14 Downsides of Being a Digital Nomad
Over the past couple of years, the entire world has been going digital nomad. With more and more people traveling the world and working remotely, the definition of what a digital nomad is has been expanding. The buzzword of the past few years has been “digital nomad”, a more general term than “digital nomad” requires. We’re here to demystify this and explain what exactly is a digital nomad and the downsides of being a digital nomad.
Digital nomads are people who move around the world, working remotely, and travelling to new places because they love it. They spend as much time as possible living life in the now, loving the experience of being on the road and constantly inspiring themselves. In short, a digital nomad is anyone who loves their work in the digital world but lives the lifestyle of a digital nomad. It can be anyone: CEO, designer, student, programmer, writer, activist, traveler, or simply an entrepreneur.
Most digital nomads have moved away from the traditional 9-5 and are now working from anywhere in the world. They don’t travel around with their laptops and they don’t dwell in one place to work; they work from anywhere in the world and move around to work. However, there are some downsides to being a digital nomad and I’m going to point this out in this article.
As a digital nomad, you make a lot of friends in new cities, new countries, or even new countries. You meet some locals, others who are interested in your occupation, and some who are interested in traveling with you. By now, you’ve probably met some new people you’d love to hang out with. However, there’s a host of issues we as digital nomads face, and some of them can be quite lonely.
So you’re a digital nomad. You love the freedom of being able to work from anywhere while earning a living online. You might even be a solo entrepreneur who travels for work alone. However, in a digital world, you may also fight an uphill battle against loneliness.
Digital nomads have it all. They are free from the local culture and the daily grind of work and life. But they are not free from their mental blocks. Self-motivation is a big problem for the digital nomads. They have the right attitude, but they can’t achieve all that they want.
Although digital nomad are “free-to-move”, self-motivation is the key to their survival in this rapidly changing world. Just like needing an umbrella in the rain, digital nomads need some motivation to keep them going.
No Paid Holidays
Most digital nomads are business people, contractors and some of them work as a remote worker as a full-time employee. If you are working in a traditional company, you are very likely to have a paid vacation. However, not all remote companies are including paid holiday for their employees or contractors
No Fixed Workplace
As a digital nomad, you start your workday in one country and end it in another. You’ve got all the freedom in the world but no fixed office space or coworkers. You are moving from place to place constantly, so you have to be very careful with your living space and all the things that go with it.
If you’re a digital nomad, you’ll know the benefits of having a fixed workplace, but will that be possible as technology evolves. Many digital nomads have developed a home office that works for them. Some have set up small home offices, others have invested in dedicated desks, and others have an open-plan office.
No Guarantee Income
Digital nomad should have a consistent income, as they travel the world, working on their laptops from wherever they are. They should be able to work online whenever they want and whenever they need. Yet, there are many Nomads who aren’t that lucky, because they don’t have consistent income.
Probably half of the people you meet in the digital nomad community are entrepreneurs or founders, and they are often very well off. They are able to live the dream of working from anywhere in the world, and some of them are able to do it in a full-time way. The other half of the community consists of people who are trying to make it as digital nomads. They are not entrepreneurs, they are not full time digital nomads, and they don’t have the experience or education that would allow them to make it in the full time digital nomad business.
However, some of them able to make a good living while traveling around and some aren’t. If you are planning to become a digital nomad, you should make sure you have enough savings and keep your expenses in a way that is sustainable.
If the digital nomad lifestyle wasn’t hard enough already, the daily challenges we face daily on the road aren’t even hard to explain. While our digital nomadic lifestyle is full of great experiences and personal growth, it can also be physically and mentally demanding.
Travel is a great way to break out of your comfort zone and develop new relationships. People from all walks of life and backgrounds are traveling the world to gain a better understanding of themselves, their peers, and the world around them.
Almost every single day, digital nomads are facing new challenges. Maybe unable to find reliable internet connection or miss the train or flight. You need to figure out and solve all the daily challenges you face. If you are adventurous, then digital nomad lifestyle is good for you.
Missing Friends and Family
Almost everyone has a sense of adventure. It’s one of our most defining characteristics. If we didn’t care about what’s beyond our reach, we wouldn’t get out of bed or leave our homes. Being a digital nomad offers many advantages. The freedom to travel is one of the most appealing benefits of being a digital nomad. It’s the reason why many people put themselves through the stresses of becoming a digital nomad. It is also why some digital nomads turn to addiction when they get back home, and why others (myself included) feel the urge to stay in the digital nomad lifestyle.
The most common reason for digital nomad missing friends and family is because they are not in their home country. It’s a sad fact that digital nomad usually miss a lot of friends and family because they are often busy. Another reason for missing friends and family is that they cannot afford the cost of traveling back and forth between their home country and their mission destination.
Reliable Internet Connection
When you are a digital nomad, you need to have a reliable internet connection. If you don’t, you can be easily disconnected in the middle of the night. This is a real problem for travelers, people who live alone or freelancers who need to work from anywhere. Sometimes, digital nomads unable to find reliable internet connection in the place they are traveling to. This is because the internet infrastructure is not so well-developed in all countries.
Timezone is also one of the downside that most digital nomads face of. If you have a client on a Time-zone that differs completely from yours. It’s challenging to manage those clients. This is because the Time zone of you and the clients are completely upside down. When you are waking up from bed, they are going to bed. To solve this, I often use automation tool to help me to solve most of the issue. If the client contact me, I’ll also setup an autoresponder on email to tell them you’ll expect the response within 48 hours.
When you travel to a place and you found a place that is too many noise around the cities, coffee shop or your accommodation. You may find it very difficult to sleep and work. To sleep well at night, I’m use earbud when going to help. Sometimes, we have some video meeting on internet and it’s hard to communicate in such condition. I would use some noise cancellation software and headphone in order to work seamlessly in such condition.
When you are a digital nomad, you might feel some loneliness. You don’t have co-workers that working together with you and traveling around. All you do is travel from place to place with your laptop and finding a good internet connection. Unlike working in the office, you are working alone all the time. Sometime, digital nomads subscribe to co-working space and meet more people so they don’t feel they are working alone.
If you are a digital nomad and you traveling around the world. However, you have a girlfriend that she have a 9-5 job that required she to work in the office. It can be challenging to maintain the relationship between you and her.
Also, if you are single and you travel around and work alone for years. It can be quite challenging to find a girl/boy friend too. Therefore we need to join some internet community so we can find our partner.
While most of the people around the world, they required to go to the office to perform the job. However, you don’t need to and you are the exception of people who can travel and working everywhere, which is so sound like you are living on their dream. The envy and jealously behavior will towards to you if you keep posting on social media. Some clients might questioning on the work you did.
Keep Things Safe
The rise of cybercriminals means we need to be aware of the security risks we face. Digital nomad is not all sunshine and rainbows, especially with the recent increase in cyber attacks and scams targeting the digital nomad community. As work changes into a more remote and independent lifestyle, some people believe digital nomads are increasingly exposed to risks of security breaches, theft, and loss of digital information.