Pros & Cons Of Digital Nomading – The Comprehensive List

Pro's And Cons For Digital Nomads 2022

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Today we’ll be going over the comprehensive list of pros and cons to being a digital Nomad. This is based on my experience over the years, and I also scoured the internet for additional ideas from other articles.

I saw that there were themes in both the pros and cons so I’ll go through each “theme” and how it can be positive, but also how it can be negative.

Pro’s Of Being A Digital Nomad

  1. Quality Of Life
    1. Exploration – you get to explore new stuff all the time! Your brain literally gets habituated to your surroundings when you’re at home, you may drive by a beautiful park or see an amazing sunset, but if you’ve seen those settings 100 times then you’re unlikely to pay much attention to it.
      1. This phenomenon is actually works when you go back home as well, you have a much greater appreciation of home after you’ve been gone for a bit. I live 6 – 8 months of the year in Denver and I know I enjoy Denver when I get breaks from it.
    • Adventure – This plays largely into the exploration piece, but can’t be underestimated that adventurous kid in us absolutely loves seeing and experiencing new things.
    • Simplicity – There is a calming effect of living your life out of 1 or 2 backpacks. Call it mindfulness or whatever you want to call it, but it’s a palpable feeling of being at ease not having so many physical things to worry about.
    • Flexibility in schedule – You can pick you want to work, which is WAY better than driving to some office and sitting there all day until you’ve worked long enough to deserve the chance to go back home, fuck that….
    • Freedom of expression – As anyone who has been following me knows a big part of why I started my journey was because at my last job I was told if I wore a specific Hawaiian shirt again I would likely be fired. Now (outside of some client meetings) I wear whatever the hell I want!
  2. Quality Of Traveling
    • You can travel longer – no need for explanation here
  3. Friends, Family & Connections
    • It’s easier to make friends with other travelers, both of you have your guards down again in a foreign country, you both will at least have something interesting to talk about in your interest in the country you’re in. You can meet people from all over the world this way, and the connections you make can be super intense super quick.
    • Spending more time in the country means it’s also easier to make friends with the people who live there as well
  4. Money / Finances
    • You can make more $ – in many cases as a freelancer, entrepreneur or even full time employee you can make more money working remote than you would in an office!
    • You’re money can go further – if you pick the right countries you’re money can go WAY further
    • Less Materialism – most nomads are forced to live a somewhat spartan lifestyle. If being less materialistic is a goal of yours it’s usually a necessity as a digital nomad.
  5. No Office / Boring Routine
    • Less Office Politics – less bullshit to put up with in the office
    • No Commute! – No explanation needed for this one
  6. Learning & Growth
    • Growing as an individual – You’re not tied to the character you’ve tried to convey to everyone back home. When you meet people they aren’t expecting you to act or say the things you always act and say, so it’s easier to work on parts of your personality you’re not as happy about.
    • You’ll also be forced to take on your personal biases, which makes you more understanding of others at home (or at least it should, I’m still not very good with this haha)
    • Learning foreign languages – As someone who has stumbled through a number of foreign languages it’s easier to learn the language when you’re living in a country that speaks it.
    • Self discipline – I have had to learn a lot of self discipline creating my own schedule and not having anyone breathing over my neck.
    • Self reliance – You inevitably get better at problem solving, the issues you would take to someone else to help out with you’ll largely end up tackling yourself.
    • Introspection from being alone – I’ve become way more introspective working remote, I’m definitely still chalked full of all kinds of problems, but I feel like I’ve become more aware of them with all the time spent alone.

Con’s Of Being A Digital Nomad

  1. Quality Of Life
    • It can be hard to separate work from home or your vacation
      • There is one day in particular where I remember working a 16 hour day in a hotel in Mexico. Not everyone’s idea of a fun trip…
    • People not understanding you – If you’re a majority in the country you grew up in it can be difficult feeling different than everyone else and that no one understands you. I spent a year in Vietnam and after a while I realized that it didn’t matter how good my Vietnamese got, how few western people I hung out with, I was always never going to be Vietnamese and I would always be treated differently, that can be a tough pill to swallow.
    • Everything is a little bit harder in a foreign country – ATM’s not working, dealing with language barriers, paying rent. A lot of things that aren’t super difficult in your home country can become a nightmare somewhere abroad.
    • Lots of uncomfortability – This builds on my point above, you’re going to be uncomfortable a lot and that can take a toll.
    • Routines – It’s hard to get into routines, and as much as that keeps things exciting it can feel a bit like your scatter brained and all over the place, especially when you’re trying to fit work into the picture.
  2. Quality Of Traveling
    • You’re tied to WIFI! You can’t totally go off the grid for too long, or those electronic payments you’re getting are going to disappear 😂 .
    • You still gotta work man!
      • If you’re traveling with people who aren’t working remote they might get pissed / not understand
  3. Friends, Family & Connections
    • Isolation / loneliness can certainly become an issue if you’re on the road often
    • You’re not going to be as close to your family & friends back home
    • You may miss big milestones in your friends and family’s life, milestones that will never happen again.
    • Dating and relationships are going to be easier if you stay in one place, traveling around can make it tougher, not impossible but certainly more difficult.
  4. Money
    • Unpredictable income – while this isn’t true in all cases, when you’re freelancing / working for yourself your income can be much more variable than it would be in an office 9 – 5.
  5. No Office / Boring Routine
    • I always tell people if there’s one thing I miss from working in an office, it’s Christmas Parties. Really what I mean by that is having a community of people that you’re tied to, that you do fun things with. A group that is outside of longtime friends, and that you can vent about work with. For a while I worked at a startup in downtown Denver, and we’d regularly go out to the bars that were a block or two away in the afternoons and hangout and talk, and I look back on that fondly.
      • However, with co-working spaces you can re-create this. I just realized a guide to picking a co-working space would be a great content idea. So follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok to get notified when I finish that piece!
  6. Learning / Growing
    • While getting married, having kinds and buying a house can absolutely still be done, it is going to be much more difficult pulling these things off if you’re on the road regularly.

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