Could You Be A Digital Nomad?

freedom

I’ve often been drawn to the idea of being a digital nomad – working on the road, earning a living whilst visiting an array of beautiful, fascinating places. Quite a few of my favourite travel blogs are written by such people and that free-as-a-bird mentality is incredibly appealing.

Travelling solo around Canada for five months in 2012 was the best thing I’ve ever done. While I’ve got no plans to leave my life here in Liverpool anytime soon, I’m definitely a freespirit at heart and there’s always a part of me that wants to fly away to somewhere new. However, I also enjoy home comforts, being able to visit loved ones, snuggling up on the couch watching films with my beau and sleeping in my own bed (the orthopedic mattress is crazy comfortable).

As I get older, approaching 30 this year *gulp*, home comforts are becoming increasingly important, but that niggling feeling, those itchy feet, that hint of excitement at the mere thought of going travelling again are always there. Now is not the time though. Having just set up a new freelance copywriting business, my days largely involve work, work and more work. I’m also in a long-term relationship and if I was to ever consider uprooting, Andy would have to be in on it too.

This year is all about hard work and forging my career path, with a few holidays thrown in as well of course! But travel is a major part of me, not just a spectator and whatever the future holds, travel needs to play a bigger part. Whether this means being able to afford for us to have several trips away each year or having the flexibility to be able to work remotely from different locations (which is basically being a digital nomad) we’ll see what happens. 

Being a digital nomad doesn’t have to involve hopping from hostel to hostel, place to place though. Spending a few months in each location and renting out an apartment is a much more attractive option – especially when needing somewhere suitable to work, with adequate WiFi. One thing I know for certain, the idea of getting a massive mortgage and being financially tied down to one place is not something I crave. Although, just because you own a property, this doesn’t necessarily mean having to stay in that place. People go travelling and rent out their homes while away. Ahhhhh, my head hurts! 

Okay, this was definitely one of those random rants! It would be great to hear if anybody else has the same feelings or if any of you digital nomads can provide an insight into the benefits of this kind of lifestyle. 

 

15 Comments

  1. January 21, 2014 / 16:59

    I have this debate constantly! My ideal scenario would be travelling for 6 months, home for 6 months and repeat! The problem is I can’t imagine doing anything for work on the road. If you do put down some more roots here it definitely doesn’t have to stop you. We travelled for 18 months and rented our house the whole time, it paid the mortgage and gave us peace of mind.

    A lot of digital nomads I’ve seen recently seem to be house sitting while they travel, it looks like a fantastic option if you do go down that route some day.
    Maddie recently posted..An update on life and our 2014 plansMy Profile

    • February 7, 2014 / 18:11

      House sitting sounds amazing – especially when you get to look after adorable pets as well! :-)

  2. January 21, 2014 / 22:28

    You find out what works for you in the end – I’m very much a permanent home person. I like the stability and I am happy to take a short trip a month or so, with one or two longer ones thrown into the year. No matter what you’ll always wonder what if – But as long as contentment overrides those moments and they’re not every day, you’ve found the balance. Easier said than done I suppose, but the challenge is part of the thrill! Being a digital nomad holds no appeal to me whatsoever, and although I was a little afraid to admit that when first entering the world of travel blogger, I don’t care now – I still travel, I’m still happy.
    And worry not about turning 30! I haven’t looked back! And I’ll be 33 later this year!
    Clare recently posted..Italy and Greece: My Two Legendary LovesMy Profile

    • February 7, 2014 / 18:09

      Thanks Clare, it’s nice having the security and comforts of a homebase definitely and, you’re right, it’s possible to enjoy the thrills of travel with some good planning and effort while working full-time. Hopefully when adjusted to my recent change of situation can start travelling much more :-)

  3. January 21, 2014 / 23:53

    From what you wrote, it seems like you have both options available, it’s just a matter of time and your choice. Freelance copywriting is one of those things that you can turn into a location-independent business. And traveling together can be a good thing for a relationship.

    I’ve been moving every two years or so and I’m building ways to be able to earn money while traveling. That way, I can travel when I feel like it and go home when I feel like it, without being tied down to a job. It’s all about finding the balance between traveling and being home, which is tricky because that balance changes over time, too.

    And RE: property, I invest in real estate with the purpose of having the rent fund my location independence. It’s all about how you approach things!
    Deia @ Nomad Wallet recently posted..Trip Booking: How We Saved $230 by Going to NYCMy Profile

    • February 7, 2014 / 18:04

      It sounds you have a sweet arrangement sorted out that works really well for you. Very inspiring thank you :-)

    • February 7, 2014 / 18:02

      Thanks, very wise words :-)

  4. January 23, 2014 / 05:55

    I loved our RTW trip but am happy to be home and settled again. My ideal would probably be something like working 9 months a year and having 3 off. I did some freelancing on the road and it was definitely fun but not something I would want for a lifestyle. There are many travel bloggers doing the digital nomad thing though, and they love it!
    NZ Muse recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Last stop, LAMy Profile

    • February 7, 2014 / 18:01

      That would be ideal travelling for a few months and working the rest if financially feasible. That would be so cool :-) Being able to travel somewhere with low living costs like parts of South East Asia make sense. I know a lot of travel bloggers head to Chiang Mai.

  5. January 25, 2014 / 00:53

    While my own travel sabbatical taught me that I appreciate having a home base, I do want the option of being location independent. I would love to have the ability to work while experiencing a new city for a month (or 3).
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Photography 101: LandscapesMy Profile

    • February 7, 2014 / 17:58

      I felt the same when returned home from long-term travel, really appreciated home comforts and loved ones. There’s such a draw to being location independent and just being able to move around when you’re fed up with a place. I’m not sure I would be motivated to work all day if there was a gorgeous beach out there tempting me ;-)

  6. January 27, 2014 / 12:22

    It’s such a difficult choice – I totally feel your pain as I’ve had a lot of the same debates in my head too. But I don’t think it has to be a decision between being nomadic and being home-based, there are lots of variations that come within the two – like being based at home for part of the year, or doing house sits (or house exchanges if you do go down the road of buying a property). To me, having a job that means I could technically be a digital nomad was more about having flexibility than anything else – want to have a day off midweek and go do something you can, want to extend your holiday to a month and work some of the time you can. It’s about finding balance between the home-loving and the travel-loving sides of your personality.
    Lucy recently posted..In pictures: Walking London’s South Bank at duskMy Profile

    • February 7, 2014 / 17:53

      That’s it, finding the right balance is key. I think once more settled in new freelance role will hopefully be able to book more holidays so don’t feel as frustrated :-) It’s nice being able to have something to look forward to all of the time, even if it’s a night away somewhere. It’s nice to have a change of scene :-)

  7. April 17, 2014 / 16:30

    My wife and I have the same dilemma. I am a freelance developer, so theoretically I can work from anywhere, although a lot of companies aren’t yet comfortable with that.
    We travel a lot and that is great for us. Through travel though, we learn how important it is to have a home and be there sometimes. We spent nearly 6 months away and it was stressful, so we are still jiggering back and forth with the timing.
    The downside of trying this balanced approach is the cost. If you are always on the road and don’t own much more than what is in your backpack you probably have fewer costs than us who have a home. So we have to work a little harder not just on setting the balance, but having enough money to do the balance. We have named our lifestyle “Beyond Vacation.” it is ever in flux, but that is ok. At the moment we are happy being home.
    Andrew recently posted..Roleplaying Games as a basis for Fantasy WritingMy Profile