Destinations Magazine

The Secret Truth About the Life of a Digital Nomad

By Twothirstytravellers @2thirstytrav

Working from a mountaintop, beachside bar or rickety train winding through the forest might sound too good to be true, but it’s not.  For those of you with itchy feet and a story to tell – and sell, for those of you with a hungry passport and weariness for the rat race, grabbing your backpack and heading the road less traveled might be the life for you.  But the life of a digital nomad isn’t all glorious sunrises and unforgettable views.

But what’s a digital nomad, I hear the uninitiated asking?  A location independent person who can work anywhere with an internet connection and can cover freelance travel writers and lifestyle bloggers.

And here are some secret truths for the location independent which you need to know.

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WiFi is vital…

However, it is not always easy to find and finding it can become your obsession, framing your travel plans, movements, days and nights.  How to solve this curly conundrum?  Have a plan – find out where has reliable wifi and knuckle down on days you’re there, burn the midnight oil, get your work in.  And then move on to the next location, taking the time to enjoy those non-connected sights and delights.  After all, you’ve chosen a lifestyle, not a ball and chain.

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Surviving doesn’t mean thriving…

This means you’ll need a certain acceptance about what you can and can’t achieve, and what you can and can’t earn.  You’re working, you’re maintaining your business and your “brand me”, but you won’t be growing your business as you might otherwise because, quite simply, you don’t have the same time as a location dependent person, you don’t have the administrative set-up nor the physical tools.  What do do?  Accept your limitations, do what you can, do it brilliantly, and move on.

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Fear of missing out…

You chose to travel the world and discover new sights, other cultures and places all the time. But, what about the people and things you love that leave behind? Living the life of a digital nomad means dealing with an amount of regret and nostalgia. Luckily nowadays the internet helps us catch up with certain aspects: chatting with friends, reading the news, ordering local produce and even playing the favorite lotteries. As an American, you may enjoy discovering Europe or the remote countries of the East, but there is no equal to US Powerball.

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You won’t meet “real people”…

This might sound rather odd as you’re traveling and meeting people all the time… but if we return to the first point about your wifi requirement (which necessarily means sticking as much as possible to cities or larger towns, you’re not exactly out in the pampas living the life of the locals.  Solution?  As with point one, see the sights less seen and travel that road less travelled, and then hot foot it to a larger town, harness the power of their internet connectivity and write, write, write.

The life of the digital nomad is a life of acceptance, balance, juggling, prioritising and adventure.  Once you accept that it’s not all roses and sunny days, you’ll be better prepared for the adventure of a lifetime, an adventure I highly enjoy and recommend.  Just don’t forget your charger cables!


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