If you’ve read the Successful Nomads interview that are on the blog, you’ll find what other people like about being a digital nomad. This week, I decided to tell you what I like about it. Because, to be honest, being able to work online and travel the world is the best thing that could happen to me!
Note: These might not apply to everybody, as some people have more constraints that I do. As a self-published author, I don’t have clients or deadlines to deal with.
1. Freedom, freedom, freedom
The main reason Chris and I decided to be nomad was to have the freedom to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. From the start, we both knew we wanted to travel and having an online business gave us the freedom we wanted. No, you might not get a paycheck at the end of the month, but it doesn’t matter when you live on the beaches of Mexico, and you’ve got enough saving to get you through the tough parts.
2. You get to live in cool places
Even if it’s just temporary, saying that you’ve lived in Costa Rica, Mexico, Croatia and Greece is pretty cool. Most people I know haven’t spent more than two weeks in the same city. Chris and I don’t just travel the world; we get to fully experience a new culture.
3. You don’t (or might not) have a boss anymore
In the beginning, I have to admit it was hard to motivate myself. Having a boss again would have been great (or so I thought). That was until I realized I could totally be my own boss. I don’t need anyone looking over my shoulder all the time and telling me if I’m doing things right or wrong. I love being able to make my own mistake and not having to feel guilty if my work isn’t 100% perfect.
4. You can choose when you want your weekend to be
You partied with strangers on a Tuesday night and are hangover the next morning? Just take the day off. The world isn’t going to implode; you can just work on Saturday. When you’re a nomad, days of the week don’t really matter anymore. Working on Saturday or Sunday isn’t a big deal, as long as you take a couple days off during the week. And if you work hard for a full month, who says you can’t get a full week off to explore a new city? You’re the master of your own life!
But make sure this power doesn’t get to your head, as you DO need to work. If you’re never motivated and decided to take a full month off, you won’t be able to make ends meet, and you might have to go back home sooner than you thought.
5. You get the satisfaction of accomplishing something
If you work 9 to 5 for someone else, you don’t get that feeling. Most of the time, you’re just there for the money, not for the personal satisfaction. Now that I’m a nomad, I published a book. How many people wish they could write a novel? I don’t expect my books to be best-sellers in the near future, but at least I’ve got something out there that I’m proud of. If I’m going to spend most of my time doing something, I’d rather do something that matters.
6. The way you see the world changes
You think bananas should only be eaten when they’re greenish? The best ones I’ve had in Costa Rica were full of black spots and didn’t look that delicious from the outside. If you thought that North America had it all figured out and that their way of living is the best one, you’d soon realize you’re wrong. You might learn it from the Ticos in Costa Rica or the Greeks, but you’ll learn it eventually. There’s a lot more to life than buying a big house and a fancy car. Living in a small house by the beach sounds more satisfying to me than living in an empty castle.
7. You learn to relax
When Chris and I first left for Costa Rica, I had a folder filled with itinerary and phone numbers. I had to make sure we’d get there on time, and we wouldn’t miss that bus that took us from San José to Puerto Viejo. Now, whenever I arrived somewhere, I’m a lot more calm. Did we miss the subway? We’ll wait for the next one or take a taxi. We don’t know where the taxis are? We’ll ask someone! I don’t need to know exactly where I’m going all the time, and this makes traveling a lot more interesting!
8. You can wake up whenever you want
Do you know the pleasure of not having to set an alarm clock every day? I do. It’s amazing. Because you decide whenever you want to work, you can always start in the afternoon if that’s what fits you the most. Some people are productive in the morning, other are productive at night. Chris and I are afternoon people, so that’s when we work. The only time we’ll ever put an alarm clock is when we have to catch a plane or a bus to go somewhere. So basically, once a month maybe?
9. Your productivity goes through the roof
In a 9 to 5 job, you’re expected to be in the office for eight hours. Does that mean that you work for all of that time? Probably not. Between checking Facebook and Twitter, you’ll probably take a lot of breaks and end up socializing with your coworkers. When you’re running your own business, putting just four hours of work every day can be enough because so many distractions don’t stop you. I never really work more than six hours, using the Pomodoro technique (work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break). If I’m on Facebook, it’s usually because I have to do marketing or catch up on what’s happening in the blogging world.
10. It changes you
If everything that I mentioned above happens to you, you’ll soon realize that you changed. You’re not the same person that left, a year or ten years ago. Stuff that you used to put up with, you won’t anymore. You’ve probably downsized considerably and don’t see the point in owning a bunch of stuff. Your heart will be broken into little pieces that you left all over the world, in each country you’ve visited. To me, being a digital nomad made me realized what was really important and what wasn’t. It’s something that you can’t learn if you don’t get out of your house and outside your comfort zone.
Being able to see the world and make money while doing it is the most amazing thing in the world. If I’ve made you want to do it, just wait until next week when I can give you a reality check. I’m preparing a ‘Downsides of Being a Digital Nomad’, so you know what to expect! Being a nomad is awesome, but it also has its drawback. See you next week!