A digital nomad or location independent worker have to get out of their comfort zone and get used with making compromises. What type of compromises? The cozy life you knew before you started your digital nomad adventure is going to fade out and you will face a new world. The concept of comfortable is going to change – 180 degrees!
Social rules for location independent workers
Dating and socializing are the first areas of your life which change completely when you start traveling. If you are alone in your adventure, you will feel lonely most of the time, even if you are surrounded by people. Each time you will talk to your parents you will feel guilty AF for leaving them alone and traveling the world. And each time you miss a call home or you can’t answer a call from your parents, they will go through hell and back, thinking you’re in danger or even… dead.
Relationships are not the specialty of a location independent worker: as you travel the world, your lover is stuck back home and you only get to talk via Skype. Sometimes long distance relationships work, other times, they don’t. Either way, it will take a lot of work to sustain the relationship.
Digital nomads who don’t have a solid relationship when they leave are usually going to have trouble securing a long term relationship.
Another problem you face as a location independent worker is the inability to preserve all your friends back home. As you travel the world and have amazing experiences, while your friends are still working 9 to 5 and see the same things over and over again, you can’t help but feel estranged from them when you do meet.
However, there is one more social change brought by the digital nomad lifestyle: you might develop a habit of not getting attached to people. This happens because you stay for a short time in each place, so you start to “refuse” getting attached to people around you. This feature is going to sabotage your life, unless you control it. On the long run, the inability to bond with someone can prevent you from having normal, functional relationships.
Living your life in a backpack
Digital nomads pack their entire life in a backpack, which is a simple way to live, but it also comes with a severe lack of comfort.
But before we talk about comfort, you need to find a nice outfit for your hosts’ birthday party – can you? The inability to wear a nice dress or a pair of pants is way too real for remote workers. In fact, when you look at your photos, you suddenly realize your choice of outfits is very limited, despite your backpack is really heavy. Location independent workers get bored with their clothes, then enter an idle state when they don’t even notice they always wear the same clothes.
The real problem comes when you travel from a hot area to a cold one, which asks for heavy, warm clothes, which are only going to make your backpack heavier.
On top of these, a digital nomad’s struggle is finding perfect gifts and not being able to buy them; each item makes your backpack heavier and your back complaints big time!
However, digital nomads are very creative and resourceful when it comes to finding solutions – this is a side effect of living your life with limitations and compromises. On the long run, it will help you find new solutions to everyday problems, which is a great skill to have anywhere.
The real image of the digital nomad is nothing like the one you see online
The life of a location independent worker is not great all the time. You got this from the rest of this article, but it’s not over yet.
Here is the reality on the idyllic image of the digital nomad working on the beach. The beauty of working from a remote beach comes with couple of inconveniences. One of them is the fact the sun makes it hard for you to work due to the extra light. Also, the sand gets into your keyboard and you struggle to keep your devices away from water drops.
The most unpleasant thing all digital nomads have to deal with is the infamous question “Why are you wasting your life like this?”.
Where can I begin to explain this? All location independent workers have to spend hours explaining why they left the comfort of their homes and chose to travel the world, living an uncertain life. But the beauty of it is we love this crazy lifestyle and we love to explain it over and over again, because it helps us remember why we struggle alone, away from family, trying to cope with the local food which causes us diarrhea and the lust for a proper relationship.