This is my story. Before I started my @digitalnomad story blog on IG, about inspiring stories of people who work and travel remotely and started traveling on a full-time basis, I had an office job where I got only a couple of weeks off a year. Before that, I worked for over 7 years in a position that gave me almost no pleasure. ⠀ My career began with a 14-hour workday as a pharmacist in a small town in Ukraine. After working like this for three years, I realized that I hit a ceiling and I needed growth. I moved to a city with a million people and found a job there as a medical representative, companies organized training for us abroad and it was begging of my passion to travel. The work was interesting and exciting at first, but soon I got professionally burned-out and nothing made me happy. ⠀ The country’s cold climate also played a role. Once during winter, when I left the house, there was ice on the street, strong winds, and freezing temperatures. I slipped on the ground, as I was lying in the snow I promised myself that this would be my last winter in this country. The following Spring, I moved to Dubai, UAE, and got a job as a purchasing manager in a local company. The work was not difficult, but it took up a huge part of our whole life since we worked on Saturdays. One day a week was not enough to explore this beautiful country, let alone travel, and I began to think about how I could change my situation. But I couldn’t come up with any ideas, I was uninspired and it seemed to me that I was at a dead-end and lost my meaning … ⠀ And then one day, a man appeared in my life who changed everything. I left my settled life and started traveling with him. He was a digital nomad and instilled in me a love for this conversion of life. During the year I visited several countries. I was looking for myself here and there, I tried to draw, yoga, knit, creating jewelry … all this fascinated me and worked well, but it was difficult to make money on it because of the constant moving, and then one day I found myself in Thailand. I met many ice-breakers with remote professions, among them were coaches, yoga trainers, traders, IT specialists, photographers, and videographers … I was trying those roles on myself. But this was still alien to me.
⠀ I hand-painted clothes, made jewelry and made a small income, and then the coronavirus pandemic happened. People began to leave the island, and those who were kiotomtals sometimes could not buy their own food. My creative business completely came to a halt and I was very upset and was thinking about how to live on? One fine day, flipping through the Instagram feed, I came across the blog of a girl who lived on the neighboring island of Koh Samui. She was a web designer and talked about how she combines her work and travel. I was very interested in this and I was looking forward to every new video in the story. Inspired, I wrote to her that I wanted to be a designer and asked her if she could take me on as an apprentice. She replied that she studied on her own, without any schooling or courses and did not know how to teach people. It was here that I challenged myself. I started to study on my own. Then I found a mentor and fell in love with this profession. Now I can create a website with pleasure, create ideas from stories and posts on Instagram, create guides, checklists and banners. Actually many things. ⠀ That’s how I got a remote profession. My path was long and despite the fact that I need to work a lot while traveling, I can travel and get the opportunity to work remotely and to see new places is a dream!
Picking the right travel backpack is an important part of planning your trip. In a matter of fact, too big and you’ll have too much extra weight to carry around, too small and you’ll never fit all the stuff that you need. In addition, you may end up buying a bigger one later on. If you buy a cheap one and it will suddenly break, Pick the wrong material and your stuff will be soaked in the rain.
There are so many backpacks out there that it can be very confusing knowing how to pick the right one. Of course, when I first started traveling, I wanted to buy the cheapest backpack possible as I did not have much budget and I did not know anything about backpacking either. I tried few of them and pick one within 10 minutes ( I hate shopping too !) My backpacked lasted me over 6 years, i carried it everywhere with me, and when I said everywhere I mean Everywhere.
In fact, the only reason I bought a new backpack was that this one died ( R.I.P) The zip was not closing anymore and the seams started going apart as well.
India 2008 ( I did not even carry it properly)
There are many travel backpacks out there – and even more places where you can purchase one. Consequently, in order to save you hours upon hours of research, I’m going to lay out all the good qualities a backpack should have. Correspondingly, I will help you to pick the best backpack brands, and telling you where you can buy them. As a result, you will be able to save yourself hours of time and simply purchase one knowing it’s amazing and going to last forever.
