My friend Bharat Bhise became a digital nomad around 7 years ago, and that time I was still gainfully employed, but incredibly jealous of what my buddy was doing with his life. Bharat began to travel the world, working from his laptop as he went and every day a little bit of envy would creep in, I was happy for Bharat, but I wanted a slice of that life. And so, two years ago I decided to take the plunge, quit my job and start a life on the road, working online. It has been amazing and it was the best decision I’ve ever taken, nonetheless it hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows, and here are the pros and cons of this lifestyle.
Let’s start with some of the great advantages of this type of lifestyle which do considerably outweigh the negatives which you may find living as a digital nomad.
The biggest advantage for me is that I am able to work from anywhere in the world, as long as I have an internet connection. This location independence is so valuable and it what I love the most about what I do. Another benefit is flexibility, working at a time that suits me and as long as I deliver the work when I need to, I can work morning, noon or night. Things which I don’t miss from the world of work include commuting, asking for days off or time off t do simple things like go to the dentist or the doctors, not to mention the money that I save each day on food and drink. By far and away the biggest benefit of this lifestyle however is the ability to travel the world and work as I do it.
Another latest perk of being a digital nomad is that you can hire people to work for you from any corner of the world. Their rates are cheaper, and many of them are dedicated to looking out for a remote team. In fact, when your business grows to an excellent level, you can use the employee monitoring tools to know what exactly each one of your team members is up to as per their online assigned projects.
There aren’t too many negatives of this lifestyle but it would be remiss of me not to mention some of the problems that I have ran into since I have been working and living in this way. The biggest thing that I miss from the world of work is the gossip, the daily chats that you have with your colleagues about things that are going on in your life. In truth this can make it difficult to deal with things in your life as there are less people to talk to about it. Making friends is not impossible with this lifestyle but it is a challenge, especially when compared to how easy it is when you are in the workplace with many others. Money can be a challenge too, working self employed means that if you don’t work, you don’t earn, which can cause issues if you are ill for a few days. At least when you work for someone you know you are getting a salary at the end of the month. The only other slight downside is that you have to make sure that you avoid the temptation of working from home all the time, it can be easy to become something of a hermit.
Overall, I wouldn’t change this lifestyle for the world and in terms of the downsides, they are greatly outweighed by the positives.