We are definitely fans of a digital nomad-lifestyle. Digital nomads travel through or temporarily reside in different countries and work location-independent, mostly online. No offices, no 9-to-5 (or more) working hours, no job description, no bosses. Palm trees, beaches, swimming pools and cool beers. Is this really an ideal work and lifestyle?
Yes it is. And here’s my 10 why’s:
1 You can do your job at a pool side, under a palm tree…
Or wherever. It could also be a snowy mountain that you are parked next to. No traffic jams, no haste to catch an early meeting, no worries about your business looks. No, this is not a holiday. Yes, you do have a job (or often multiple jobs) to do. But you can do it on your own time and in your own way.
2 You learn to live with less
It’s liberating to reduce the amount of stuff you think you need. It all boils down to what you can take with you. Most important are passports, laptops, smartphones and cameras. But as far as other stuff is concerned: you learn to be less attached to it and just do without.
3 You never experience a dull moment
Since your circumstances, your job assignments and the way you spend your spare time can change by the day, you don’t often experience dull moments in your life. As a habit, you put yourself in new situations, which sometimes can be challenging. One thing’s for sure: you know that you’re alive.
4 You meet interesting people
You get to meet new people with different backgrounds and from a variety of cultures. This not only offers you interesting conversations, great laughs and delicious BBQ’s, but also gives you insights in other ways of living and different approaches to life. This enriches you without even noticing it.
5 You can enjoy living on a tropical island, or in a bustling world city
You don’t have to choose where to live. You just change your scene once in a while and enjoy it while you’re there. No ‘I wish it was warmer, dryer, more snowy, more or less crowded’, or whatever you might wish for. By being able to switch your location once in a while you prevent yourself from wishing you were elsewhere.
6 You are free to choose what you want to do
Of course digital nomads make (part of) their money via online activities. But they also teach English, volunteer, work at bars, help build houses, teach how to kite, dive and snowboard, give yoga classes, haircuts, massages and more. A lot of professions are suitable to transform into useful nomad-style jobs.
7 You are enlarging your world big time
There’s a big world waiting for you and there are a lot of new perspectives to discover. If you are up to it, it really adds value to your life to take a step into the unknown and to discover that you not only will survive, but also will enjoy. It’s easier than you think and the only one withholding you, is you.
8 You learn to value experiences over money
If you ask people what they value most in their lives, the answer is ‘spending time with my kids, my family, my friends’. Or ‘doing what I really love’. What most people are actually spending most of their time on is ‘making money’. Since digital nomads already let go a lot of former ‘securities’ they had, they are experts in valuing their moments over the money they make.
9 You learn to handle all kinds of emotions
Being on the road isn’t always easy. Circumstances, people, travelling; the unexpected can challenge you more than the ordinary and things don’t always go your way. You learn to accept the things you can’t change and take action on those you can. As long as you are healthy (and are with your loved one(s)), you don’t have a problem.
10 You can always go back to a ‘normal’ life…
Dare to take on the excitement of a digital nomad-lifestyle. If you don’t like it, you can always go back. There’s nothing wrong with this at all. You will take back memories you will cherish forever and lessons learnt that will influence you for life.
Note; we are ‘only’ part-time digital nomads ourselves. Based on Bonaire, we work partly on online assignments, partly on Bonaire and partly in the Netherlands. We are part-timers because our teenage sons are attending high school on Bonaire. And as Bonaire is part of the Netherlands, you can’t take them out of school outside of the official school holidays (see post: Are you taking the boys with you?). But we are preparing….