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
1. Water-Resistant Material
Your backpack does not have to be 100% waterproof ( Unless you are going on some long multi-day hike). As far as I’m concerned, the right travel backpack is made out of a semi-waterproof material so everything doesn’t get soaking wet. (Most travel backpacks come with a rainproof cover that you can put over them in case of a severe downpour). Moreover, make sure the material won’t stay wet too long.
As the matter of fact, I always look for thick quality material but that is not too heavy either. ( #backpack #waterproof #hiking #camping ) You should be able to pour a cup of water over it without the insides getting wet. For instance, I’m now living in Malaysia. so during downpours or monsoons, it can get very nasty and because my backpack is made out of good material, I’ve never opened my bag to find wet clothes.
Make sure each compartment has two zippers on each side so you can lock them together. While am not really worried about people breaking into my bag and stealing my dirty and smelly clothes in a hostel, but I like locking up my bag when I am traveling. After watching TV series like ”Lockdown abroad” I’m always paranoid that someone is going to put something in my bag that do you not belong to me if you know what I mean.
When purchasing locks, make sure the package says they areTSA-friendly locks — these locks have a special release valve that allows the TSA to open the lock without breaking it so they can check your bag. They are not very expensive and you can purchase it Hereif you d like.
During my last backpacking trip I bought a Pacsafe, which wraps a lockable metal mesh around your whole bag and can be tied to a large object. It means that not only is no one breaking into your stuff, no one is walking away with it either. Pacsafe is a good form of protection for your bag, especially if you are going to be somewhere where your bag will be unattended for a long time.
View on Amazon
3. Backpack essentials
The right travel backpack must to have multiple compartments. This way, you can break up your belongings into smaller sections so it’s easier to access and find the stuff you need. For example, my clothes are in the main compartment of my bag, my umbrella and flips-flops in the top, and my shoes in the separated side compartment (that way they don’t get everything dirty). It saves having to dig around your bag.
Padded Hip belt
Most of the weight you will be carrying around will be pushing down on your hips, so you’ll want a padded belt support it and make it more comfortable for you. The belt will help provide support and distribute the load more evenly on your back, causing less strain. Make sure that the hip belt is also be adjustable so you can tighten it for extra support.
A front-loading backpack is allowed you to access to all your stuff from the front of you bag but also on the side of it. A top loading bag only allows you to access your stuff from a hole in the top and this makes things really difficult especially if you need to get something at the bottom of your backpack. Always get a backpack that it “front loading” so you have easy access to all your gear.
There really is no one piece of luggage that will address all your needs. It’s just a matter of personal preference and what kind of traveler you are. Here’s a quick overview of the Pros & Cons of buying a hard suitcase to help you decide what is best for you.
Pros & Cons of a suitcase:
– Better protection for items inside luggage
– More effective in preventing theft
– Easier to clean and comes in many colors
– 100% waterproof
– Items are not easily accessible without opening the entire bag
– Surface can be easily scratched or dented
– Cannot be expanded
– Risk of breaking a wheel and getting a hard time to carry it around
Travel Backpacks: How Much Should a Backpack Cost?
Backpack / Suitcase prices depend a lot on size, fabric, & if you purchase a brand or not. Most backpacks cost between $69–200+ USD. The medium-sized store brands generally cost around $129 USD. Store brands are cheaper than big-name brands like North Face, Osprey, & Gregory.
These expensive backpacks tend to be large and have more bells and whistles, special padding, and material than you really need as a traveler.
Additionally, you’ll find that most travel backpacks are hikingbackpacks, meant for camping and multi-day treks in the woods. Buying a backpack that was meant to be used in the Rockies instead of the streets of New Zealand doesn’t matter, though — backpacks are pretty interchangeable these days, and getting a backpack meant for the outdoors simply means you’ll have a stronger and more durable pack.
You should spend $100 to $250 for a backpack if you want to keep it for long time, high quality pack are always worth it 1.
P.S.If you found this article helpful, consider using this linkto purchase your bag (whatever brand you go with). This will helps me keep the website running, community supported, and advertiser free.
We have selected for you 7 of the Most Thrilling Adventure Experiences in Kuala Lumpur. There’s a lot more to Malaysia’s capital than going shopping and other traditional tourist attractions. Push yourself and enjoy these mind-blowing adventures in and around Kuala Lumpur.
