During the past couple of years I did quite a bit of traveling. Going to places like Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Singapore and Malaysia. I loved loved the traveling but there is technology shock when it comes to meeting the needs of a traveling nomad. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur and intend to travel as part of your lifestyle changes. Let’s be clear here. There is absolutely nothing like traveling and the downsides certainly haven’t put me off traveling not one bit. But there is much to consider.
Being a digital nomad means that you’re taking your laptop and travelling the world. It means that you’ve created some kind of online business model, which in turn means that you earn money as long as you have a computer and an internet connection. This then frees you up to work where you want and how you want and many people use this to fulfil their ambition of seeing the world and of living a lifestyle that is completely unrestricted. This is one of the truest examples of being free and it’s something that many people who work online aspire to.
But let’s not pretend that being a digital nomad is all rainbows and sunshine. As with any lifestyle, there are downsides to this style of living too and it’s very important to make sure that you know what those are and you’re prepared to cope with them. Let’s take a look…
You Lose Your Creature Comforts
One of the most obvious ways in which being a digital nomad could be considered a bad thing is in the way it robs you of your ‘creature comforts’. That is to say that you’ll probably be living in hostels and eating cheaply when you can. If you’re someone who loves to kick back on the sofa with a cup of tea and a blanket, then you might find this a bit tough going.
You Will Miss People
Assuming you’re a regular person, you’ll probably find you start missing friends and family after a short while and this can be hard as you’re constantly travelling. It’s especially hard when you see them start to get married, attend important events or generally continue with normal life that you’re no longer a part of.
It’s Hard to Return
When you’ve lived a life where there’s adventure around every corner, it can be very hard to return back to normal. You’ll find it hard fitting into a more regular routine and many people find they have to keep travelling as a result.
You Have to Work
Even with a very passive income model, there will be times when you have to work to make ends meet. This is painful when you have a hundred and one exciting things you want to do but all you can do is to sit in a dingy coffee shop somewhere.
Working is Tricky
Let’s be real: working on the move on a laptop is challenging and there are many ways in which you’ll be forced to compromise. Sometimes the internet will be down, sometimes you’ll struggle to find a power point. Sometimes there will be a lot of sun glaring on your screen and bees buzzing past your keyboard. This makes travelling and working that much harder!
Your Business Will Suffer
There are some things you simply can’t do while travelling – meeting people in person for example. I was recently given the opportunity to star on a YouTube channel and the company invested in me by buying me filming equipment and lighting equipment. This was all very exciting – but it wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t have a home to store all those things in!
This isn’t to put you off – being a digital nomad is still a fantastic experience. Just know that it isn’t perfect either!
Where to next ?
Well I haven’t decided. Maybe Japan, China or Europe. But what I do know is I am not done traveling yet.