As a digital nomad, I’ve experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I love having the freedom to travel wherever I want so long as I have decent internet. But there have been times where I’ve been very close to throwing in the towel. Set yourself up for success by knowing what will cause you to quit digital nomad life before you hop into the wild world of digital nomad life. Let’s dive in!
Why is Digital Nomad Life Difficult?
Embarking on a digital nomad lifestyle may seem like a dream, but the reality is that it comes with its fair share of difficulties. From managing work-life balance to navigating unfamiliar territories, digital nomads face unique challenges that demand adaptability and resilience. Don’t get me wrong, it can be pretty dreamy, but it also comes with a lot of insecurity and unpredictability. It can be equally thrilling as it is terrifying to not know where you will live next and for how long. Ultimately, there is a lot you will need to consider ahead of time to make sure digital nomad life fits with your personality and your goals.
Why You May Fail at Digital Nomad Life
Digital nomad burn out is bound to happen eventually. The best way to avoid burn out and feeling like you need to quit digital nomad life is by being prepared for potential challenges that you’ll encounter on your journey. Let’s take a closer look at why you may fail at digital nomad life.
You Move to New Spots Too Fast
One of the perks of being a digital nomad is the ability to travel frequently. However, constantly hopping from one location to another can lead to burnout and hinder your productivity. Rapid changes in environment may disrupt your routine and make it difficult to establish a work-life balance. Strive to find a balance between exploration and stability, allowing yourself to immerse in the local culture while maintaining a productive work routine.
When I first started traveling, I would go to a new destination every week, which eventually got exhausting. Now I usually spend at minimum one month in a destination to maintain my routine and get the full local experience.
You Make it Rain a Bit Too Much
Financial management is crucial for sustaining a digital nomad lifestyle. While it's tempting to splurge on experiences, overspending can quickly deplete your funds. When you’re not in your home country, it can be tempting to buy things you wouldn’t typically back home. For me, I always eat out too much when traveling. If I was living in the States, I would cook every meal at home, only treating myself once or twice a week.
Establish a realistic budget, track your expenses, and prioritize long-term financial stability. Being financially savvy is key to avoiding the financial pitfalls that could cut your digital nomad journey short.
✈️ Pro Tip: New to traveling? I crunched the numbers to make it easier to Budget For a Backpacking Trip.
You Set Unrealistic Expectations
Expectations play a significant role in determining the success of your digital nomad experience. Setting unrealistic goals or romanticizing the lifestyle can lead to disappointment. Acknowledge that challenges will arise, and not every day will be a picture-perfect adventure.
You Don’t Balance Work and Play
Achieving a harmonious balance between work and play is crucial for digital nomads. Neglecting work responsibilities for the allure of exploration, or vice versa, can lead to professional setbacks or burnout. While I’m lucky that I can set my own hours in my career, if I’m not careful I can easily put of working for days. This of course, is not ideal for my budget which pays for my travels.
You Lose Connections With Loved Ones Back Home
The nomadic lifestyle can strain relationships with friends and family back home. Constantly being on the move may result in feelings of isolation and detachment. Regular communication is essential to maintaining strong connections. I have a set weekly time to call my family that never changes no matter what country I’m in. And though I text or send stupid Instagram reels to my friends every day, I also am proactive in scheduling at least a monthly Facetime call to maintain out connection.
✈️ Pro Tip: Get more bang for your buck by traveling to one of these Cheapest Places To Live As A Digital Nomad.
You Don’t Take Time to Rest
The hustle culture prevalent among digital nomads may discourage rest, but it's a vital component of long-term success. Overworking can lead to burnout, impacting both your physical and mental well-being. I’ve also found myself feeling guilty if I take a day to just lay around and watch Netflix or read. After all, I’m in a new country I should explore it? But everyone needs a rest day no matter where they are. If you don’t give yourself time to rest, you will get burnt out quickly.
You Aren’t Willing to Adapt
Flexibility is a cornerstone of the digital nomad lifestyle. Resisting change or being unwilling to adapt to new environments and work dynamics can impede your success. Embrace uncertainty, cultivate a mindset of adaptability, and view challenges as opportunities for growth. It can be a challenge to live in a place with different habits, languages, and norms to you. Being able to embrace these differences quickly and go with the flow will make living in new places easier for you.
Is Being a Digital Nomad Stressful?
The digital nomad lifestyle, while rewarding, is not without its stressors. However, by proactively addressing the challenges that come with the lifestyle, you can mitigate stress and set yourself up for a fulfilling and sustainable journey as a digital nomad. Remember, the key to thriving as a digital nomad is not merely in the destination but in the journey itself. Bon voyage!
Where would you travel to first as a digital nomad? Drop a comment and let me know!