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Before to get started let me tell you why we decided to name our blog “Discover Evolution”
The logo and the name of my website is in fact how everything started (Avoid the three first monkey- its just for the logo purpose 😂) I began by backpacking in 2004 that is the reason why you can see a man wearing a backpack, then in 2010 I undertook my first Bikepacking trip in Australia from Perth to the gold coast (7500km in three months) and last one is my current job – working as a professional photographer in Kuala-Lumpur. Discover my evolution did not sound great to me, so i decide to make shorter and DISCOVER EVOLUTION was born.
1- Blog Names To Avoid
Before I help you think of a blog name idea and give you some blog name inspiration, I need to first start with the no-no’s of travel blog names because these are pretty cut and dry. By listing names to avoid, it will help to narrow down your list of possible names for your travel blog.
Don’t be cliché
Your name needs to stand out in a market of millions of travel blogs, so it’s best to avoid the cliché terms that you see pop up in 75% of travel blogs.
Unless you can think of something extremely clever and unique using the above listed words, I would avoid them altogether. Your name needs to stand out in the crowd and by giving it an overused, played out name, you’d be starting off on the wrong foot.
2- Avoid Dashes, Symbols, Numbers & Periods
Any post online about how to pick a travel blog name will tell you the same thing. Don’t use numbers, hyphens or symbols.
For pure branding and SEO reasons, you should always avoid using these characters in any blog name. For example if you choose to name your website “going4ward” if maybe very confusing for people, you may have to tell them every single time that “for” has to be a “4” instead, they may forget about it and will not be able to access to your website.
Idem #, your blog shouldn’t have a dash in it because every time you tell someone your name, you have to say “dash”. When they go back to their computers later and try to remember your blog, they may forget where to put the dash, or that there’s a dash altogether. It’s just so confusing and you must avoid it.
3- Purposely Misspelling
Keep it “easy to remember” domain name theory, don’t create a blog that purposely misspells words to sound cool. WorldTravelz would be a horrible name choice because it would force you to explain to every person you tell that the word travels is actually spelled with a “z”, and Google wouldn’t rank you for any terms including “travels” because you misspelled it.
On top of that, Google algorithms hate misspelling and grammatical errors because it shows unprofessionalism in content. You’d literally be damaging your blog if you purposely misspell the domain name.
4- Too Long
There are so many reasons not to have a really long domain name.
They’re much harder to remember
It’s hard to fit a long name in a logo or header area of a website
Domains are limited to 63 characters anyways.
The most common domain name length in relation to .com registrations is around 12-13 characters; and containing 2 words. This can give you a bit of an idea of how long your domain should be.
DISCOVER EVOLUTION:2 Words / 17 characters (Not bad!)
5- How a Domain Name Should Be (How to pick a GOOD travel blog name)
Now that we’ve covered all the things to avoid before you choose a blog name, it’s now time to go over some blog name inspiration in an effort to help you choose the perfect name for your future blog. Keep in mind that the domain name is a reflection of your brand “Discover Evolution” reflect my journey from how I got started until now.
Take your time and use these points to think up something great. Learning how to choose a name for a blog doesn’t have to be difficult!
6- Always Go With .com
Most importantly, you need to pick a travel blog name that is available in “.com”. You can choose .NET, .org, .travel, .tv, or .info, but .com is by far the most commonly used and, easiest to remember suffix possible in a domain name. It won’t affect your SEO if you choose another ending, but it will definitely be harder for other people to remember it. You can buy all variations of your name if you want to, but .com should be your primary focus.
7- Check Social
When you’re starting a new travel blog, you’re also going to have to start all of your social media accounts. At the very least, you should be able to have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube using your name.
I’ve covered a lot about how to pick a travel blog name already, but if it’s already been taken on the most popular social media channels, then you may want to consider another name.
8- Using Your Own Name
There are loads of blog names out there that use the founders name, like Nomadic Matt, Nomadic Samuel, Wandering Earl, Travel With Bender etc. But I would not recommend you to follow this basic formula of “Nomadic + Name”, it’s still possible to think of a clever name using your own name and make it memorable.
