You want to live a life of freedom. You look forward to traveling the world and earning a living from your laptop. You want to enjoy your newfound freedom and the ability to set your own hours without a boss looking over your shoulder. Before you quit your job and say goodbye to the 9-to-5 rat race, you should probably know that the digital nomad lifestyle isn’t all it is cracked up to be.
While the freedom might at first be intoxicating, it soon wears off when you realize just what you have gotten yourself into. If you are contemplating becoming a digital entrepreneur who has the freedom to work from anywhere, there are a number of lessons you need to learn first. Review these five hard truths for digital nomads; they just might become your reality before too long.
- Finding clients when you’re on the road stinks. You’ll be competing with thousands of other digital nomads all surfing the same remote work/freelancing job boards. Before you set out to live the life of your dreams traveling to foreign lands, you had better have a healthy list of reliable clients you can turn to for ongoing work.
- Balancing your personal and work life is going to be difficult. You’ll either spend so much time enjoying traveling that you won’t focus on working or you’ll only focus on work and not take time to enjoy the beautiful scenery that surrounds you. Have a plan for a work/life balance before you toss your passport in your suitcase.
- The digital nomad lifestyle can be incredibly lonely. You won’t be around all your friends from back home. Even if you work out of a co-working space or coffee shop, the hustle and bustle around you will just remind you of the friends you left back home. Those lonely days and nights spent in front of laptop screen can really get to you after a while. Know exactly how you will confront loneliness or your travel time is going to be unbearable.
- Scheduling your work duties can be incredibly tough when you live your life on the road. Some clients will be in the same time zone as you while others will be hours ahead or behind you. Planning your work output can be difficult, especially when you have to communicate your progress to-date via virtual communication interfaces like Skype. Understand that scheduling inconsistencies are going to be part of your life as a digital nomad and do your best to set a firm work schedule so that you have time to enjoy your off hours.
- Securing living accommodations is another troublesome part of being a digital nomad. Rental rates can fluctuate significantly depending upon the time of the year and local events. You’re going to need to become a master negotiator if you want to secure cheap accommodations deals at off-season rates regardless of the time of year.
These are just five of many hard truths you will need to learn if you want to truly enjoy life as a digital nomad. While it comes with plenty of perks, it is not without drawbacks too. Develop a plan of action before quitting your job to become a traveling digital entrepreneur; your plan just might save your sanity while you’re traversing the globe.