My 2017 summary gives you some sense as to just how much I’ve been on the move for the first year since starting this blog. In the last 12 months, I’ve travelled in the Uk, Honduras, Guatemala, Swaziland, South Africa, Croatia, Israel, Tanzania, Norway, France, Belgium and Portugal!
What a life hey?! It sure is….but it’s also not quite that simple.
What most people don’t acknowledge is the fact that I’m not just travelling, I’m also working. I’ve been earning money via various streams online as I go via this blog and the women’s adventure community I founded, Love Her Wild.
I don’t have my own base but make whatever country I’m in both my home and office. I lead a full on digital nomadic life.
(update – I continued doing this for 3 years but then decided the cons were stacking up and opted to quit being nomadic)
Travelling and working are now entirely different experiences than they were before I adopted this lifestyle. Like most things, the digital nomad life has good parts and bad.
The pros of a digital nomad life
#1 Alarms are a choice
Alarms are such a simple daily routine but that beeping used to bring so much unhappiness into my life! Being able to choose my wake up time (or choosing to wake up naturally) has the biggest effect on my positive well being. I get to own every day and decide how to spend it!
#2 Seeing so many places
This is the obvious advantage of being a nomad – it’s really cool being able to visit anywhere. I can go from -30 degrees in Norway to 30 degrees in Jordan and can choose how much time I spend in each place. Tanzania is one of my favourite countries so last year I spent 4 months living there!
#3 Avoiding the winter blues
I used to struggle with SAD and the long winter months but not anymore! I still like to get my cosy fire/Christmas fix, but now I can avoid those long grey winter days in exchange for a sunny beach.
#4 Spending more quality time with loved ones
Even with all that time away, I end up spending more time with the people I love. When living in London I used to visit family once a month for a couple of nights. Now when I visit I can stay for a couple of weeks and can catch all my favourite bits – dropping the niece and nephew at nursery, joining my sister for a mid-morning coffee, helping my mum run some mid-week errands. As there’s always the knowledge that I’m about to go away again there’s a lot more focus on making time together count.
#5 No more bosses!
I’ve had my fair share of controlling, micro-managing, bullying bosses. Well….no more! I only have one boss to deal with now – me!
#6 It feeds creativity
I think this lifestyle makes me super creative. Seeing changing landscapes, hearing interesting stories, experiencing different tastes. I never struggle to find inspiration or ideas for my work.
#7 Putting things into perspective
Being a digital nomad has instilled the idea that I should value experiences over money and processions.
#8 I’m now super productive
I can literally work anywhere and under any circumstances which has made me uber productive. Rather than waiting for the right time, I’ve had to learn to just get on with it and work with whatever I have in front of me. It means I can pull together big projects with just snippets of time grabbed from airport waiting rooms or quick coffee breaks.
The cons of a digital nomad life
#1 Bad internet & workspaces
Trying to get work done with bad internet is the most infuriating thing. It drives me mad sometimes! I also have to make do with noisy uncomfortable spaces which definitely has an impact on my efficiency but also my back!!
#2 It’s hard to be healthy
I miss having access to exercise classes but also to being able to cook wholesome decent meals. I’m often in developing countries with limited food options (especially for a veggie) and even if I’m in a hostel I don’t have oils, dressings or spices and usually end up cooking boring cheap easy throw together meals.
#3 Not having people there when you need them
It’s hard not being able to arrange a coffee with a friend or a cinema night to switch off when you need it. Most of the time it’s just Gil and I or even just me if we are separate doing our own projects. I do meet lots of people travelling but sometimes you just want your friends.
#4 Visiting places isn’t as exciting anymore
Catching a flight, finding yourself in a busy market, using transport in a new country for the first time…it’s all just kind of become normal! I don’t get that same anticipation or feeling of ‘being away from it all’ that I used to get from holidays.
#5 Working too many hours
I’m fairly tough on myself and I find it difficult to switch off and to take breaks. Unless an expedition forces me away from my laptop I work every single day and most evenings. I rarely know what day of the week it is which means weekends are non-existent.
#6 Having to be ‘on it’ all the time
Being your own boss is hard work. If you get lazy then you don’t make money so you need to stay disciplined and motivated which can get exhausting.
#7 Feeling a bit disconnected from people
My life is so different from most others that I find it hard to connect with people sometimes, both new and old. Most people don’t understand my lifestyle or work which can be isolating.
#8 It’s tiring!
Having to be organised all the time. Packing and repacking. Knowing where you are going next and what you need for it. Not knowing where your next job will be or when the next pay cheque comes in. Sleeping in a new bed and having to do introductions with new people every week…..it really is quite tiring!
For more relevant blogs on my career as a digital nomad, check out:
- Ultimate social media guide & how I got 20k followers in a year
- Everything I know about becoming a successful blogger