Working as digital nomad from anywhere is perfect! Are you sure…?

Have you ever seen on the Internet a photo of a person working by the pool, one hand clicking on a laptop and the other holding a drink? When thinking about the possibility of working remotely from anywhere in the world, have you ever thought that this is an ideal scenario? Possibly, if you have never worked as a digital nomad, your answer may be yes – often the grass at the neighbor’s house seems greener than on our own lawn. Watching on the Internet the perfect, colorful lives of people who combine travel with work, it is easy to fall into frustration.

Being digital nomad is really some kind of luxury?

 It also happened to me once. To this day, I still remember vividly the day I rode the bus to work. The weather was terrible, it rained and was cold. I just happened to come across an article about a couple working remotely for a Swiss company, and living in Bali. I imagined them working a bit, holding a coconut in one hand and a surfboard in the other. And I was just riding in a crowded bus, during the winter weather, to a job that did not fascinate me very much. At that moment, working remotely seemed unattainable to me. I didn’t believe that it could ever happen to me. That was six years ago. Today, having had the opportunity work remotely from several European countries, I know that it is possible and what it entails. A one-way ticket to Bali is already waiting in my email inbox. 

I am extremely grateful that I have the opportunity work remotely. However, this does not mean that I do not see any disadvantages of such a lifestyle. In today’s post I would like to focus on them. Because, after all, there are two sides to every medal. 

If you are curious about the downsides of digital nomadism from my point of view, I cordially invite you to read on! 

1. The only constant is change

It seems to me that in digital nomadism this meaning becomes even more important. The hard issue to resolve may seem to be accommodation. Of course, you have to assume the fact that renting an apartment in a place other than your place of residence, you have to take into account the cost of renting. In my case it looked like this – while deciding to work remotely from Tenerife, at the same time I was renting an apartment in Prague from someone. I had planned to go to the Canary Islands for a month, but already the second day, being in this paradise, I knew I would stay longer than a month. The question of returning in 30 days to cold Prague was out of the question! However, I had to come to terms with the fact that I would be paying for two apartment rentals at the same time. Not wanting to make the same mistake, before my next trip to work remotely,

How did I solve this problem?

I terminated my lease in Prague and moved all my belongings to a storage facility that I pay rent for. This is a much cheaper option than paying for two apartments at the same time. However, this has one disadvantage in my case – when renting an apartment from someone, somewhere in the back of my mind I had the thought that after going to warm countries, I would return to “my” apartment and sleep in a bed I know. Now I’m a little short of a fixed point, but I don’t want to rent two apartments at once, so I just accepted that this is my reality at the moment.

If you’re wondering what it’s like to work remotely from somewhere other than your place of residence, I recommend going first for a month to see if this is a lifestyle that really suits you. A month will certainly fly by quickly (especially if the temperature where you will be is much higher than where you live permanently), but during such a period, even while working, you can manage to get to know the new place well enough and recharge your batteries with a large dose of vitamin D.

2. You don't know who you will live with

In the world of digital nomads, coliving has become very popular – it is a way of life similar to a dormitory. You pay for a room, but you don’t know with whom you will be housed in the apartment. Related is the fact that you never know who you will run into and whether you will like each other. In coliving there are also options to rent the entire apartment for yourself. As for me, I have never opted for coliving, because I value my privacy and the comfort of living alone too much. However, this is the fastest way to meet new people and this option is chosen by many digital nomads.

3. Get ready for plenty of farewell parties

The life of a digital nomad usually involves meeting lots of new people. However, you should be prepared for the fact that these people, like you, have only come to a particular place for a while. Such friendships, in most cases, are unable to survive in the virtual world. 

Some time ago I was discussing this with a colleague of mine who has been living in Tenerife for several years now – the thing he was most tired of was the fact that getting to know digital nomads is great at first, but after a month or two, the moment it gets warmer in Europe, they return to their homes. And all that remains for him is to tick off a dozen farewell parties and a few memories. 

It seems to me that this is precisely the hardest nut to crack. As for me, a great strength to travel alone is given me by my loved ones. They accept me as I am – they accept that I currently live as a nomad and no one resents me for it. We take great care of our relationship and even if we don’t see each other for a few months, we always stay in touch and no matter what happens, we know we can count on each other. That’s why it’s much easier for me to go away for a few months during the autumn/winter days in Poland/Czech Republic and get some sun in warmer parts of the world. I feel much more confident with the thought that in some time I will return, incredibly nostalgic for them and grateful to have these people in my life. 

4. "Hi, my name is Monika, I'm Polish, but I live in the Czech Republic..."

I still remember how fascinated I was by the ease of meeting new people from the digital nomad community. I enjoyed listening to their life stories and sharing valuable experience. However, after some time, the repetition of the same conversations, especially at the beginning of the acquaintance, began to tire me. After all, you have to start the conversation with something, you have to introduce yourself and say something about yourself, but if you do this a dozen times a week, after some time it can get really tedious.

5. Longing for the services of your favorite dentist or beautician

When you’re away, it’s hard to hit the same quality of service we’re used to in our place of residence – doctor, beautician, hairdresser. I myself have my own favorite doctors or beautician, so I always try to prepare for this before going to some unknown place, so that I don’t have to use such services in a foreign country.

6. FOMO - Fear of missing out on something important

When going to a particular place to work remotely, we usually opt for a place where it is warm during the winter in Europe – these places in a similar time zone are not too many. Therefore, it is highly likely that there is a community of digital nomads at the site. It is related to the fact that there are joint excursions, events, playing volleyball. In Tenerife, as in Madeira, there is a thriving nomadic community. Practically every day there is something interesting going on. And this could prove to be a curse in the long run. Why? It can be easy to get caught up in the idea that if we let one meeting go, we will miss out on something fantastic (because really, these meetings are very often great and you can meet a lot of interesting people there). But this lifestyle can cause us to come home tired and find that it’s not for us after all. And sometimes just keeping a little more moderation would be enough 🙂

Let's talk about advantages of living as digital nomad...

Despite these few aforementioned drawbacks, the number of pluses on my list still far outweighs the inconveniences associated with the life of a digital nomad. I will devote my next post to the advantages of working remotely from a place other than residence and suggest how best to prepare for such a journey. Take care! Here I wrote an article about pros of living as digital nomad:

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