Expat

Digital nomads? Pros and Cons

As we embarked upon this new adventurous journey towards the unknown, we unravelled the secrets of other people like us and we have come across a word that seemed as sexy as it was mysterious: digital nomads.

Digital nomads are the new generation of nomads, those who, like us, feel the irrepriscible need to wander, to travel the world, to discover it and to live life fully; but are not the lucky heirs of wealthy families who would pay for all their adventures, and therefore they need to earn their own money through work; and their work doesn’t happen in a building, it happens on a computer, online. Hence the term: digital – nomads

We are already digitals, and soon we will be nomads, so there you go! We are going to be part of this group of lucky bastards who can work while lazying around on the beach. Or can they?

10 Gifts ideas for the travelling child

Listen at the same time as your read! 

Time to break the myth people! Here is what people usually believe our lives will be like, and why they are wrong:

1. You work at home, so you can wake up late every morning

Em, how can I put this. When you work for an employer at a mildly interesting job, you count the days from Monday until Friday to be able to spend your salary at the week-end, which you consider to be your “real life”. When you are your employer and you turned your passion into your work, that’s not the same at all. Instead, you spend every possible minute of your day contributing to your work. And every possible day of your week. Sometimes Sunday included.

Also, discipline is key when you are your own manager, assistant, team leader and HR.  It’s like a domino effect: if you start your day late, then by noon you haven’t accomplished much and you feel like your day has already been wasted, so you’re depressed and angry at yourself and you will produce shitty work until 5pm when you will realize that we are all doomed anyways so lets get back to bed and cry ourselves to sleep. By the end of the month you will have to fire yourself as you won’t have been able to pay any bills.

Waking up late is not an option!

2. Oh, but you can work on the beach, that is so much more relaxing!

I must admit I haven’t tried yet, but have you? Tried to work on a computer at the beach? With the sand everywhere, the water drops, the threatening beach balls, the sticky sunblock, the kids, the noise, and the sun hitting you hard on the head?  Doesn’t sound very relaxing to me! Plus, I wouldn’t like to see the state of the computer after a single day, nor the quality or amount of work done in such conditions. Nope! We will be working on a desk, inside, where it’s quiet and where there is air conditioning.

3. So, you’ll just be blogging, that’s not really work.

Well, first of all, I won’t be just blogging, as I’m principally a teacher. So I’ll be teaching online and offline, maintaining my website (which is only in the process of being created), developing marketing, homeschooling my child, vlogging, answering emails, trying to find students and, also, blogging. Did you know that writing a blog post needs at least 2 hours? Sometimes 3 or 4. So, ok, I’m having fun. Of course, I’m having the time of my life, I love what I do, because I’m creating it myself! But I’m putting in at least 70h/ week. So, “not work” doesn’t really apply here.

4. Ok, but your husband is a comic book artist, that’s easy to draw all day.

He is ecstatically happy about his work too. But I wouldn’t say it’s easy. He works non-stop, even longer hours than me, as I’m taking time for our daughter. He’s stuck to his desk all day and can’t take a break if his page isn’t finished for the day. His days are about 16 hours long and his weeks count on average 100 hours. But he loves it!

5. So what are the perks??!

  • Creating your own lifestyle: your game, your rules
  • Living off your passion
  • Travelling and working at the same time
  • Needing only your skills and your computer anywhere in the world
  • Being independent from any organisation
  • Working from home with no shoes on
  • Being all together at home – although sometimes we don’t get along hahaha
  • Being creative all the time, in terms of time management, unpredictable events, development of new ideas
  • Needing to always be at the top of our games: it pushes us forward
  • Spending time with our child
  • Feeling free

6. And the inconveniences ?

  • No sickness leave or it has consequences on our clients and our paycheck
  • No pension: we  need to think of it for ourselves
  • No health insurance: we must take care of that ourselves too
  • No boss: if we don’t have the discipline it takes, nobody will tell us what to do or when to do it.
  • No or little separation between work and private life. A good example of this is that both our desks and computers are in our bedroom. But the living room is the “playground” where we spend quality time together
  • A lot of stress: as we can only count on ourselves, everything is on our shoulders. We can’t rely on a team or an organisation to support us.

But we have our family, our friends, our followers, our clients, our students and our kid to tell us we’re doing a good job and that’s enough

Plus, you know, feeling free… I guess

I’m willing to pay the price 🙂

1 thought on “Digital nomads? Pros and Cons”

  1. So true!! As a fellow freelancer and occasional nomad I can relate to all of this. (And as a writer I can also confirm that writing a good blog post takes hours! The best writing just looks like it was done effortlessly.) The separation of work vs life is definitely something you have to learn to manage – working from home a lot lately I’ve developed a new appreciation for commuting (which I used to think of as such a waste of time) – it provides a nice break between work and home, gives you time to zone out, switch your mind off. Looking forward to hearing what your working day will look like in a few months!

    Liked by 1 person

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