Digital Nomads: Untold Differences Between Expectations And Reality

Charlotte Miller

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Being a digital nomad is something many consider. Learning that some expectations of this life can be different from reality can help decide if it is a lifestyle you should pursue.

If you are tired of your job or are unsafe that your company may let you go at any moment, maybe you’re the ones already thinking about changing your career and becoming a digital nomad.

Becoming a digital nomad is a popular topic of conversation, and it is an exciting thought to work and travel all over the world. However, many don’t realize that being a digital nomad is different from what they expected. Here are a few expectations about this lifestyle versus what the actual reality is.

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Expectation #1: I am Going to Live a Rich Lifestyle as a Digital Nomad

Many who look into becoming a digital nomad think it is a luxury lifestyle. In their minds, they see themselves in expensive hotels and eating out each night. A lot of potential digital nomads expect they could spend a lot of money traveling from destination to destination. First-class air travel is often an expectation.

Most people living this lifestyle live well, but they are doing it in a budget-minded manner. Most take advantage of public transportation and don’t have a lot in terms of personal belongings. They look for things like off-season travel discounts and affordable apartments. While it is possible to travel in luxury, most nomads are living a very inexpensive life.

Expectation #2: It is Difficult to Find Places to Live

When thinking about where you would live as a digital nomad, many believe it is hard to find accommodations. Picking up and moving every so often can be overwhelming, and people think it would be very stressful to have to keep repeating this process.

The reality of moving in this way of life is much different, and each person’s experience moving around as a digital nomad is different. 

You will need to find short-term living situations, but it is not as complicated as you think. Renting an Air BandB is simple and an option in many countries. Nomads can also look into options like shared living arrangements with others who do the same type of work. It does not have to be difficult at all to move from location to location.

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Expectation #3: My Workday Will be Short

Having a short workday is an expectation of many considering this way of life. People think they can get away with working just a couple of hours a day and spending the rest of the time enjoying themselves.

Reality is very different here. Digital nomads can end up working crazy hours. Long workweeks maintaining clients are typical, and it can sometimes feel like a 24/7 job. Although you are not fireable, you can lose your client if you don’t deliver on time.

There are very few digital nomads who work a short work week, which is only after putting a great deal of work into getting themselves to that point.

Expectation #4: You Have to Have a Technical Job

A considerable expectation many have about becoming a digital nomad is that they need a technical job, and they think that remote work done on laptops needs to be technical. Potential nomads think professions like programming or web design are the only suitable choices for this type of work.

Technical jobs can work here, but that is just the beginning. Digital nomads can be bloggers, virtual assistants as well as teachers. It will take some research to find a viable option that would work in your situation, but you are by no means limited.

Expectation #5: This is a Life Only for Younger People

Countless people believe that being a digital nomad is only for younger people. People think that ideally, you need to be in your 20s getting into this line of work.

Social media encourages this expectation with pictures of tanned people in their 20s traveling to different countries while making money online.

This expectation is far from reality. If you can make money to support yourself online and can move from country to country, it is more than possible for you to work as a digital nomad.

Being an older individual can be helpful because you will have experience and a reputation that can assist you in generating and maintaining work.

In Conclusion

Working as a digital nomad is a dream for many, but having the wrong expectations can make things difficult. If you are interested in this life, education and research cannot be recommended enough. Learning the reality of living the life of a digital nomad will help you decide if it is the right choice for you.