If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated at your office job, then perhaps the thought of location independence has crossed your mind. ‘digital nomad’ is a term which conjures up images of remote workers sipping on cocktails as they run their operations from picturesque beaches. Breaking free from that 9-5 isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, however, even though it may seem that way from the outside. Before you consider handing in that resignation letter, there are a few things you need to consider. Here are seven signs that you might not be ready to become a digital nomad.
You’re Tied To Routine
Working in a conventional 9-to-5 generally comes with a structured daily routine. Being a digital nomad, however, means that you might not always get the opportunity to create the routine that you would like. It requires a constant persistence to get work done even on days when everything feels up in the air. Digital nomads inevitably encounter a spanner in the works at some point on their travels, which means that routine goes out the window. If you can deal with these changes on the fly, then you’ve got what it takes to embrace the remote working lifestyle.
You Want To Establish Long-Term Relationships, Or You’re Already In One.
Being a digital nomad is, for the most part, a transient endeavor. This makes it challenging to create stable relationships that stand the test of time – romantic or otherwise. On the flip side, if you’re already in a relationship and have ambitions of becoming a digital nomad sans your loved one, then get ready to be tested. Between all the trials and tribulations that come with location independence, the added weight of a long distance relationship can sour the experience completely, so think carefully about this aspect before taking the plunge.
You Aren’t Comfortable Or Confident With Being Alone
As a digital nomad moving between locations, it’s vitally important to seek out the company of others, but it’s also essential that you’re comfortable by yourself, as large swathes of your time will most likely entail you being alone. If you’re the type of personality that craves attention and interaction, then think long and hard about taking up a nomadic lifestyle. Places like co-working spaces are great for networking, but when it comes down to it, you can’t rely on anyone else but yourself to get your work done.
You Don’t Have The Fallback Funds Or Cash Reserves
The cyclical nature of freelancing means that clients come and go. Money management is especially important, but when you’re just starting out, unexpected expenses can really hit you hard. That’s why it’s important to ascertain if you have the cash reserves to last you at least 4-6 months. The inability to financially sustain yourself can spell disaster, so make sure you have fallback funds before you embark on your quest for location independence.
You Struggle With Planning Ahead
A crucial part of being a digital nomad is planning ahead. As the adage goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail,” and nowhere is this more apparent than when you’re traveling the globe as a remote worker. Constant planning is course-correction; the difference between having your affairs together and winging it is a mistake that could find you in dire straits.
You Get Anxious At The Thought Of Bureaucracy
Bureaucracy is an unfortunate fact of life, especially for travelers working remotely. As guests in foreign countries, digital nomads are prone to encountering the vagaries of the local laws, with issues like immigration, tax, and healthcare all cause for concern. Doing thorough research beforehand is your best safeguard against anything that could potentially go wrong.
You struggle with cultural differences
Culture shock is an all-too-real phenomenon for digital nomads, especially if you’re doing an extended stay in a city or country. Once the honeymoon phase has passed and you’re left to deal with the reality of a life that seems upended, it can be overwhelming.
Despite these hurdles, digital nomads all across the globe are thriving – and you can, too. If you’re curious about turning to remote working, do some introspection using our points above and find out if you’re ready to make the leap. Perhaps you are, or maybe you need just a little more time to make your dream of location independence a reality.
Written by Stuart Hendricks