You’re scrolling through your favorite digital nomad Instagram hashtags and sigh with envy. Every other photo is a beautiful person enjoying their beautiful selves on a luxurious beach, laptop in one hand and an ice-cold mojito in the other. Their caption says something like, “I travel all over the world while making six figures. I’ll teach you how you can do it too!”
Let’s be real…I’ve totally been that sad scroller.
When you get the point where you CAN travel and work at the same time (which you will if that’s your dream goal), you’ll quickly find out the reality is wildly different from the carefully cultivated imagery.
What is a Digital Nomad?
It’s pretty straightforward, actually. These are people who work remotely, without one office that they go to each day. They can travel anywhere in the world since their work is primarily done on laptops, phones, and other electronic devices. Usually, they either work remotely for a company or own their own small business.
While this started off as a simple phenomenon, it has become practically synonymous with the millennial culture. Working culture is shifting towards more flex, and millions of young people have decided to ditch the 9-5 job and live a life of freedom while they work. Social media is FLOODED with stories from these techy travelers.
Life As a Digital Nomad…Behind the Scenes
I’ll let you in behind the scenes by telling you a what digital nomad-ing is REALLY like and how you can jump these hurdles when you’ve taken your business on the road.
Make Sure You Can Afford it First.
“I quit my job and booked a one-way trip to the Caribbean!” This might be in the ballpark of what you see from laptop travelers on social media. While their pictures are gorgeous and leave you longing for the tropics, there’s probably something they’re not telling you…They worked SUPER hard to get there. Most Instagram stars who’ve successfully done this had some things lined up first, whether that was a big sum of money in the bank or a small business that was already up and running. If you follow in your Instagram star’s footsteps without making sure you have a solid foundation, you may find yourself penniless across the ocean. Be sure to get grounded first.
Be Mindful of Your Relationships.
If you’re not traveling solo, you’re sharing your time with someone else…your wife, boyfriend, children. Traveling for months at a time and being in close quarters with another person, no matter how much you love them, can wear on you. Maybe you have different needs, desires about where to go, or opposite mindsets about running a business. So go in with a yogi mindset! Just KNOW that this will create pressure and be ready to let go and breathe.
Whatever it is that’s putting a strain on your relationship, there are ways to work around it. Cultivate strong communication by making sure you openly and calmly talk. Second, come to a compromise whenever possible. If your partner thinks you’re spending too much time on the computer, schedule times when you two can be alone and present with each other. Most importantly, carve out some alone time. You’ll need this to calm your mind, recharge, and be the best person you can be with your travel buddy.
It’s Not All Play
Working anywhere you want is not always fun and games. In fact, you might have to work even HARDER to create the luxurious lifestyle you want. Dreaming of riding a cruise across the Atlantic? Then you’ll to have to bring in more revenue for this fancy escapade. As a traveler, you’ll find that there are TONS of enticing distractions, so just remember to schedule play around work. Remember it is all about mindset – go into the scene already knowing you have to block out time for work, set specific, simple goals, and celebrate the little wins along the way. Gift yourself a work-free trip or a stay in a fancy hotel after you’ve made big business progress. It will be so much more rewarding.
Travel Can Change Your Perspective.
If you desire the nomad lifestyle, you’re probably not going to JUST be lounging on the beach all the time with a frosty margarita. You’ll be exploring new territory in the world and absorbing innumerable experiences with culture, language, food, and societies. You may be confronted at times or challenged in your person beliefs, so go with an open heart and be cognizant that sometimes we humans are resistant to the unfamiliar. Give these experiences the space to settle and gently allow the shifts they may bring to your perspective.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” -Proust
Your Health is the Most Important Thing.
Being a digital nomad, while amazing at times, can become crazy and chaotic. Remember…You’re traveling AND working at the same time! While trying to enjoy yourself, you’ll still need to meet deadlines, monitor and boost profits, and handle all of the other typical stresses of being on the road (or airplane). The most important key to doing this successfully is keeping your mental, physical, and spiritual health in check. No health = no productivity. Keep that yogi mindset by meditating when you can or even going to a yoga class. If you’re hungry, opt for lots of vegetables and fruits instead of that big cheesy sandwich. Exercise whenever possible, even if it’s just for a few minutes each morning. Having a clear mind will help you so much in the long run.
Nothing Gets Done Without Organization.
Organization is important but becomes even more critical while traveling. Even if you’re out and about, your clients and team are still going to expect the same amount of attention from you. One great way to do this is to spend a few minutes each Sunday populating your calendar for the week to come. Schedule out meetings ahead of time, write out your “to-do” list with deadlines, and chunk out time for yourself. Use automation for social media scheduling as much as possible. Most importantly, delegate efficiently to your team…That’s why you’ve hired them!
Wifi is 100% Necessary… and Not 100% Guaranteed.
Digital nomads are…well…digital. You’ll have to be on the Internet if you plan to work remotely! Unfortunately, not everywhere you go will have the high-speed Wifi you love and cherish. There are several ways to be prepared before heading into a dead zone. When choosing where you’ll be staying, be sure to ask the host lots of questions about their Internet to find out if it works ahead of time. You can also purchase your own hotspot, which creates Wifi wherever you go. If all else fails, you can attempt to use data from your phone to connect your computer to Wifi. There are tons of options, the key is to consider your needs ahead of time and PLAN.
Remember to get a SIM card for your devices before leaving the airport. Save yourself the pain of finding one later, you'll have your phone immediately available for navigation Click To Tweet and you can usually purchase one from quickly from a vending machine. right there in the terminal…
Despite all of that craziness, being a digital nomad is WORTH IT. Once you get the hang of things, you’ll fall into your own groove. You can look forward to being healthy and organized, getting tons of work done, AND enjoying beautiful travel spots. It just takes some getting used to.
Instead of just getting by, you can THRIVE while taking your business on the road. Let’s talk about where you’re at now, your vision for your business, and how you can achieve your goals. Schedule a free 1-hour consultation with me.