Embracing the digital nomad lifestyle involves relocating from one’s home country and engaging in online work to sustain a livelihood overseas. With the helping hand of technology, this way of life allows individuals to explore the excitement of living abroad while ensuring a steady income. This may well sound like an enticing adventure, but it’s important to recognise the potential challenges.
The surge in popularity of becoming a digital nomad is evident in the fact that a staggering 35 million had taken to the nomadic lifestyle in 2023 according to DemandSage, a number expected to rise even further in the coming year.
For those considering joining this trend, here are five valuable lessons to assist in the smooth transition from your current professional life to that of a certified digital nomad.
1. Join Digital Nomad Networks
The digital nomad lifestyle can be an incredible adventure, but it can also be a lonely one. After all, departing from the traditional office setting means embracing a self-employed or freelance existence devoid of a physical office or equivalent social hub.
Consequently, it would be worthwhile signing up to digital nomad or other local networks once you settle into a community overseas. These networks are frequently accessible on social media platforms like Facebook.
Upon joining, don’t hesitate to actively engage in these groups, participate in organised events, or attend meetings. Building connections and prioritizing your mental well-being is essential for a fulfilling digital nomad experience.
2. Utilise Co-Workspaces
While you may be able to work in the room, hostel, or flat you rent during your time as a digital nomad, consider venturing a little further afield from time to time.
Many find it beneficial to separate their work from their home life. This can mean having a separate space to conduct work from where you live day to day. To do this, explore the availability of co-working spaces which are prevalent in most cities worldwide.
Before embarking on your journey abroad, invest time in researching and identifying the best co-working spaces. Keep in mind that some may require a membership, so be sure to incorporate this into your planning when settling into a new country.
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3. Don’t Skip on Health
Amid the exhilaration of embracing the digital nomad lifestyle, it’s easy to overlook the importance of maintaining a healthy routine.
Whether it’s incorporating daily walks or runs, joining a local gym, or even participating in a sports club to make new friends, finding a routine that complements your new professional lifestyle is crucial. This may include setting a consistent morning alarm, allocating time for daily exercise, practising mindfulness and wellness, and resisting the temptation to dine out constantly by experimenting with healthy home cooking.
Given that this transition can also be a stressful one, especially if it’s a brand-new adventure, it’s vital not to stay glued to your screen or confined to your room when times are tricky. Remember to step outside, prioritise your health, and address your well-being when necessary.
4. Be Realistic
Upon deciding that you’d like to embark on your adventure as a digital nomad, your head may be filled with ideas of widely traversing countries to your heart’s desire. However, in reality, this approach may prove impractical.
Constantly moving around can not only strain your finances but also hinder your ability to immerse yourself in a country. Consider opting for longer stays in the same cities to truly absorb the experience, as opposed to flitting around in a rush. Remember, sometimes achieving more involves doing less.
Even the typical 9-5 workday may not be a realistic goal out of the traditional office. Don’t be afraid to change this if you think it won’t fit your nomadic lifestyle and help to maximise your output.
5. Don’t Judge a Book
Avoiding snap judgments is crucial, especially when leading a life as a digital nomad. Unintentionally, you might base your opinion of a country on past experiences, its reputation, or feedback from friends and family. However, this approach could restrict your potential as a digital nomad in the long run.
While considering a country’s reputation is essential in deciding where to settle, it’s imperative to approach it with a balanced perspective. Relying too heavily on the opinions and stigmas of others may cause you to overlook incredible destinations and experiences.