A lot of people have a blog name using their own name, like YeisonKim.com. This is a very professional way to create a blog name, but it’s not overly catchy in most cases. (Works fine tho if you are a photographer)
Self-named Blog Name Ideas:
Ready To Start Your Blog?
Now you know how to pick a travel blog name. I’ve given you the information you need to choose the perfect blog name. Using the points in this blog post, you should be able to come up with a unique and memorable name that has longevity and is good for SEO.
But remember, even if you can’t think of a name, you can still start building your blog today.
Productivity on its own can be a tough challenge for anyone, even if you work from the same space every day.
What if you’re jumping workspace every week? Every day? Every couple hours? Digital nomads and remote workers have a very unique productivity puzzle to figure out.
I’d love to share the full list of productivity tips with you, hoping this list sparks some thoughts and ideas for next time you’re looking to get productive working remotely.
Our Top 3 Productivity Tips for Working Remotely
“Focus on being productive instead of busy.”
1. Plan for tomorrow at the end of your day.
I started recently planning my calendar and to do list for the next day the evening before, I personally like to write it down, it also help me to focus more and I must say that am super impressed with the results. When I wake up, I don’t need to scramble to check when my next task its gonna be, I already know and can plan accordingly.
Here’s a simple outline to follow, if you’re keen to start making tomorrow lists:
At the end of your day, write down the tasks you need to complete tomorrow.
Look at the list when you start the next day.
End your day by creating another list for tomorrow.
2. Try single tasking with a single tab
I recently challenged myself to have only one browser tab open at a time. It was really difficult but I ended up getting much more done because I was hyper focused on the task at hand. We all know that social media is extremely addictive and that it is easy to lose focus.
If you’re interested in trying this, you can do it manually by being more mindful of which tabs you have open. Or you can try a browser extension like OneTab which prohibits you from opening more than one tab.
3. Make space for both work and exploring in a new city.
One of the great benefits of remote work is that you can often set your own hours and get your work done when you’re most productive. This has proved really helpful for me when it comes to exploring a new location.
Something that’s worked really well for me has been exploring in a two-hour window over lunch and working a bit later in the evening.
I also love taking Portrait Photography while traveling and it is important for me to have the time doing what I love the most.
19 of the Best Crowdsourced Tips for Productive Digital Nomads
1. Crowd-source reliable spaces in a new city.
When I’m landing in a new city and looking for a great spot to work from, with power, WiFi, coffee and great vibes, I usually send out a Tweet or message local friends for suggestions.
2. Never make a to do list more than 3 items.
Avoid overloading your to do list. Momentum is important for productivity. When I started I used to make a list of 10 or more things that i should do everyday, ending up not doing half of it! Focus on what it is important and it will help you being more productive.
3. Use the Getting Things Done method.
I personally am fond of the GTD method, and with my daily tools Google Calendar / Trello / Toggl / Evernote, you easily catch things where you left them, should you be on the road, in your neighbourhood café, or at home. No matter the device.
4. Try the Pomodoro technique.
For many people, time is an enemy. We race against the clock to finish assignments and meet deadlines. The Pomodoro Technique teaches you to work with time, instead of struggling against it. A revolutionary time management system, it is at once deceptively simple to learn and life-changing to use.
6. Work in spurts.
I give myself, say, 1 hour to get x, y, z done. To motivate myself even more, I’ll give myself a list of the most important tasks and then challenge myself to finish them before I leave the space I’m working from.
7. Use your travel time wisely.
Waiting at airports, flying to a new destination or sitting on a train can all be used to work. This way you can get some work done and spend more time exploring once you arrive. I especially do this with less interesting tasks when flying somewhere – helps a lot with flight anxiety since I have to focus AND I’m more productive as there is usually no or very bad WiFi, which means no online distractions.
8. Switch OFF your phone!
This the hardest part for most of us. I keep my phone on silent and keep notifications turned off. This keeps me much more focused and able to get things done.
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9. Make time for others.
