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Is digital nomad lifestyle for everybody?
What is a digital nomad? Definition from Wikipedia – “Digital nomads are a type of people who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their lives in a nomadic manner. Such workers often work remotely from foreign countries, coffee shops, public libraries, co-working spaces, or recreational vehicles. It is often accomplished through the use of devices that have wireless Internet capabilities.”
Digital nomad, traveler, working remotely from where ever you want are the words we have heard a lot in the past year. These possibilities sound like a dream to all of us who love exploring the world. But do we have to fit in one description and do we have to be digital nomads to be able to live a life full of travels? I believe not! The Internet is filled with articles and blogs about the topic – “How to become a digital nomad,” “How to quit your 9-5 office job”, “10 skills you need to work remotely”, “digital nomad jobs” and so on. It might sound perfect to be able to move somewhere to SEA and sip on a freshly made juice that cost you nickels while your work on your Mac with the sound of the waves in the background. But most of us don’t have the skills nor desire to live in SEA despite the low living costs. Most of us have, and some of us want to stay behind, to make those huge corporate wheels go around, pay our high taxes (have to, not want to) and use our vacation money to go on short cityscapes and three weeks vacation in the summertime. But also remember this – working remotely or have a digital nomad job doesn’t mean you have to become a digital nomad – it means that you can work from where ever you want. THAT appeals to me – “to have the possibility.”
My motto is – “You don’t have to do anything that doesn’t appeal to you.” Be critical about the information you find on the net. I say “If it sounds too good to be true, it is probably not true.”
Here is what I see most on the net – Get these or these skills, and you are ready to go. Yay!!
But, nay… Now comes the hardest part and unless you know something about marketing and are good at building a social network, you may just as well stay at your desk in the office and forget all about your easy-peasy perfect life as a digital nomad. I have learned a few things about marketing, and it takes time to build your brand, to attract the clients you need and want, make them chose you – and most importantly build a network with those who can help you on your way to reaching your dream.
But, if you still want to pursue a lifestyle of a digital nomad, you will probably have to learn new skills, marketing, networking and more – it’s just as easy as that. Becoming a digital nomad might not be for everyone, but how about an online business on the side? If you seriously consider an online business I recommend you to check our Sharon Gourlay’s blog Digital Nomad Wannabe – she has tons of free useful information and holds courses as well.
Why I don’t want to become a digital nomad
I have a full-time job, two super active teenagers, and a husband, and I just finished my three year Masters while I was working full time. And for the past three years, I went to five new countries, seventeen new cities and at least ten places I have been to before. So you don’t have to quit what you do (unless you don’t like what you do) to be able to see new and old places. I love to write and photograph and would love to show the beautiful things of this world as I have experienced them to all of you. But as much as I love traveling, I have come to the point in my life where I also like having a home base. The feeling of coming home after a trip is one of the best.
My husband and I have ordinary salaries, so we have to prioritize how we want to spend our money. We have a mortgage, a car, hundreds of bills and two super active teens. Some people spend their money on clothes, interior, cars or whatever. We spend ours on our trips and vacations.
I want the freedom to do what I like from a home base – and opportunity to take extra time off to go on trips. I don’t want to travel full-time. I want to see as many places as possible and get the grasp of as many cultures as possible. But I also want stability and security of a home base and steady job, whether it is an office job or an online business. I like working with people and need a routine of getting out of the house, at least for a few days a week. If I find the way to work remotely, I would still need to meet other people. I know that I am at my most creative when I work in a team.
Find out your strengths and weaknesses and work around those. Define your vision, set your goals and do it!
Here is how you can spend less booking your trips
Usually we bring the teens on trips with us, but unfortunately, they are considered as adults by the airlines and hotels… A family of four adults taking trips as often as we do is expensive. So as a tip and inspiration for especially cheap destinations I always check Tim’s blog.
Flights and accommodation
We travel preferably with Star Alliance partners to get the mileage points. It is a Scandinavian company with the most flights out of Oslo Norway and the best customer service (based on our experience). For my American, Australian and UK readers, I can recommend Skyscanner for cheap airfares. I haven’t used it myself, but many of my fellow travel bloggers from the States swear to it.
Same goes for car rental – try to stick to one company to get preferred customer benefits or use Skyscanner to find the best deals at all times.
We have never used Airbnb, but I have heard both good and bad things about it. Airbnb is supposed to be cheaper than hotels, and after I read Kayla’s article on the reasons to use Airbnb I was convinced to try it. You can read her post here. We don’t stay at hostels, so can’t give you any recommendations on that. I provide an honest description of accommodations we stayed in on our trips here. My reviews are not paid by hotels and based solely on my own experiences. You can check my destinations here.
And if you can travel off-season, you will save the most – because hotels and airlines want to cover their marginal costs.
Before I started this blog, I had an Instagram account which had about 4k followers. So prior our road trip to France I got in touch with some hotels and asked for a deal – cheaper (or free stay – yet to get) stay for an honest post on my IG about our visit in return. And you know what? It worked. You can read about the hotel and our stay here.
I am a huge fan of short trips – city breaks and mountain hikes. I get easily bored and restless staying long in one place. I like beaches but for a short amount of time and prefer places that offer both relaxation and activities. Places with history and ancient or 18-century architecture are favorite. And road trips are the top of the icing.
I don’t want to be defined as either traveler, tourist, digital nomad or whatever because I do my own thing that could be a mix of whatever I want. And you should do the same – do your own thing! It doesn’t matter if it is quitting your desk job, moving abroad, getting new skills or taking short trips whenever you can. The most important thing is that you find something you believe in and set your mind to it. You will never know how far you can go unless you try. Whenever I feel overwhelmed with all the millennials showing their “dream life” – I read Patti’s blog Luggage and Lipstick, and it makes me feel much better.
Anyway, you know how they say – “Reach for the stars, and you may hit the moon”! And THAT wouldn’t be so bad.
- Choose an airline you like or use the most, and sign up for their frequent traveler program.
- Or search for the best deals on Skyscanner, where you will find flights, hotels, and car rental deals (see links above).
- Sign up for a credit card that allows you to earn mileage points. We use AmEx and Mastercard – both work with SAllianceance
- Use Booking.com or Hotels.com or Airbnb or Couchsurfing
The point is that you stick to one provider to gather as many points or cash back as possible or always shop for cheapest options. Whatever strategy you use I hope it will work for you and do your planning and traveling comfortable and convenient.
If you have any questions or suggestions of your own, please feel free to share it with me here