5 Real-Life Lessons About Being a Digital Nomad

5 Real-Life Lessons About Being a Digital Nomad

So you think you’re cut out for the life of the digital nomad, do you? Well, maybe you are. It can be a very rewarding lifestyle and one that allows you to get your work-life balance just right (in a way that a 9-5 office job never could). But if this is a path upon which you do wish to set yourself, you need to prepare yourself and make sure that it’s definitely the life for you. Here are five real-life lessons you’ll learn while working as a digital nomad.


1. You’ll find out how important human interaction is to you

If you live (or are traveling) alone and you’re working remotely, you might end up going the whole day without interacting with anybody else. Do you think you could do that? Even if you don’t become best friends with your co-workers in an office, you’ll probably share a few friendly social interactions with them throughout the day and that will make a lot of difference.

This is a lesson you’ll learn about yourself and I can’t tell you what you’ll discover. Either you can do it, or you can’t. Either way, things like Skype will help you stay connected with your friends, as conversations on there will give you some form of connection to co-workers/clients at all times. 

Craving human company? Take time to explore the local area and make friends with friendly locals. Even just casual small talk can help you beat the nomad blues.


2. It’s still work

There’s a strange misconception about remote work. People seem to think that it’s just lazing around on the sofa, doing nothing at a coffee shop or just traveling around and checking in online every now and then. This is absolutely wrong. If you become a digital nomad, you’ll have to work just as hard as everybody else. In fact, there are probably some remote workers who work harder than some regular office based workers – it’s all down to the individual. Even if you love what you do — you will still have to motivate yourself in order to stay productive.


3. You’ll need a backup income

Most remote workers are going to be working in a freelance capacity (unless they’re part of a small percentage of lucky contracted remote employees.) As a freelancer, you’ll have a much lower level of job security and if things go really badly for the business you’re working for, you could find yourself without work at the drop of a hat. As such, you always need to keep looking for new ways to make money online — and it’s good to go for stuff that allows for a high level of independence like ecommerce, affiliate marketing, or blogging. Something like an easy dropshipping store could be a steady source of income alongside other bits of work you pick up. 

Self-sufficiency is good, as it allows you to create a fresh supply of income, without the need to find clients. This is one lesson you don’t want to have to learn the hard way — a dried-up money well could spell the end of your noman lifestyle.


4. Self-management is key

If you don’t have any self-management skills, you will not be able to succeed as a digital nomad. How easy do you find it to work without someone breathing over you? Not so sure? You absolutely need to learn how to self-manage.

Here are a few things you might like to try doing to make sure you’re working efficiently:

  • Work within set hours, like you would in an office, and don’t be tempted to slack on workspace cleanliness and personal hygiene (pajamas are NOT workwear)
  • Set targets for the day, then make yourself work longer if you don’t reach them
  • Think of ways to reward yourself for an especially hard day’s work
  • Keep track of all your work as you go, rather than having to traipse through old correspondence when it’s time to put together your invoices

Honestly, self-management is a core entrepreneurial skillset. This is definitely one of the most important lessons to learn before getting into remote work.


5. You need backup workplaces

If you work from home every day, what would happen if the internet was down at your house for a few days? Or if the coffee place you do your work at went out of business? You need to be sure that you can work comfortably in a handful of different locations. This is especially true if you’re traveling while working – whenever you arrive in a new location, you need to quickly establish where will be a good workplace, and where will be a good backup workplace if things change.

There’s a small percentage who possess the fantastic ability to work anywhere and at any time – well done if you’re one of them. You were made for the digital nomad life. The rest of us might need a little bit more help from time to time... Make sure you have a good spread of choices and options, and don’t neglect the importance of proper desk support and comfort too.

If you’re sure that you’ve properly considered each of these points, then you may well be ready for the digital nomad life. Because as much hard work as there is involved in it, it’s not ALL hard work. Being a nomad gives you a great degree of freedom, which you can use to travel the world and meet new people. You can find cheap accommodation somewhere, continue to work from your new location, and fund trips indefinitely... (or until you decide it’s time to go home).


By Patrick Foster


Related Pages

Related Opportunities

BRAZIL: Learn capoeira in Rio de Janeiro - THE CAPOEIRA MECCA

BECOME A CAPOEIRA MASTER - You’ll be taught the art of Capoeira for 6 hrs / week, split into 3 lessons held in the late afternoons. 

ARGENTINA: Professional Photography Placement in Buenos Aires: For All Levels

Study photography in delightful BUENOS AIRES with an experienced tutor who will tailor the lessons to your needs. Including practical work and analysis of your work.

Burma Sailing Adventure (ex Phuket)

Departing from Phuket, discover Burma on a sailing adventure and dive into an aquatic playground that is truly one of the world’s best-kept secrets. 

Rio de Janeiro Women's Empowerment

Embrace Brazil and its irresistible culture in the beach-side city of Rio de Janeiro, where you will be supporting local women through teaching new trades and learning new skills yourself.

Australian Arrival Week: Melbourne

Created by travellers for travellers, Welcome to Travel: Melbourne is Australia's most unique, diverse and most of all FUN arrival package. 

The Big Tika (Auckland to Christchurch)

Get ready for stunning natural surroundings, chilled out Kiwi culture & an adrenaline rush! In Paihia, try 'sand duning' & blackwater rafting in Waitomo’s caves.

Greece Dolphin Conservation

Explore stunning Greek islands whilst making a valuable and significant contribution to the conservation of endangered dolphin species

SRI LANKA: Help with Elephant Conservation Efforts in Asia

Care for elephants & wildlife in Wasgamuwa National Park! Go back to basics in stunning rural Sri Lanka and play a part in protecting the county's giants & get involved in the local community.

Best of USA (Start New York City)

You will visit: New York, Nevada & California, including New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco & Los Angeles.

Hawaii Highlights

7 Days, Honolulu to Maui - Step into a tropical paradise in Hawaii.

TEFL Courses in Los Angeles, USA

Get qualified to teach English abroad by joining a foundation 20 hour or professional 140 classroom TEFL course in LA.


Work with a 3 Star hotel that caters for business people and tourists. Have opportunities to work in various departments.

Madagascar Childcare Community Development Project

Madagascar’s remote communities are home to thousands of underprivileged children, who suffer from poverty, neglect and poor health. Children's opportunities to progress in life are often thwarted by their lack of motivation to continue in education.

Paid Thailand TEFL Internship

Live and teach in vibrant Thailand for 5 exhilarating months.

SOUTH AFRICA: Graphic Design, Advertising, Publishing & Web Development!

Learn about the business of Graphic Design in a friendly South African firm based on the edge of a Lagoon in one of South Africa’s most beautiful tourist locations.

Best of USA (Start Los Angeles)

The name says it all. With 4 hot USA cities wrapped into 1 tour, these are 2 weeks you don’t want to miss out on! Start in the 'City of Angels' & hit the streets to see the Walk of Fame and the stars' homes in Hollywood Hills.





About  |  Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Company A-Z  |  Advertise  |  Press  |  Contact

One World 365 © 2007 - 2017