Last Updated on December 13, 2022
If you are one of those people that dread Mondays and live for the weekends, then the life of a nomad may be your calling. Leaving your home, mortgage, car payments, and office drama behind, you can hit the road in your RV and work remotely. Working as you travel to all your favorite destinations, working online, and earning money as you go is what many people desire.
Thousands of people have chosen the life of a digital nomad and as they travel the globe, they experience all the world has to offer. I’ve been a nomad for about 4 years. RVing when in the U.S., spending my summers in Europe with family, traveling to Asia and South America for weeks and months at a time… it brings you a new experience every day. And this is all free of the typical 9-5 requirements of regular work. No need to worry about vacation time accrued, if you took a long lunch break, or if you need a day off. The digital nomad controls their own schedule and works when they need it.
A digital nomad works online with a job that allows them to work from any location. It seems pretty ideal and for the most part, it is, but as with any option in life there are pros and cons. The life of a digital nomad also has struggles that you should be aware of before you decide to leap in and hit the road.
Relationships are temporary: Being on the road all the time makes it difficult to form lasting relationships and you say goodbye a lot. It can be hard to date unless you plan on settling down in one spot for a few months, and then eventually you may have to say goodbye in the end. Since I met fellow RVers, I do travel with them sometimes for weeks and months at a time. We still keep in touch and meet up again in the future. When I travel internationally, many of my relationships are short and temporary depending on how long I stay in one place.
Starting over: It can get lonely to meet people for a few days at a time. Traveling can make you more social but after a while, many travelers admit that it can get lonely. One way to avoid this is to slow down your travels and spend a longer time in places to develop stronger relationships. You still have to say goodbye, but the bond is created and can last even as you go back on the road. Another way is to RV across the U.S. and make lasting friendships with fellow RVers who you can travel with for longer periods.
Business keeps changing: The internet constantly changes and needs to be monitored. One new update can create major changes to a website and online processes. If you have numerous projects going at once, one change can set you back as you set up searches and lose contact lists. My friends and I usually stay at locations with good internet connections since this is very important to us.
Being a digital nomad does not require a certain set of skills as is commonly believed. You do not need to be a tech genius or expert in a particular field. Being successful simply requires discovering a niche and this earns you money online. You need creativity, a desire to learn, and a little ambition to be a digital nomad, which means anyone can do it if they set their minds to it.
Another common misconception about digital nomads is that it is all play and no work. This is not the case. The internet and online business are very competitive so many digital nomads work 40 hours per week. The bonus is that you get to pick your own projects and you don’t have to report to anyone at the end of the day.
Others outside the nomad life think digital nomads are lucky, but there is no luck about it. Being a digital nomad requires effort, ambition, planning, and dedication. Many have given up after the first sign of trouble or when money is not coming in as quickly as they want. There is no such thing as an overnight success story when you are a digital nomad. In the long run, your hard work will pay off and it will have nothing to do with being lucky.
Relying on online work can leave you at the mercy of the networks. All your work and income are dependent on the information stored on electronic devices. What if they fail? As a digital nomad, you need to have multiple hard drives to back up your work as well as thumb drives. Backing up information to two separate cloud services is also recommended to protect your work and income.
Working online also involves strategic planning, especially if you are working with others in a different time zone. The logistics of communications become important when dealing with international businesses. You may also need to be available at unusual hours which can impact your sleep and exploration. You also have to be prepared for clients that cancel the meeting and reschedule at the last minute. The most common way that digital nomads deal with this is by working out of a hub.
Being a digital nomad has its perks and can be a very rewarding lifestyle. It also comes with challenges that you need to be prepared for. A nomadic lifestyle can be uncertain but exciting, and rarely lonely, yet fantastic. There really is no other adventure like it, but you need to be driven and dedicated to the challenges ahead, in order to reap the full benefits of being a digital nomad.