If I scroll down my Facebook feed, I can’t help but to stop and gawk at some of the photos I see people posting of their travels.
I’m friends with a lot of digital entrepreneurs who own online or flexible businesses and can work from anywhere.
Seeing images of people working on their laptops from a beach, hanging out in a foreign country for three weeks straight, or hiking through Southeast Asia on a random Wednesday, I always wondered how I would handle that type of adventure if I became a digital nomad.
I recently quit my job to work from home as a freelancer, and I got a taste of that lifestyle. To my surprise, I didn’t like it at all – for quite a few reasons.
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I Hate Flying
Digital nomads are people who use telecommunications technologies to work from anywhere, and they tend to do a lot of traveling. I feel like if I ever did become a digital nomad, I’d stick to road trips in the U.S. because I’m not too fond of flying.
In general, I hate the busy-ness of the airports and the subpar overpriced food that is sold there. I also get anxiety when flying, and it might be because I’m not in control of the plane!
I got a little nervous when I had a recent flight scheduled during a major thunderstorm. To make things worse, someone on the plane grew sick when we got near the take-off point. So we turned around and went back to the gate and waited for clearance to venture out again. No, I don’t want to fly – even if it lets me work on my laptop at 35,000 feet in the air.
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I Want a Real Vacation, Not a Workcation
While it’s great to be able to pull up a chair, crack open your laptop and work from the beach or any other equally beautiful location, I would much rather enjoy my surroundings without coping with the distraction of work – and vice versa.
I don't want to miss out on sightseeing in a beautiful country because I'm pressed for a deadline.
I’d much rather use my flexible schedule to work ahead on assignments, then schedule a nice vacation during which I can take time off work.
And let’s not forget that it could turn out to be very expensive, too. If you’re not careful, your budget can go out the plane window, as spending more is what comes naturally to a digital nomad. There is also the small matter of health insurance when you are away for long periods that can result in serious damage to your financial well-being.
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Travel Is Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be
When you’re traveling to new places, you may not like everything you experience. Sometimes the food is not so good. Occasionally the Wi-Fi sucks. Sometimes people are nice – and sometimes they aren’t.
I recently stayed in an AirBnb house and found that it was not at all what I expected, and the host was super obnoxious.
While there are many benefits of being able to travel and see the world, doing it every week would probably take its toll on me, since I’m a major homebody who likes the familiarity of my hometown.
I know for a fact that the digital nomad lifestyle isn’t for me, though I’m happy I was open to trying it out on a few occasions. If I hadn’t explored the digital nomad lifestyle, I would probably still be scrolling through the #workfromanywhere and #digitalnomad hashtags on social media, wishing desperately for that lifestyle.
In all honesty, there's no place like home. I love being at home, creating memories in the house with my family, driving my own car, and knowing where everything is. I also crave stability and routines – so that could be it as well.
When you travel often, sometimes it's hard to feel a sense of belonging, even though you're feeding your craving for adventure and new experiences. You may meet new people all the time, but it's hard to maintain relationships with old friends and family when you're always on the go.