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Should You Become a Digital Nomad? 6 Good and Bad Reasons

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In an age of ever-increasing remote working arrangements, digital nomadism is becoming a more and more viable option. As such, the million-dollar question is the following: should you become a digital nomad? Here are six good and bad reasons to adopt a full-time remote working lifestyle.

Good Reasons to Become a Digital Nomad 

Over my three-plus years as a digital nomad, I’ve come across hundreds of success stories but also countless failures. In this context, most people fail because they chose this lifestyle for the wrong reasons. 

People who succeed, on the other hand, usually have the right attitude toward remote work. 

There’s always trial and error, but having your head in the right place is a prerequisite for thriving as a digital nomad. On this basis, here are three good reasons to become a digital nomad. 

Good Reason n°1: You Want to Combine Work and Traveling 

The best reason to become a digital nomad is undoubtedly the willingness to work while traveling. 

Many people make the mistake of only considering one of the two. They either want to travel as much as possible or work in their preferred location. Both are, however, inseparable. 

As a digital nomad, you’ll have to find a balance between work and play. Your self-discipline has to be on point, and you have to be flexible in novel environments. 

You could, of course, not travel too much and work remotely from one particular location. Nevertheless, you will still have to adjust to that place and get the administrative stuff sorted. 

Consequently, ask yourself whether you love traveling as much as remote work and whether both are integral parts of your lifestyle. If that’s the case, the digital nomad lifestyle is undoubtedly for you. 

Good Reason n°2: You’re Flexible, Adventurous, and Hard-Working 

When it comes to the most critical digital nomad attributes, flexibility, a curious mind, and a hard-working spirit are essentials. 

Flexibility is a sine qua non for remote workers as you’ll break out of traditional working patterns, office environments, and corporate structures. Aside from that, you’ll have to deal with foreign cultures, administrative hurdles, and travel hiccups. 

Being adventurous is somewhat inherent to digital nomadism, as you’re looking for something new and unusual. 

Finally, self-discipline and strong work ethics are indispensable to stay motivated and productive on the road. 

You don’t need to be a productivity monster to succeed as a digital nomad, but having these three qualities will put you in a pole position to thrive.

Good Reason n°3: You Want to Grow as a Person 

Another strong reason to become a digital nomad is personal growth.

Traveling full-time while working a job or managing a business is challenging but also incredibly rewarding. I always like to compare it to college on steroids. You take classes every day, but you won’t have time to study for the exam. In that same vein, you’re in a new environment, but you’ll have to adapt much more quickly. 

As such, digital nomadism will help you grow as a person, and the lessons you’ll learn will be for life. If personal growth is one of your motivations, you’re a suitable candidate for a remote working lifestyle. 

Should You Become a Digital Nomad? 6 Good and Bad Reasons - Man on a mountain at sunset

Picture by Hasse Lossius / Unsplash

Bad Reasons to Become a Digital Nomad

There are many convincing arguments for digital nomadism, but there are also cons, traps, and challenges. The following are some of the most common wrong reasons to become a digital nomad. 

Bad Reason n°1: You Want to Go on Holiday 

Many people confuse a remote working lifestyle with gap years, backpacking, or holidays in general. 

The simple truth is that digital nomads are never on holiday. If you’re working remotely on the road, your free time and working hours start to overlap. Managing your time as a full-time traveler is one of the primary challenges of digital nomadism – and something that many first-timers underestimate.

As an example, you might spend four days in city X as a traveler. Those four days will suffice to see the sites and experience the nightlife, but they would never suffice if you need to run a business at the same time. 

In consequence, don’t become a digital nomad because you want to go on holiday. If traveling the world and visiting places is your sole goal, go on a gap year and take full advantage of your free time. 

Bad Reason n°2: You Think That Digital Nomadism is Easier Than a Conventional Career 

The second reason why many aspiring nomads fail concerns expectations. 

When we look at digital nomads on Instagram, it looks easy. Traveling to a pristine beach, working a few hours on a laptop, posting a picture, and getting a tan: that’s what it looks like. 

The reality, however, is often a far cry from social media digital nomad ideas. 

Being a nomad is challenging and exhausting, no matter your background or financial resources. If you’re expecting a theme park ride or backpacking adventure, you’ll be in for a shock. 

Bad Reason n°3: You Want to Escape From Something

The last wrong reason to become a digital nomad is the idea of escaping: from your corporate job, your problems at home, or your culture. 

You can naturally improve your financial situation with geo-arbitrage. You can also leave a poor job market and try your luck somewhere else. Your problems, however, won’t vanish just because you hop on a plane. 

Digital nomadism can put you in a favorable position to become a better version of yourself, but it won’t magically transform you. And that’s where many would-be nomads fail. They believe that the mere act of changing location will solve their problems – ignoring the fact that troubles don’t disappear by themselves.  

In conclusion, take on the challenge, roll up your sleeves, and you’ll never have to escape from anything. 

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