How many times have you caught yourself scrolling through Instagram mesmerized by all these beautiful people traveling to exotic locations and working from their laptops? They look so happy and free and you wish you could figure out a way to break free from the shackles of your current 9 to 5 and hop on the next plane to one of those exotic destinations in your feed.
The Truth About Being A Digital Nomad
I’m here to let you in on a little secret. Not everything is as it appears on social media. Yes, I know that you probably know that but I also know that there’s a big chance that you are swayed by those glamorous looking lives.
The truth is that being a digital nomad is not all butterflies and rainbows.
It’s 7:00 pm here in Tirana, Albania and I am exhausted. We got back from a two day trip to Pristina, Kosovo two hours ago. I wanted nothing more than to have a hot cup of tea and go to bed but I have things to do like write this blog post, promote my 30 Days To A Happier You mindset workshop, and take care of a toddler who is still not happy that she was stuck in a car seat for three and a half hours. Sorry!
Unfortunately, the stove is not working for the umpteenth time and it’s too late to try and use all the various hand signals I can come up with in order to explain to the Albanian owners that the stove does not work again.
Back to the truth about being a digital nomad. It can be tough and full of uncertainty. You seriously have to have a strong mental game going on because if not you are going to want to pack it all up and head right back to your home country.
I have talked about depression and loneliness before. I suffered from depression for most of my life and it didn’t go away with traveling. You bring that stuff with you. Luckily, I learned how to develop my mindset and keep depression at bay most of the time. Traveling does help put this in perspective especially when you see how good you have it in comparison to others around the world.
However, it can be very challenging to make meaningful connections when you are a digital nomad. Especially when you are a digital nomad single mom. People come and go in this lifestyle. None of us are in a place long enough to truly build on friendships so we have to rely on staying connected online and that is tough. Very tough.
Still. There is a certain beauty in being on your own and not depending on anyone else to entertain you and comfort you. In that, you truly get to dive deep and learn to be comfortable with being alone.
Sometimes you might not know where your next paycheck is coming from. I had a sales call with someone this past week and one of her fears was starting out on this journey and becoming homeless. I told her that that was a valid fear. A lot of digital nomads I meet are not making a ton of money. We choose to live in places where our dollar is strong against the local currency so we can build our businesses online while living relatively well on very little.
I wouldn’t say there are any guarantees because you absolutely could run out of money. Some months are tighter than others but I truly believe in the business I am building and I believe that by shifting your mindset around money can help you live a very abundant life.
As awesome as it looks jetting off to the next country every few days, weeks, or months, the truth of the matter is that it is absolutely exhausting. I mean brand new baby exhausting. Not only are you using up the physical energy to get to your next destination but you are also using up a lot of mental energy preparing for your next trip. This is a big part of the reason we chose to truly slow it down in Albania which is why we signed a year lease.
Previous to this, we hadn’t stayed in one place for longer than 3 months but I found myself burnt out from travel. Switching places every few weeks may seem glamorous and fun to a lot of people but it can be super stressful and exhausting. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love it at the same time as I absolutely hate it. It is part of the addiction which brings me to my next point.
This is hard for me to admit and something I only just realized. Us digital nomads broke free from our addiction to material possessions and status only to find ourselves addicted to experiences and novelty. So is one better than the other? I have no clue! I just know that I literally live for the experience of a new place which is why I am struggling just a little bit with living here in Albania. We are enjoying things like Mia being able to be in gymnastics, me having time to actually write, and all of us actually getting our clothes out of a dresser every day instead of a backpack but at the same time my heart aches for adventure which is why we took off to Pogradec, Albania a week ago and Kosovo, yesterday.
I’ve given you the truth about being a digital nomad but I am not done yet. I don’t want you leaving here thinking the digital nomad life is not amazing because it absolutely is. The truth about being a digital nomad is that even though it can be tough at times it is freaking awesome!
Yes, there are tough parts about it but there are also a lot of amazing parts about it that I didn’t share in this blog post. That means you need to subscribe below so you can see when I write about all the amazing things that come with being a digital nomad.