I also make sure to allocate sufficient time for my relationships, my health and my mind. I feel it powers up my overall productivity in the end. When I am not traveling, my wife and live in Kuala-Lumpur – Malaysia and we always take the time to enjoy lunch/diner together and go to fun places. Working out is also very important to keep healthy and release stress.
10. Move in the morning.
I try to move my body in the morning before doing anything else for grounding and focus – I usually wake up around 6:30am & even before I drink coffee, I spent 45mn doing Calisthenic, and it gives me a great space to launch from the rest of the day.
11. Make time for movement.
Putting a rough schedule in for the day/week helps me a lot. I have a tendency to work TOO much, so I schedule in a short run in the afternoon, not long (20-30mn) but it helps me lots to fresh my mind.
One thing that I found to be super important to manage while travelling the last few weeks was battery power. I bring my computer almost everywhere and you will need to make sure that you do not run out of baterry when you most need it. Doing research ahead as well to make sure I’ll have access to international adapter while traveling to a foreign country (Easy to forget!)
13. Plan workspaces ahead of time.
Before traveling, I created a Google My Map layer with cafés and potential workspaces in different areas I’d like to explore so that I can quickly travel to an area knowing I know at least one place where I can work rather than looking around when I get there.
14. Switch to standing every now and again.
I loved going to cafés where they have the window-side stool seating that’s high enough for standing! It feels nice to switch from sitting and standing once in awhile!
17. Look for lots of light.
Try and find cafes or coffee shops that are well-lit and easy to get up and walk around. I find that working in a place with lots of light helps to keep me awake, alert, and creative. Also, spotting a cafe or coffee shop with room to walk around allows me to stretch out my legs and get the blood flowing.
Over To You
Do any of these resonate with you? Do you have a tip to add to the list?
Have you ever wanted to just pack up your things, quit your job and take off on a never ending adventure?
Once upon a time mankind roamed freely, from country to country, moving from one place to another. The very first human societies were nomadic and probably did not think that 100 of thousand year later we will be mostly sedentary and scared of the unknown.
Nowadays though, people are more reluctant to seek a nomadic lifestyle. After all, there are bills to pay, mortgages, health cards – all the trappings of modern life.
But increasingly, as technology evolves and more employers embrace remote positions, there is an ever growing movement towards nomadicism once more. I mean, what if it were possible to satisfy your wanderlust and earn money at the same time?!
That’s exactly the definition of a digital nomad!
Before you jump into the lifestyle though, it’s important to full understand the pros and cons.
The Pros of Being a Digital Nomad.
#1 Work Wherever And Whenever You Want
This is probably one of the most obvious benefits. As digital nomads, we have the ability to work when and where we want. It can be a cute cafe in Bali, with lots of sunshine, and cool breeze, or a bookstore/cafe with books floors to ceiling in Argentina. It no longer matters if you’re a night owl or an early riser. You work when it works best for you. You can finally plan work around your life instead of planning your life around work.
#2 The Ability To Travel Non-Stop
This is another obvious benefit. Not being bound by cubicles, it gives you the ultimate freedom to travel as much or as little as you want. See a flight deal to Spain? Great, book it. Don’t worry about limited vacation time, or requesting time off from your boss. You can now come and go as much as you please and to wherever you want.
There is a such a strong sense of freedom in living this location independent life, in so many ways. Living this laptop lifestyle gives you the freedom to choose when and where you work best, the freedom to pick the ideal living environment for you, the freedom of choice in how you structure your day etc. You no longer have to book time off work, you no longer have to go through the hassle of moving across the country or to another country. Your home comes with you wherever you go. It’s easy and it’s freedom.
I don’t even know where to start with them. I can’t even explain the inspiration that you’ll get from traveling. From the different places to the people, to the different cultures. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know and traveling is a wonderful teacher. In the most unexpected moment, you can get a full dose of inspiration and this applies not only to your life but to your work. You learn to see things from a new perspective, you get to experience things you would have never imagined and all of it is incredibly inspiring.
