The Pros and Cons of Being a Digital Nomad

Being a digital nomad is amazing, however everything can have cons. But will they worry you? They don’t worry us.

Most people have a dreamed at sometime about ditching their job, packing a suitcase, heading off into the great unknown all the while earning an income online, no doubt you are dreaming about it right now. That’s why you’re here reading about our journey right?

We love our lifestyle but there are some pros and cons to being a digital nomad. For some people the cons are deal breakers, while for others they are barely mild inconveniences.

Kek Lok Si

This of course is not an exhaustive list, and some people may see a pro as a con… and others may see a con as a pro! But these are some of things we have identified that could be pros or cons for digital nomads, some we have faced ourselves, some we have learnt from other digital nomads.

Pros of Being a Digital Nomad

  • You can live wherever you want in the world whether it’s by the beach, in the mountains or somewhere in between. You might choose a completely different culture or perhaps chase an endless summer.
  • You can live a very cheap lifestyle if you so choose.
  • You can experience adventures, locations and cultures that many people only dream about
  • If you don’t like a location, you can move on without too much trouble
  • You get to meet a lot of amazing people along the journey whether they be other digital nomads, holidayers or locals.
  • You can make your own schedule. Of course with some jobs you may have to be available for a meeting or classes at certain times, but again you still get to choose the time for your meeting or class.
  • If there is a festival or event going on you can take time off to attend, no asking the boss or missing out
  • You can work at the beach, by the pool, in a bar or in a cafe
  • Rainy day? Stay in and work. Beautiful day? Head to the park or the beach.
  • Opportunity to start that side project and succeed in your dream goals
  • Open your mind to further opportunities for business or leisure
The fishing boats near our apartment in Penang

Cons of Being a Digital Nomad

  • Having to do visa runs if you want to stay in a country longer than the visa allows
  • Trying to find appropriate accommodation for periods of 1-6 months
  • Organising sim cards and data as you arrive to new countries
  • Being away from family and friends can be difficult.
  • Sometimes it can be hard to get motivated to work when you live in an amazing location and there is so much to see and do
  • You have to restrict your belongings so you don’t have 60 kilograms of luggage and a huge excess baggage fee
  • Not every location is going to be what you dreamed, not every experience is going to be perfect
  • You are reliant on other countries political climate and the sometimes unreliable changes that can be made
  • It can be hard to stay in a routine if that is what you need to get work done
  • It can be hard to meet a partner who has similar dreams to travel extensively or live abroad
  • You may end up working more hours than in your 9-5 job on occasion to get your digital nomad lifestyle up and going
  • Sometimes it can seem everything you do is about your business or being a digital nomad
  • Other people can be rude and jealous about your lifestyle

Do you have any other pros and cons of the digital nomad lifestyle? Or questions about how we manage some of the cons? Let us know!

Further reading:

Discover Why Teaching Online is Perfect for Life as a Digital Nomad!

What You Need to Consider as a Digital Nomad – Income

A Day in The Life of a Digital Nomad

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