Why Being a Digital Nomad is Overrated
I’ll be honest — the allure of becoming a digital nomad was one of the reasons I decided to take my freelance writing full-time. I had dreams of hopping from country to country with my laptop and writing my heart out.
I’m still a full-time freelance writer, but the logistics of it didn’t happen quite as I’d planned. I ended up hating working while traveling. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Here are a few reasons that you may want to separate these two activities.
It’s Harder to Enjoy Different Locales
I get into adventure mode as soon as I get off the plane. I want to enjoy wherever I’m visiting. It’s hard to transition into a work mindset when you’re ready to explore, eat, and relax. If you want to do quality work, lounging on the beach with a Mai Tai is probably not the best thing to do either. Work can become a drag and the trip altogether becomes a drag.
Work-life Balance Suffers
Self-employment can be a 24/7 job. You may not be physically working the entire time, but you’re always thinking about work.
For me, traveling to a new place and spending time with family far away are ways I escape the stresses of work. These experiences are sacred. Meshing work and play robs me of the activities I like to do most to unwind. If travel is special to you, consider separating the two activities as well.
The Work Product is Best at Home
I’ve experimented with working in different environments. I’m able to get into the work zone the most when I’m in my home office, a coffee shop, or any other place where other people are also working. I get distracted in unfamiliar environments and places with lots of activity. Working from abroad where there’s lots of hustle and bustle is not the best place for me to concentrate so the work can suffer.
I also tried working from a hotel room when I went to a conference a few years ago. It was a terrible experience. Since then, I always complete all of the pressing items on my to-do list before taking any type of trip.
With that said, the things I can tackle while I’m away are the administrative tasks because they don’t require too much brain power or concentration. I can send quick emails, schedule a blog post, reconcile bank statements, send invoices, or pay bills. These are also small tasks you could hire a virtual assistant to do so you can fully enjoy your time away.
Find Out What Works Best for You
The allure of being a digital nomad may be attracting you to the lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong — it’s right for some people. I know plenty of entrepreneurs who thrive in their business while living the travel lifestyle. I thought I’d be one of them, but I found out it’s not for me.
My suggestion is to get into a routine with your business at a home base before traveling from place to place. Freelancing and entrepreneurship aren’t a free for all. It does take hard work, dedication, and concentration. The stress alone of traveling from point A to point B can have a negative impact on your work.