#5 Meeting Incredible People
After traveling for a while it really starts to become about the people you meet instead of the places you go. From working online and traveling the world, I’ve been able to meet people I would have never had the opportunity to connect with. People from all walks of life. Different backgrounds, cultures, statuses, ages and more. A good way to meet people is Travel buddy, My friends are anywhere from their early twenties to early forties. Some are broke and some are millionaires. Some have shared wisdom that I take with me every day and others have been good company for a fun night out. What they all have in common? They are all people who are incredible and interesting. With so much exposure to different types of people you’re able to take so much away from the experience.
#6 A New Country Or Adventure Is Just Outside Your Doorsteps
As a digital nomad you’re also working 40 hours a week, BUT when you step out your door in the morning you could be in a tropical paradise or a historic town in Europe. When it’s time to take a break you can walk down to the beach and catch a beautiful sunset in Bali, go surfing at one of the top surf spots in the world, or hand in a hammock poolside. When paradise is just outside of your doorsteps, you no longer have to wait until your two weeks vacation comes to book a flight somewhere. Paradise is wherever you go – a new country, a new adventure it’s all just outside of your doorstep.
#7 Improved Quality Of Life
When you’re working online it gives you the ability to work from anywhere in the world. This means you can pick locations that offer you the best quality of life. For me, Bali offers me the best quality of life. It offers me:
An abundance of affordable, healthy food
Ease of a healthy and active lifestyle
It’s warm and sunny (gotta get that vitamin D)
It’s safe and the people are friendly
There are a lot of like-minded people
It’s a quality lifestyle at an affordable price
Ultimately, as a digital nomad you get to choose the environment, or country should I say, that gives you the best quality of life… and usually it comes at a fraction of the cost.
#8 Your Dollar Goes Further
This goes with what I just said about being able to live a quality life at a fraction of the cost. Most digital nomads are from more developed countries such as America, Canada, Australia, France, Netherlands etc. These countries are from places that have a dollar with good buying power relative to the rest of the world. That means that when you go to live somewhere where the cost of living is much less, like Bali, Thailand etc, your dollar goes much further. My entire cost of living in Bali including all expenses (transport, food, accommodation, entertainment, etc) is the same that I would spend just on accommodation and transport in Canada. You can get a lot more bang for your buck by living abroad.
Diving into the lifestyle creates opportunities for you that you’d have never stumbled across before. Whether it’s the people you meet, the professional work opportunities or even life experiences, there are so many more opportunities when you’re location independent.
For example, none of the following opportunities would have happened to me, had I not become a digital nomad:
Cycling 21000km across 16 countries so far
Trekking in Nepal at 5416m above see level
Learning different languages
Meeting the lady that become my wife
Traveling across 40 countries…
I get that my opportunities won’t be the same as everyone else’s but when you dive into this lifestyle, you’re no longer bound by location or time, that means you’re able to hop on these opportunities without limitations.
#10 No Longer Trading Time For Money
This has to be one of the best parts. Working for a remote company, oftentimes they don’t care when you work or where you work, it’s more about what you can achieve and get done. Instead of trading X amount of time for X dollars, remote companies care more about what you achieved, how you’re impacting the bottom line, and the impact you’re making. If you can get 3 hours worth of work done in 1 hour because you’re more productive, great, you just added an extra 2 hours to your day where you can do something else. Mind you not all companies operate this way, but for the most part, the focus is on the milestones you hit and the tasks you complete vs how much time you put in that day.
#11 No Office Politics
This has to be one of the best perks next to traveling non-stop. When I hear stories from my friends I cringe. Working overtime all week but then arriving 3 minutes late one morning as everyone gives you the evil eye, favoritism, lazy coworkers, the co-working with the smelly lunch, the person who spend that extra bit of time every day at the water cooler, someone taking the credit – the office politics are endless. When you’re working remotely, you’re not constantly stuck around the same people 24/7, which means you’re not as likely to get annoyed with these people and even more so, no one care how much you get up to go get a drink or what time you start work, all they care about is that your work is getting done.
#12 Personal & Professional Growth
This has to be, by far, one of the greatest benefits. I think I’ve said that a lot but really though, this has been a HUGE perk for me. The amount of personal and professional growth that I’ve experienced over the last 3 years of being a digital nomad, in a ‘normal’ setting would have taken at least double the time.
