The dark side of being a nomad
The dark side is much darker than you imagine, but nowhere near the brighter side of being a nomad and having this amazing life. 🙂
But we are here to talk about what can go wrong, and to some extent how to prevent it.
Nomads always have great instagram or facebook pictures, and everyone thinks the lifestyle is perfect and easy. Well, it is not.
In my opinion nomad lifestyle is much harder than a settled life.
The difference is that if you have the right human skills you will face the nomad hardships with a smile in your face, while on a settled (if unfulfilled) life you will complain every single minute of your easy to follow life path.
The big enemy here freedom, if it scares you to have too much control in your life then nomad life is not for you.
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What can and will go wrong for nomads
Safety net / Support
This can mean many things, from money to family and friends direct support.
In the beginning of your journey you may start with some savings, and it will probably take some time until your income is high enough to reinforce those savings. Until then you will feel exposed to unforeseen events. That’s why travel insurance is so critical, don’t forget it.
The community support, that comes from your friends and family is a big shock, probably the biggest and the hardest to overcome. You will be on your own, dependent on the people you will meet on the road. Strong friendships are much harder to create when people are on the move.
It may sound that defeats the purpose if this is a problem, but soon you will realise that us humans like freedom but a sense of belonging at the same time. Difficult to explain right? Try to make someone happy full time and you’ll see where it take you. 😛
It depends a lot on the frequency that you change your base, slow travelling allows you to feel less unsettled and still travel. But if every week or month you move to a new location you will feel “dizzy” after some months for sure.
What normally the more seasoned nomads do, is to choose 2/3 places a year they always visit and then leave the rest of the year for new locations. Those 2/3 places you always go (one typically is the home town) allows you to have a sense of a connection or community while still being a nomad and explore other destinations.
As much as it may sound amazing not having to wake up for a 9-5 job, guess what will happen many times when you get free of that? You will not wake up before 12am!
Ask any nomad, specially if a digital nomad (main income comes from online work) if it isn’t hard to actually put the work needed when you totally manage your working time.
Procrastination will constantly hit you like a thunderstorm and you will need a lot of will power to be productive. Yes, 9-5 makes you life much easier, although unbearable.
This can be felt in many ways, for us it is the natural difficulty for people to understand (like we did before) that this is a possible lifestyle without having lots of money.
Not just that, they don’t understand this is a lifestyle so they will always ask: ” When are you going to stop to travel?”
Another level of the understanding mismatch is work, if you are doing digital work and making money online, folks back home will hardly ever accept it as a possibility or even a decent work.
Yes, you will feel lost in translation many times.
Other kind of expectations are your carreer, when back home in theory you should have a carreer path, that may not be obvious when you are having a nomad lifestyle. People will think you are wasting time of your life, when you are actually growing as a person and getting lie skills much faster than staying back home.
Part of these expectations are also ours, we too have to fight agains the career path hurdle, and we did.
Do not become a nomad if
- you are running away from problems. Solve them first, then leave
- you are on long term relationship and both are not traveling, it will not work
- plan ways to spend your savings, plan to save first, later on you will be able to spend them wisely
Are the good better than the bad
Absolutely, it is very important to stress all this points so you can learn with all our sufferings, but have no doubt that if you succeed becoming a nomad the benefits are unlimited.
Folow the steps we recommend, play safe on your planning and slowly take control of this lifestyle. Very important for it is a solid income plan, check our guides too.
Go, with your head up and knowing all the challenges ahead that we described here.