One of the great advantages of doing almost everything online, is that you have the possibility to work anywhere. That might also be one of its biggest disadvantages, since it can require you to work when you’re on holiday. But what if you would be on holiday all the time and work while you travel around the world? The digital nomad lifestyle looks kind of awesome. But would it be something for me?
What is a digital nomad?
Before I get into whether or not it is something that suits me, let me explain what a digital nomad is. A digital nomad is someone who works remotely from any location, whether it is from home or at a tropical destination. Most digital nomads get together at special hubs to work. It’s a great way to travel and make money at the same time. Many digital nomads start out in Southeast Asia or South America, since living there is rather cheap. After they’ve made some money, they can move up to more expansive locations.
Is it a dream come true?
Traveling while you make money, sounds good, doesn’t it? A few years ago, I traveled quite a lot. No extensive trips to uninhibited parts of the world, but I made a lot of short trips. I felt a freedom to do it and I took advantage of it That’s why the digital nomad lifestyle appeals to me.
However, there are a few downsides that I’m not really sure about:
- Traveling is fun, but it can also be exhausting; you have to be able to live without a base
- If you’ve got an established customer base, you can work anywhere, but if your work requires you to set up a new network at any location you visit, it might be a bit harder to find work
- Traveling can be expensive
- If you have a partner, he/she must be on-board, unless you don’t mind living separated for a while
But it’s got a lot of upsides too!
- You get to meet new people, see new places
- You will learn a lot, not just about yourself, but also about the world
- The freedom must feel great
Digital nomad… or location independence?
For me, the digital nomad lifestyle would probably be a no-go. My BF has a steady job which requires him to get to the actual office every day, and even if that weren’t the case, I really need a base. I need something to go home to. I can live from my suitcase, but only for a limited amount of time.
But I also love the freedom, I love working from remote locations and seeing new stuff.
I’m never going to be a digital nomad, but location independence is perfect for me!
And that is when I read the article on The Sweetest Way about ‘location independence’. That is kind of the same as being a digital nomad, but a bit different. It means that you can work anywhere, but you also have a base. Digital nomads usually have no physical address. They travel (and work) around for a couple of years and decide where they want to settle later on. They often consider themselves to be homeless. If that’s your thing, you should definately pursue this.
Location independent workers on the other hand usually have a home, but they also have the option to travel. Since they do not have to be somewhere at a specific moment, they can go anywhere. But they don’t have to. To me, that sounds like the perfect lifestyle.
So, what should I do?
If this is my perfect lifestyle, what should I do NOW, to get there? Actually not that much. As a freelance translator/writer/blogger, I am able to work anywhere. I don’t have to get up for a boss and I can travel if I want. The only thing I could change is giving up my part-time 1-day-a-week job. But that’s something I like to do. I like to get out once a week to see some other people, work on some different projects and just be out there. I could give that up any time I wanted to.
So what is there left to do? I think I’ll first focus on enjoying this freedom that I already have, and that I may not fully appreciate all of the time. And while I’m doing that, I think I’m gonna make myself a lovely fruit cocktail. Just because I can 🙂