So You Think You Want To Be a Digital Nomad?
They’re one of those people that everyone has at least heard of if they don’t know one personally. The digital nomad. That fortunate soul who wanders the globe in a series of perpetual adventures. And making a great living while doing so. Who wouldn’t want to join their ranks?
It’s easier than you may think. Especially if you choose a hybrid approach where you get to travel a lot but still have firm roots in one place, like Ms Career Girl. But as with so many things which we only see from the outside, there’s a downside to consider before you make the leap. Here are the hidden costs of the digital nomad lifestyle, and then some expert tips if you’re still feeling that urge to hit the road.
Lost Connections: No, that’s not a missed flight. It’s the loss of the close social interaction with friends and family. Sure, you’ll likely meet new friends on the road, but it won’t ever be the same. It’ll require a pretty big adjustment to a totally new way of feeding the human need to be part of a family or other social group.
Fantasy vs. Reality: You’ve seen the images that get shared and re-shared on social media. There they are, all wonderfully tan and smiling, sitting on a beach or in some quaint pub with their laptop. Nice photo op. Reality is that as often as not they’re either in the corner of a hostel or coffee shop a good piece of the day, giving their all to hustling enough money to get to the next destination.
Stuff Be Gone: If you think you can adopt the minimalist lifestyle, great, you’re that much closer to being a digital nomad. But for most of us, letting go of your stuff and learning to live with nothing more than you can put in a backpack or suitcase is a challenge. Think essentials. Bare essentials. No, barest of essentials.
Those are just the beginning. Still think it’s your cup of tea? Here’s some tips garnered from Natalie Sisson’s new book, “The Suitcase Entrepreneur.” If you’re really serious about this, I’d highly recommend you give it a read. While it’s a bit light in depth here and there (it would take a multi-volume set to provide a complete education), it’ll give you a ton of ideas to consider and some suggestions and insights that will help you make the leap – – or decide the comforts of home are just fine.
The Suitcase Entrepreneur’s Tips
Natalie Sisson’s book is like an intense coaching and reality check session. It’s about creating a life that most fear to venture into. What’s it take to do it? Here’s some of what she says are the key qualities and characteristics you’ll need to be successful.
- A vision for yourself and life that you will fight for
- Determination, persistence, and the ability to hustle
- The ability to spend time along and enjoy your own company
- An independent nature and the strength of character to deal with daily challenges
- Decision-making and planning capabilities you can continue to build on, and discipline you can act on
As with any major life decision, it’s important to look at both the upside and downside. As always, if you’re willing to pay the prices, the rewards can be great.