Being a digital nomad sounds amazing—and it is. You get to travel the world while working, and basically live life on your terms. But the lifestyle isn’t for everyone. It’s important to weigh out the pros and cons of being a digital nomad before you dive into the lifestyle.
Not sure if digital nomadism is right for you? Keep these things in mind.
There’s a reason why nearly 5 million people around the world are digital nomads—it’s pretty awesome. These are some major perks to consider:
Pro #1: You can travel as often or as little as you want.
You can stay in one spot for a month or six months before moving on to a new place, or stick around for some length of time in between. It’s really up to you.
Pro #2: You can work anyplace.
As long as you have WIFI, you’re good to go. So, cafes, beaches, co-working spaces, and your shared living space can all function as your “office” for the day.
Pro #3: You get to live lifelike locals.
A huge difference between being a digital nomad and a tourist is that you can actually take time to immerse yourself in a new culture and live like the locals do.
Pro #4: You get to meet some really cool people.
You’ll meet a wide range of people on your travels, from all different backgrounds, cultures, and ages. You may even meet up with some fellow digital nomads along the way and decide to travel together. Or not. After all, you make the rules.
Pro #5: You can stretch you rmoney.
If you do it right, you can actually get more bang for your buck as a digital nomad. In certain areas of the world, like Bali and Porto, the cost of living can be cheaper than it is at home. Plus, being a nomad means you’re not saddled with things like a mortgage and car payments.
Pro #6: You don’t have to deal with office politics.
Let that sink in for a moment. No face-to-face meetings with coworkers means there is next-to-zero chance of drama forming. You’re all there to do a job, and that’s that. No one has time for anything more than that.
Pro #7: You make the rules.
There are zero rules when it comes to being a digital nomad. You decide how you want tolive life, and no one else gets to call the shots.
Being a digital nomad isn’t a perfect lifestyle, though. Here are a few drawbacks to consider:
Con #1: It can get lonely.
Most digital nomads travel alone, and that means you’ve got plenty of time by yourself. Plus, you’re constantly saying goodbye to new people you meet along the way. You’re not doomed to be alone, though. Plenty of organizations like NomadX regularly host events where digital nomads can network and meet locals.
Con #2: You "technically" don’t have a home.
Some people care about this more than others. If you don’t feel like you need a home base, this is unlikely to be an issue for you. But if you like to have something that truly feels like you have space, it might be something you need to overcome.
Con #3: You’re responsible forgetting your work done.
For some people, this isn’t an issue. But if you tend to procrastinate or you’re easily distracted, it can be an adjustment to learn how to be your own boss. After all, there’s always something new to see and do, and it can be hard to get to work when you’d rather be out exploring.
Con #4: It can be expensive if you don’t do it right.
Know how we mentioned you can really stretch your dollar as a digital nomad? Well, the opposite is true if you don’t do it right. It’s easy to spend too much if you don’t budget and fail to find affordable housing (we can help you with the latter when you’re in Portugal, by the way).
Ultimately, most people find that the pros of being a digital nomad far outweigh the cons. But, it never hurts to consider everything upfront, just in case.