Eight Myths About Digital Nomads (…and facts)
People often mistakenly perceive digital nomadism as a never-ending vacation. Although the Google images and Instagram posts may suggest so, as a digital nomad myself, I can assure you that is not the case; not even remotely.
Digital nomads are not on a constant vacation or living the dream life. Although digital nomadism offers you a new set of freedoms, that particular lifestyle comes with its own challenges, as well.
There are many myths, most of which either magnify digital nomadism or slam it to the ground without being actually familiar with its facts.
Let’s correct these flubdubs one by one.
Myths About Digital Nomads
1. It Is a Never-Ending Holiday
The most common myth about digital nomads is that they are on an overlong vacation; spending every day relaxing, enjoying the beach, and sipping on cocktails.
Hearing this is probably nerve-racking for most digital nomads because remote work is as much work as going to an office every day. Most digital nomads work around 30-40 hours per week, meaning digital nomadism is just another full-time job. Moreover, working without strict shifts brings about another challenge: managing your time and avoiding overworking. Wherever a digital nomad is in the world, regardless of the spot’s proximity to the beach or other attractions, work always comes first.
However, this doesn’t mean that digital nomadism is all about mundane work tasks and not about having a great time. It feels great to know that you can have a good swim, a delicious cocktail, or a stroll in the city to explore new places as soon as you finish your tasks.
2. Digital Nomads Are Free From All Worries
All sorts of work and lifestyles come with their own sets of worries. No one in the world is free from all worries.
Just as people who settle someplace and regularly go to work do, digital nomads have needs, too. They still need to pay for accommodation, food, etc. Even if they do not have to worry much about bills or council taxes, they need to be in constant research about taxes and long-term travel insurance. Being self-employed comes with many responsibilities: you have to steadily educate yourself on various subjects and work up your awareness in general.
These challenges, however, help you improve your skills and gain new ones. This is a considerable plus side of being your own boss. You get to achieve rapid personal growth in many areas.
3. Digital Nomad Life Is Lonely
People often think that the life of a digital nomad can get lonely because they move around a lot. They believe that traveling restricts you from establishing real and permanent friendships, having stable relationships, or starting a family and having children. Needless to say that none of this is true.
First and foremost, the world is now much smaller than it used to be. It is a lot easier to keep in touch with people now. Furthermore, digital nomad networks allow you to come across people that have the same objectives, world views, problems, and passions as you have. Entering those circles, you get the chance to befriend people with whom you can share a lot and such intense friendships can last a lifetime.
As for starting a family: forget all the nonsense you’ve heard about how it is impossible to travel around with kids. You don’t have to settle down just because you want to have a family. Traveling with kids may in fact be beneficial for the children for they can get to know many cultures, places, lifestyles, and people. Furthermore, many places in the world provide great child care and education and you are always free to choose from among them when you are a nomad family.
4. Digital Nomad Life Is Very Hard/Easy Peasy
Some say the life of a digital nomad is thorny, while others say it’s a piece of cake. The ones who advocate the first view claim that this certain type of lifestyle that involves a lot of moving around, not settling down, and working remotely only via the tiny screen of a laptop is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, it is only as easy and as hard as being your own boss in the comfort of the place you’ve settled down. Digital nomadism has similar challenges and gives the same sense of achievement when you actually do it.
The ones who stick up for the latter, however, think that the digital nomad life is a bed of roses: above all worries, always so chill, away from the everyday burdens of a settled life when, in fact, the nomad life can be as stressful as any other lifestyle.
5. Digital Nomads Can’t Earn a Decent Amount or Build Careers
Here’s yet another false belief about digital nomads: they are either believed to be coming from wealthy families to afford such a lifestyle that involves constant travel or to be living in misery in cheap hostel corners. None of this is correct. Digital nomadism is a constantly growing trend that is open to many possibilities and paves the way to building a solid career and earning a considerably fair amount of money simultaneously.
Naturally, leaving your settled life and stable job and moving on to this sort of life bears risks at first. However, if you’re willing to take those risks and plan ahead, you might as well be much happier and earn even better than before. Therefore, digital nomadism has nothing to do with your family’s wealth but everything with the lifestyle you crave and where in the world you want to be.
6. Digital Nomadism Is Nothing More Than a Phase
It is just natural for someone who has never experienced such a lifestyle to think this way. Nonetheless, that is not the truth. Digital nomadism is not a period of self-discovery that eventually and inevitably ends with settling down, it is a lifestyle that nomads deliberately choose to have.
As I’ve mentioned before, switching to this lifestyle is risky at first but when you take a leap of faith and see that first transitioning part through, you’ll see that it’s hard to give up the perks of the nomadic lifestyle.
There is no reason for a digital nomad to go back to the “conventional lifestyle” after getting used to traveling around. The closest thing to settling down that is common among nomads is starting to move around less often after some point.
7. It’s Always Fun and Games and Exploring
Another common mistake as far as digital nomadism is concerned: people generally view it as entertainment rather than a lifestyle that is centered around work. It is often thought that digital nomads constantly explore something new, every hour of every day and that the life of a nomad is all about excitement and fun. That is, of course, incorrect.
Digital nomadism, as much fun and exciting as it is, is a lifestyle that mostly revolves around work. Even if you’re at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the constant effort to balance your work and leisure hours may wear you down.
8. Digital Nomads Work Very Little
Most of the myths concerning digital nomadism boil down to the same thing: that its primary objective is not to work but to take a never-ending holiday. It’s a common belief that digital nomads work for only a few hours during the week and the rest of the week is all leisure time: they just enjoy wandering free around various bodies of water with fun beverages in their hands, not ever thinking about work.
Once again, that is not the case. As I’ve referred to many times earlier, it requires much more effort to balance work and leisure when you’re in charge of your own time. Most of the time, you have to work even longer hours than you would at an office with set working hours.
The Wrap Up: Dispose of Your False Information on Digital Nomadism Here
Et voilà! As you’ve gathered by now, there is a lot of false rumor going around about digital nomadism. Almost none of it is true! I’ve tried to correct the ones that I come across most often, hoping to give you a general idea about the true nature of digital nomadism.
My intention in doing so is to let you know that being a digital nomad is challenging: it requires taking risks and hard work, and it may be tiresome at times; but it is constantly refreshing, liberating, enlightening, and fun at the same time.
The bottom line is, digital nomadism is definitely worth its troubles!