Professionally you’re surrounded by knowledgeable people, you have more opportunities to meet people or attend events that can help accelerate your career progression.
And when it comes to personal growth, traveling will give you a new perspective, challenge your viewpoints and help you learn things about yourself you didn’t even realize you needed to learn. Perhaps most of all, traveling doesn’t allow you to escape whatever it is you’re running from. In fact, it’ll make you deal with shit from your life that you thought you could just leave buried in your subconscious. The benefit, of course, is that you grow extremely while working through all of this.
The Cons of Being a Digital Nomad
This is by far the biggest challenge of living a nomadic life. Forming relationships can be difficult because people are always coming and going. I never really cared about this before with my past, “It’s see you soon not goodbye mentality.” But no, it sucks. I loathe leaving people and having to say goodbye ( …almost as much as I hate the act of traveling. Sitting on a plane for 30 hours is not enjoyable no matter who you are). Over times I’ve learned a few tricks to manage this:
Go to events hosted by coworking spaces etc
Scope out who will be in your area for a while
Connect with those people after those events 1:1 so you can form a deep personal relationship, instead of a surface level relationships that happen in group settings
Make an effort – you really have to make an effort to nurture relationships. It won’t come as easy anymore
Sometimes this also means going out of your comfort zone and striking up conversations with people at a cafe etc to form those relationships
I’m not sure if loneliness or dating is the biggest challenge of being a digital nomad. In one perspective you’re living a really cool lifestyle, but being a digital nomad is still in its infancy which means, in reality, everyone hasn’t got on board yet. And, as you can imagine dating a guy/girl who is location Dependent and stuck in one location doesn’t lend well to the nomadic life. You’re dating pool instantly goes down from 90% to 10-15%. Then you factor in someone who vibes with you, etc and you’re literally down to slim to nothing. People will be fascinated by your lifestyle and think it’s so cool, yet sometimes not take you seriously, treating you like some traveler who just lives off a trust fund or saving when in fact you’re growing you’re career. Being a digital nomad is a lifestyle, not an ‘escape’ from reality. Working online is a very real thing. You need to ‘show up’ every day, get your work done and progress your career or business. ( I met my wife while traveling by the way haah !)
#3 Managing Your Time, Productivity, Distractions, Life Balance And Avoiding Burn-Out
This is more for the newbies. When I first became a digital nomad I wanted to take on every opportunity and experience. The only challenge is that that happens non-stop at all hours of the day. If you don’t prioritize your work, learn when to say no, and manage your time accordingly you’ll find yourself on a slippery slope which will have you burnt out in no time. Most newbies learn this lesson fast and hard. You’ll soon realize you have all the time in the world to explore, do things, and see everything. There is no rush. You’re not on a two-week vacation – this IS your life now. Mindfulness of all of this is the best way to manage this challenge.
#4 You Feel Like You Always Need To Be Working
The thing about joining a community of people who can work wherever and whenever you want means that at any point in time, no matter the day of the week or time, some of your digital nomad friends will be working. Go to a co-working space, no matter the time, and you’ll always find a solid crew of people working away. As good as it is that you never have to work alone sometimes you feel like you should always be working. “Well if it’s 7pm and they’re still working, maybe I should be too.” Yet, maybe that person started work at 5pm.
Also, because you’re in beautiful destinations, taking weekend trips to beautiful places it can be easy to forget to take time to actually disconnect from work – to take a full-on vacation. Just because you live in paradise doesn’t mean you don’t need time away from work to recharge. It can be hard as digital nomads to remind ourselves of this but it’s important to take vacation time.
# 5 Missing Milestones Back Home
Weddings, birthdays, deaths, ‘that fun night out’ – no matter how big or small, you’re going to miss out on a lot of stuff from back home. This is hard. The hardest part for me personally is being away from my cousin and my close friends. They don’t fully understand my lifestyle yet and always ask, ‘why I leave so much and that I should just stay home because they miss me.’ My heart shatters a little every time that comes out of their mouth.
That being said, traveling provides me with a better quality of life and allows me to invest in myself so I can show up as the best version of myself that I can be.
