The media likes to hype the idea of becoming a digital nomad. It’s a glamorous way to live your life, traveling the world, funding it all from your laptop. But the day to day reality of a genuine nomad is probably very different from how you imagine. It’s not just one long vacation but rather a lot of hard work and a hefty dollop of insecurity to boot.
What is a digital nomad, exactly? Good question. There are no formal definitions as you might imagine, but the basic idea is a consultant, freelancer or remote employee who can do their work using just a laptop and digital connection and doesn’t have to travel into an office every day. It’s for a special kind of person with both highly developed marketable skills and the ability to work solo, without the motiving influence of a manager.
In this article, we’re going to answer the question: should you become a digital nomad?
Yes, If You’re Prepared To Deal With Admin Nightmares
Being a digital nomad, floating from one country to another might seem like the dream, but the practicalities of it are anything but. Opening new bank accounts in every country you enter and transferring funds is a significant hassle, as it having to explain to immigration authorities the nature of your trip. Just traveling around working for the heck of it isn’t something that many people do. You can make things like organizing your mail easier with digital mail and address services, but in general, you’ll have a battle on your hands.
Yes, If You’re Prepared To Accept That You Won’t Be Super RichDigital nomads tend to be highly skilled people who earn more than the average person: that’s just a fact. But these people are hardly what you’d call rich. Perhaps their income is 50 to 100 percent above the average, but we’re rarely talking six-figures, and never more than a million per year. The way to get to that sort of level is to hold a senior position in a world-renowned firm or start your own business, employing dozens of people. It’s not the life of a digital nomad.
Yes, If You’re Prepared To Work Hard
It might seem like digital nomads do nothing but spend their time floating from country sightseeing and enjoying themselves, but the reality is very different. Clients can be exceptionally demanding, and so the hours are often long and the work challenging. Digital nomads have to create value every time they approach a project; they can’t rely on the competence of their team like a regular employee.
Yes, Even If You Have Responsibilities
Okay, so you might want to become a digital nomad, but what if you have a family or a mortgage to pay? Can you really do it? The answer is yes, so long as you’re prepared to take the risk. It’s tough getting into the digital nomad lifestyle if you think you’re tied up by responsibilities. But if you’re smart, you can make it happen.
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