Yanna here – Digital Nomad Training Program Leader here at Wade Marketing!
Being a digital nomad can mean almost anything. It can mean you travel around small towns in the U.S. It can mean you spend months in Bali. It can be anything in between.
Being a digital nomad means living and traveling on your own terms.
With the right remote job, you can get work done while still experiencing different cultures, cities, and countries year-round, if that’s what you want. That’s what we wanted to help people do when I partnered with Wade Marketing to start the Digital Nomad Program.
As a digital nomad myself, I have heard all the myths surrounding what I do. So many people glamorize it or get the wrong idea about it. As an expert digital nomad, I want to make sure you know exactly what the real challenges are – and what the real opportunities are.
Myth 1: You Can Never Have A Routine
This is probably the worst one. Many people believe that as a digital nomad, every day has to be different. That’s just not true.
You can make a routine if that’s what you want, it’ll just be different from your day-to-day routine at home. As a digital nomad, you’ll have the ability to decide exactly what your daily routine looks like. Your routine might just be to work in a cafe during the morning, hit the beach in the afternoon, do work in the evening, then go out with friends at night.
Or it could be much less rigid – you could try a new cafe every day, stay in your hostel, and work only in the evening.
Your routine – or lack of routine – is totally up to you.
Myth 2: You Won’t Get Any Work Done
I’ve noticed the only people who believe this myth are those that don’t get much work done no matter where they are.
This depends entirely on you. If you’re the kind of person who can’t help watching Netflix when you’re working remotely at home anyway, then the best thing I can say about being a digital nomad is that you’ll have better procrastination options if you’re in a brand new country to explore.
Plenty of digital nomads, myself included, totally manage to balance work and travel. The key is finding a company that values work-life balance and not working over-demanding jobs. This is why I partnered with Wade Marketing because digital marketing is the perfect industry to work in for a successful digital nomad lifestyle.
Myth 3: You Have To Travel Every Day/Week
If I went to a new city every week, I’d be exhausted. Some digital nomads thrive on that constant movement, but you don’t have to. You can spend a few days in a new town, or you can stay there for months.
If a less hectic travel style appeals to you, I recommend you learn about slow travel. With slow travel, the emphasis is on truly experiencing the culture you’re visiting, and less about seeing all the sights in two days or less.
The great thing about being a digital nomad? You can choose which style appeals to you or play it by ear entirely.
Myth 4: You’ll Be Lonely
This was my biggest fear when I decided to become a digital nomad. I worried that I wouldn’t find friends, or that I’d miss my family.
The truth is that when you’re a digital nomad, it’s easier than ever to make friends. Most folks are welcoming to travelers, and you’ll also run into other travelers along the way.
This was important to me, so when we designed the Digital Nomad Program, we made sure that making awesome friends was a big part of it. If you want to learn more about that, check out Nomadcru, which is our very own community to help digital nomads find connections to co-working spaces and current events in the nomad space. It’s also just a great place to share your stories and tips, plan meetups, and make new friends.
Myth 5: It’s Disrespectful To The Local Community
There’s that stereotype of the ignorant traveler that every digital nomad is aware of. And while of course, some digital nomads give us a bad name, it’s possible to travel respectfully, too.
It’s very important to research the place you’re visiting, try to learn the language, and be respectful of their culture.
There are also tons of options to do what’s called “traveling with an impact,” where you can volunteer with local organizations. Make sure to keep your eyes open for what you can do to help.
Myth 6: You Won’t Get A Sense of The Real Culture Because You’re Only There A Week
If you stay in an all-inclusive resort, you won’t. But the great thing about being a digital nomad is you have the freedom and flexibility to stay where you want. You can stay in hostels, Airbnb, or rent from local realtors.
Make sure you go on tours, sightsee, learn about the culture, and really see the place you’re traveling to. If you’re the type of person that likes to go off the beaten path, asking the community for non-touristy recommendations can also be a great idea.
Myth 7: You’ll Miss Your Home Friends And Family
When you become a digital nomad, nobody makes the rules but you. If you’re prone to homesickness, you can schedule a time to go home for holidays – or whenever you want. Plus, many digital nomads I know use the opportunity to travel to see friends and family that live abroad.
Myth 8: It’s Expensive
Traveling nonstop can be expensive for sure. And this has gotten worse with the pandemic and as more workers go remote. One town I went to before the pandemic cost just $400 for an Airbnb for a month in 2020. Today, the same AirBnB is $1,000 for a month’s accommodation.
But if you know where to go, it doesn’t have to be expensive. As a digital nomad, you can rely on cheap flights on off days or weird hours. I also love taking advantage of layover programs (where airlines give you the option to take long layovers between destinations). For example, TAP Portugal allows you to have a free multi-day layover in Portugal, and it offers plenty of restaurant/hotel perks.
The key is to do your research. Make sure you’ve looked into cheaper travel options, like Eurorail or budget airlines. Look for good deals on hostels and flights. And when you find a bargain, don’t forget to let other travelers know about it!
Being A Digital Nomad Means Freedom. The Rest Is Up To You.
I could summarize all these myths with one sentence: Live life on your terms, whatever those are. Being a digital nomad is figuring out what you want, once you have the freedom and space to truly explore that. You may find you prefer slow travel over fast travel. You may want to be a digital nomad who stays in their home country and travels around doing van life, or you might prefer to do it alone, or with a big group of new friends. The possibilities are endless.
As a digital nomad, you have total control over what your life looks like. In a world that loves to control you, here’s your chance to write your own story.