Want to make money working from anywhere? Dreaming of sitting near the beach, coconut in hand, computer in front of you?
Life as a digital nomad is a great way to live and work on your own terms.
It allows you the freedom to travel the world while making money and the flexibility to make your own hours.
It’s not without its challenges, however.
Luckily, most of these challenges are easily overcome with a little practice or planning…
Digital Nomad Challenges: Awkward Situations You May Face
“It must be so nice to be on vacation all the time…”
If you’re already working on the road, you’ve likely heard this more than once.
Maybe it’s from family that doesn’t understand your lifestyle, or friends that are jealous of your non-nine-to-five.
Maybe it’s from strangers, who assume that because you’re at a Mediterranean resort you can afford to live the high life.
It can be difficult to make others understand that while you can work from anywhere in the world, you aren’t frittering away your time with pina coladas or sightseeing tours.
“How do you afford to travel so much?”
Those of us who get asked this question a lot often struggle with the response.
For a lot of us, travelling is synonymous with working but not necessarily being flush all the time.
We can afford to travel because we have made the decision to forgo a house and its mortgage payments, or rent on a flat at home, car payments, and other stationary necessities.
Many of us travel slowly, staying in one place for a month or two at a time where we can pay monthly rent instead of a usually more expensive nightly hostel rate.
This allows us to see something of the place we are in, all while working whatever hours we want.
Consider sharing a daily log for your readers if you’re a blogger, or posting some behind-the-scenes photos if you’re an influencer or photographer…
These snippets often showcase what we do better than talking about it ever could.
Connecting The Dots With Others At Home
One of the biggest challenges you may face as a digital nomad is convincing clients that even though you are in (insert fun destination here), you are dedicated to your job…
For many this means being available at all times, no matter the time.
For example, as a freelancer, I have my Upwork app on my phone. Even if it’s a Friday night, I take five minutes to respond to a message.
This shows my clients and potential clients that I’m accessible, but I don’t sacrifice my free time either.
If it turns out to be more than a one-off message, I arrange a call or a chat for the next day.
It has taken time; some clients aren’t convinced that I can travel and work. I’m up front about my itinerary and if I have to take some time off to move around, I always let them know.
I, for one, am proud to say I’ve never missed a deadline.
A digital nomad’s biggest challenge can often be time management.
I’m aware that time management is an acquired skill for many people, not just those of us that make our lives on the road.
When you consider that most people who have a full time job work eight hours a day, being a digital nomad who may only work four hours a day sounds pretty plush.
For a lot of digital nomads, though, four hours is a bare minimum…
We are also, on any given day, taking a tour (so we have new material to write about), on a photography shoot (so we have new photos for social media), or driving from point A to point B.
If you’re solo, like I am, factor in the grocery shopping, cooking, showering, and winding down.
Days for a digital nomad can sometimes be as long as fifteen to twenty hours. Time management skills are hastily learned on the road.
Overcome These Digital Nomad Challenges
When you first leave home for uncharted territory, it’s tempting to set work on the back burner. You’d rather explore your new home and make new friends.
With funds set aside from home, you think to yourself “I can wait a bit before working.”
You’re also likely dealing with a bit of jetlag, which makes even the smallest things seem monumental.
The best way to overcome these digital nomad challenges is to keep a journal and to stay on task with a planner.
Post snippets of your daily life on a blog or Facebook page, which you can share with friends and family.
When you hold yourself accountable for day to day tasks, you can master things like time management, client happiness, and even how to answer those pesky questions about your personal finances!
Do you work on the road? What digital nomad challenges have you faced? Or are you considering being a digital nomad? What questions do you have for us?