Digital Nomad: 6 Things No One Says About Life as a ‘Digital Nomad’
In general, there is an image that comes to mind when talking about a digital nomad . The young man, who appears to be about 22, is seen lying in a hammock, sitting on the sandy beach or using a laptop (in an unstable position) on top of a mountain. These images look great, but they are very different from digital nomads who work for a living (as a long-timer, the beach is never a good place to work).
The biggest problem with this image is that work and leisure are combined on one screen. In real life, if you don’t separate the two, you’ll ruin both. Posts and articles related to digital nomads are less realistic. Even books lack depth and lead in the wrong direction. If you are seriously considering the transition to a digital nomad life, you must have a ‘correct’ image of the life you will face in the future. We have compiled 6 facts that the existing digital nomad articles do not tell us.
Many digital nomads don’t wander
A significant number of the so-called ‘digital nomad’ have either moved to Chiang Mai or Thailand, or set up temporary shelters in these areas. Some have gone to places where they can enjoy a good life with a low cost of living. No problem here. However, leaving one’s former home does not mean living a nomadic life.
Most digital nomads aren’t young
Originally, digital nomad was a term used to refer to young people within five years of graduating from college. However, according to a recent survey by MBO Partners , among digital nomads, Generation Z under the age of 25, or Zoomer, was only 21%.
Instead, the generation that occupies the largest proportion is millennials, who are currently between the ages of 26 and 41, accounting for 44% of all digital nomads (millennials are now in their 40s!). In addition, a quarter of digital nomads are Generation X (ages 42-57) and baby boomers (ages 58-76) account for 12%. In other words, there are more digital nomads over the age of 42 than there are under the age of 25.
Nomadism is often ‘slowmadism’
Surprisingly, digital nomads work 8 hours a day. Depending on where you work, it can actually be more than that. In other words, due to slow internet, travel time, unexpected inconvenience, etc., you have to increase your work time by 20% more than working in the office. For example, if you spend a week exploring the city, you should stay there for about a month. Of course, most of that month should be devoted to work.
The digital nomad lifestyle is a choice
Even as a digital nomad, the situation is very different depending on the way of life. Living in a van, for example, is completely different from moving to another country. The former is domestic, the latter abroad, the former more difficult and the latter comfortable. The only thing they have in common is that everything is always new. Life is completely different for someone who works in Costa Rica and works from home.
Me and my wife are very interested in food and foreign cultures. So, living around the world is just right for us. We’d never do a van life (which would be too inconvenient). Or I wouldn’t try to move completely to a particular area because it’s not too much of a change.
I mean, every digital nomad lifestyle has its pros and cons. So it’s important to understand yourself and figure out what you really want out of your life. Of course, finding an agreement on these tastes with your partner is fundamental.
Life as a digital nomad is mostly less convenient and less comfortable
There is only one example. As of this writing, I am working at an Airbnb in the southern French village of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. This town is like heaven. The scenery, weather, and buildings are amazingly beautiful, and the food is impeccable. The villagers are really nice too. Doesn’t it look okay?
However, the Wi-Fi is so slow that it can take 2-3 minutes just to load a typical website. Mobile connections via Google Fi are also slow. There are no screens on the windows and the building is too old. In the end, you’ll have to either open the windows to welcome mosquitoes or (close the windows) work mosquito-free in a damp, poorly ventilated building. That doesn’t mean there’s no other place to move it.
The digital nomad economy calls for a complete overhaul
Maintaining an existing home while living abroad (or on the road) is costly. A financial expert would never recommend it. So, if you want to save money, you should leave all your belongings in the warehouse, sell your house, and go out on the road. That’s right, it’s a significant change in your life. It’s not an easy decision to make.
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Therefore, if you want to lead a digital nomad life like mine, you must be willing to accept small inconveniences. It’s the price for the joy of being in a nice place.
The digital nomad life is very cool. But you have to think deeply about giving up your home workspace, fast internet, your own kitchen and, above all, complete control over your daily routine. Don’t make a decision lightly based on the wrong pictures of digital nomad related materials.
Actually, living in a van is not all about drinking morning coffee or watching the sunset next to your dog. Life as an international digital nomad is also different from the endless parties in Thailand. Of course, lying on the beach to work never happens.
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