#6 People Don’t Understand It Or You
With this location independent lifestyle still being in its infancy, people don’t get it – in many ways. People will not understand your desire to leave all the time and they certainly won’t understand how you make your money online. Here’s the thing, you’re expanding horizons and the average person lives an average life, so you can’t expect them to get you and that’s OK. They don’t need to get it.
As long as there is a respect in choosing a different way to live, from both sides, that’s all that matters. At the end of the day you need to do what brings you happiness and fulfillment, so if that’s a house, car, white picket fence and kid great. If that traveling the world non-stop, great. It doesn’t matter. You do you. We all have different values, need and wants and that’s what makes the world a beautiful and interesting place.
You’ll drive yourself mad if you care what people think of you. Focus only on being a better version of yourself every day and ‘Stay in your own lane’ as Gary Vee says.
The best advice I ever got was that “Not everyone will understand and that’s ok.’ Simple, yet full of truth.
Whether it’s working, exploring, meeting locals, meeting other digital nomads, having time for yourself, exercising etc. at any given moment you’ll have an option of about 100 different things you could be doing. You really have to learn to prioritize otherwise you will crash and burn out. As I mentioned before, a lot of newbie digital nomads will learn this lesson hard and fast at the beginning. They try to do EVERYTHING and then burn out.
To avoid the temptation of ‘going out all the time’ I avoid travellers and hostels – they have all the free time in the world and will try to convince you to join in on everything but you still need to work. Instead, try and connect with digital nomad community. You can do this via co-working spaces, co-living space (Outside and Roam), travel programs such as Remote Year, WiFly Nomads, Hacker Paradise etc) or hunt through various Facebook groups. These people will be living the same lifestyle and ‘get it’ when you need to get some work done and can’t go out.
#8 You Physically Can’t Go Too Remote (Wifi Doesn’t Grow In Trees)
All places that are in the middle of nowhere – a forest, beach etc all have one thing in common, they usually have no internet and guess what? When you’re working online you sort of need wifi 😉 There are certain countries too that just don’t have the infrastructure to support working online, such as the Philippines. For me, I would love to work literally in the middle of nowhere camping or Central America but again, there is a lack of wifi in those places. You can still have remote weekend getaways, you just need to make sure you’re back in time for work.
#9 No Sense Of Home Or Belonging
Ok, this is a bit of a tricky one. Of course, Canada, the country I was born into, will always be home to me, but Bali was like my unofficial chosen home. The first time I touched down in Bali I knew this place was for me. I immediately felt this sense of home and belonging. That being said, of course there are times I realize, “Hold up, this is a completely different country and culture” and culturally I don’t feel like I always fit in. No matter how long you’re in a country for, I’m not sure there is ever a time you feel like you fully belong.
I find the biggest feeling of home comes from the people I’m around. When I have my family or best friends with me, I can make any place feel like home. But when I don’t have them, I try to take elements from home not typically found when traveling and incorporate it into my space. buying a plant for your room (you’ll notice a lot of hotel rooms don’t have this, yet a lot of homes do), taking some family photos with you, bringing slippers from home, pictures with frames etc. Once you’re away from home you’ll learn fast what things feel like home that you don’t commonly get while traveling. It also helps to stay in a country for 3-6 months so you can actually establish a solid routine, group of friends etc.
#10 Everything Is A Conscious Effort
TRUTH. When you’re always adapting to languages, customs. I figuring out where the grocery store is, what’s the legit way to get around town without being ripped off (Uber, taxi etc. Uber is banned in some countries so it’s important to check before), how to ask for something when they don’t speak your language etc it becomes mentally draining. It can feel like even the smallest moments in your daily life become a conscious effort. There are ways to quickly adapt to a new country to help with this though.
At the end of the day, there are many pros and cons to the digital nomad lifestyle, just like a traditional lifestyle has its pros and cons. The grass is not greener on the other side, it’s just different and depends on what you value more in life. Now you’re aware of what to expect – no surprise, and can make a decision based on your values
Now that you know the pros and cons, what lifestyle do you prefer – traditional or nomadic? Are there any other pros and cons that you’d add to this list too? Add them in the comments below!