Thinking of quitting your job, travelling full time and becoming a digital nomad?
I’ve been there. 9 months ago, I met two crazy nomads and I decided I wanted their lifestyle. Always being on an adventure, escaping rainy England, and learning salsa, spanish & surfing… yes please. SIGN ME UP.
So I did it. (It’s really not that easy – if you want to know how I did it, check out my post here)
And I’ve learnt A LOT. There’s heaps of highs and lows, which people don’t seem to talk about.
All I read are posts about bloggers making millions, while posing on a flamingo-inflatable in an infinity pool.
Let me let you into a secret….
IT’S ALL A LIE!
Well not all, but it’s not all roses and daisies as they make it out to be. It’s fucking hard work.
So, after 6 months of working remotely – I wanted to share some of the lows living as a digital nomad.
Don’t get me wrong – I love it. And I don’t want to put you off. But it’s a proper lifestyle change, and at times you gotta be a tough cookie. 🍪
Sometimes there are the low days. The days when I wonder: WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING.
So if you’re reading this and thinking of embarking on the digital lifestyle, hopefully it might help you decide whether to take the plunge. Or whether to stick with what you’re currently doing…
1. It can be lonely.
Meeting people ALL the time can actually feel quite lonely. People come and go so often, and as much as I love meeting new people – sometimes I just want my best mates. And there’s the occasional time I could do with a hug from my mum.
2. Question time can get tedious.
Gah – the dreaded “what do you do” or “how long are you staying here”.
I still don’t know how to answer these without getting strange looks of confusion.
3. Most of your friends and family will think you’ve gone crazy.
I’m still trying to convince my parents that I’m not dealing drugs. They’re pretty old school when it comes to technology – so they can’t understand how it’s possible to actually make any money online.
And some people have told me it’s sad I’ve ‘ran away to Morocco’, and have asked ‘when will I settle down in England?’.
Why do I have to settle down – and why does it have to be in England?
4. Sometimes, bad stuff happens.
I lost my passport, iPhone, bank cards, $200 cash, and ID on my first day.
The silver lining is that now I feel invincible – if I can get over that, I feel like I can get over most things.
5. Getting ill is shit.
It’s bad when you’re in the comfort of your own home. So, when you’re in a random town with people you barely know, it’s even worse.
Especially if you’re in a Colombian hospital, and have no idea how to say “I’m pooing blood” in Spanish.
6. Say goodbye to city salaries.
The amount of blogs out there saying you can make thousands of dollars a month just from a blog are LYING.
Well they probably aren’t lying – and I’m happy for these people who have worked out how to smash it – but it’s not that easy.
It takes time. But I see this time as an investment. I’m continually learning LOADS, my rates are going up, and so I’m hoping I’ll get my old salary back soon. So I can do this…
7. Working for yourself can be pressurising.
When you freelance, say goodbye to the blanket of a normal job with an annual salary. You can’t pull a sicky or faff around – pretending to work on your computer.
If you work, you get paid. If you’re hungover & your work is pants, you don’t get paid.
8. Be prepared for technology crashes.
My laptop broke in Mexico, and it took 3 weeks to fix.
As a result, I was fired from my job! I tried to use my iPad to work but my boss threw his toys out the pram, and fired me immediately.
(To be honest, the job was so bad that I’m glad I was fired now.)
9. And power cuts…
I wasn’t expecting Taghazout to have such bad power and internet. In one month, I experienced two power cuts – which meant all wifi went down.
No wifi = no work = no money. And when you’re meant to be on a call, and you can’t even tell your colleagues & clients why you’re not there, it’s a lil annoying.
10. Sometimes, you gotta be boring.
Most people I meet are on a short holiday, so they jam pack everything in. Day trips, surfing, drinking every night.
If I want to surf, I’ll wake up super early – so I can do enough work before hitting the waves.
And they wonder why I’m ‘being boring’ when I scuttle off to bed.
11. You might get harassed.
I know I’m too friendly. I give out my Facebook name or number way too often. When people ask, I don’t want to sound rude.
But then the floods of messages come in, asking to go for tea, dinner, clubbing etc…
I always say no but it can get a bit annoying. I wanna make friends, I don’t want boyfriends.
12. There’s no British tea.
There may be tea where you go – but in Taghazout, there’s no English tea.
Don’t get me wrong- Moroccan mint tea is nice, but I MISS TEA.
Despite all the above, I LOVE my new lifestyle.
No more commuting on the hectic AF tube – being shoved in between smelly armpits, with delayed trains from winter coats getting stuck in the doors.
Instead, I can work from cafes on the beach. It’s always warm. And I have the time to learn new skills- like salsa, Spanish and surfing.
A few things you can do to prepare…
- Check out Nomad List to find the best places for digital nomads. This will help you find places with a good community of likeminded people, as well as best spots for internet.
- Buy a local sim card, so you can hotspot your laptop – in case the wifi does go down.
- And most importantly – just go with the flow. Some days will be good, some days will be bad. But this happens to everyone – whether they’re travelling or just at home.
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