Working by the beaches, in the jungle, on top of a mountain, in exotic locations.
That all sounds amazing.
We’ve all seen the cool Instagram pictures of the so-called digital nomads. They seem to live the perfect life.
I’ve been a nomad since June of last year. Before that, I had left Canada to travel for 1 year. This is what triggered my interest in officially becoming a nomad.
It’s definitely a cool lifestyle. I would not have it any other way right now.
But it comes at the cost of a few sacrifices, some harder than others.
You Will Lose Friends
You will create a lot of new memories abroad that you won’t share with your old friends.
Some friends are open to that, but others will not understand what you’re going through.
Your friends back home will have moved on. They will get married and have kids. You’ll miss a lot of these moments.
You Will Miss The People Back Home
After you’re done doing amazing things for the day or night, you’ll start thinking about people back home.
You’ll think about the things you’ll miss by not being there.
You’ll think about the little things you enjoyed about the people you liked.
You will wish that sometimes, it would be nice to just warp back home for a day or two.
Working By The Beach Suck
It’s uncomfortable, it’s sandy, you don’t see anything on your screen, you are sweaty, etc.
Working by the beach just isn’t as nice as it sounds.
The traditional work-from-a-desk approach is just very hard to beat.
You Won’t Have Time To Establish A Productive Routine
A lot of nomads move around too much. I’ve been there, but mostly when I was traveling for fun. I used to like the idea of working from a new place every 7–30 days.
The reality is that it’s just too fast.
What I’ve come to realize from my experience in Cambodia and Spain is that staying in the place for longer is far superior work-wise than staying only a few days at a time.
But then again, it’s not all bad. As I said, I would not change that lifestyle for anything.
In fact, I’m leaving for India on March 14th. I don’t know how long I’ll stay there for. I’m guessing 3 months, but we’ll see how things go.
There are many good reasons to be a nomad too. Just using the bad parts from above, we can shift that around for the positive:
You Will Make Stronger Connections
The people you will meet on the road will have a similar mindset to you. In a short amount of time, you’ll make more friends than you ever did back home. And these friends understand what you’re going through.
And for the friends you had back home, those who choose to stick with you will become stronger friends than ever before.
You Will Not Miss People Back Home That Much
When you leave for a long time and come back, people are happy to see you, but it ends there.
Rare are the people who are genuinely interested in what you did. In fact, a lot of your friends and family will not even ask a single question about your adventures.
And every time you go back, you’ll notice that you’ll miss these people less and less.
Going To The Beach Rocks
We’ve established that working by the beach sucks, … but going to it definitely rocks!
In Spain, I’ve had a lot of creative bursts just taking a short break and going to to the beach to enjoy the sun, the waves, the vibe.
Relaxing by the beach is a great way to meditate and clear your mind.
You Can Establish Productive Routines
I was most productive in my entire life when I stayed in Cambodia for 2 months and Spain for 3 months.
I’ve developed really powerful routines, some of which I’ve shared on my blog.
Working from co-working spaces and being around like-minded people really helped me at least triple my productivity.
I’m currently visiting family and I have to admit really missing my routine. I can’t wait to settle for a bit in India and find a new place to work from for a 2–3 months period of time.
There’s no right or wrong here.
A nomadic lifestyle is great for some people.
It’s great depending on circumstances.
It’s great when you’re ready for it.
Like all good things, you have to make sacrifices to get the best it.
- You’ll lose friends, but you’ll make new ones.
- You’ll miss home, but not always.
- You’ll enjoy the beach, but not work from it.
- You’ll build productive routines, but only if you stay longer.
What about you?
Are you a digital nomad?
Are you considering the lifestyle?
Have you done it before?
Are you still doing it?
What do/did you like/dislike?