOST EVERY DAY. But that’s part of my routine. The checks and balances that keeps me from doing things that completely outrageous.
I mean the girl who has an entire closet just for shoes is going to live out a tiny carry-on for 5 months! Not only is it possible, but it’s easy when you really consider the reasons behind it. My goal is to be able to continue creating things that I’m in love with, and placing myself in situations, places, and with people that allow me to do that without restraint.
So if you find yourself wondering if this path is for you, here are 7 awesome reasons why you should be a digital nomad:
1. Being inspired by things around you, thus allowing your to find creative ways to grow your business.
One of the greatest upsides to working in different places with different people is having access to their brainwaves/creativity which, increases exponentially when you work in foriegn lands. You get to learn how things are done in multiple environments. For example, working in Thailand teaches how to create better things on a budget.
2. Control your schedule, and work when you’re feeling most productive.
Want to be done your work week before the rest of your team wakes up? Totally possible. I’m currently working 6 hours ahead from my team in New York, and have put in a solid days work before they even get to the office. The rest of the day is getting to know the city. Besides, all I need is internet access and
3. Allows you to do multiple things at once.
You get to travel, explore the sights and sounds of your favorite places, along with being work back home. The good news that some companies are starting let employees work remotely provided they get work done. My team 100% remote, it really helps with employee retention.
4. Able to work with clients from all over the world.
While not everyone is into freelance work, that’s something certainly available. Be sure to look into Visa requirements, but most companies are able to hire foreign workers quite easily.
5. You have access to greater opportunities other than just freelance writing.
Depending on your level of skill and certifications, there are tons of career options available to digital nomads. A business consultant is top of mind, but web designers, marketing specialists, risk managers among others are all roles that can be freelance.
6. Cost of living is a lot lower (depending on where you live).
Did you know that I can live in hotel in certain parts of Europe for an entire month for less than the cost of gas back home? While living in Paris is a lot more expensive than Toronto, leaving in Eastern Europe, or South East Asia is dirt cheap.
7. Makes you appreciate and create passive income.
Ahh, passive income- the holy grail for those for the digital nomad. Is passive income really that easy to come by? NO! But when you find the right avenue, and the stars align, life just becomes a little less stressful.
Is it for you?
While living on the road might not be for everyone, there are many, many perks to being a digital nomad. You get to explore different cultures, become familiar with various ways of doing things, and growing personally and professionally at an exponential rate And who doesn’t want that. But it’s not a get out jail free card. You can’t just use it as a way to run away from commitments, and responsibilities at home. Not only will they catch up to you, but you will fail as they will mentally hinder you from your potential.
Think of being digital nomad as a way of life, a natural evolution of a lifestyle, and progression of sorts to a path that allows you to combine and create two great loves together. Travel and work. One is not meant to sacrificed in the name of the other. And if it does, you might find yourself 65 with a lot of money in your bank account but poor when it comes to experiences.
So tell me dear friends- would you consider being a digital nomad?