Many entrepreneurs aspire to travel the world as they make a living for themselves, but few ever arise to such a herculean task as becoming a successful digital nomad. This is pertinent for entrepreneurs from all industries, from a marketing agency in Sydney to an AI chatbot startup.
After a few years of wandering the globe as a freelancer, I’ve encountered a number of hurdles that nearly cost me my income time and time again, but with the right know-how I’ve discovered that you can overcome any adversity on the path towards becoming a digital nomad.
Here are the 5 biggest challenges I faced as a digital nomad, and what you need to expect if you want to see the corners of the Earth as a travelling worker.
It can be hard to recharge
The first thing I realized when I began my days as a digital nomad was that it would be frustrating, if not downright impossible, to recharge in certain places. I mean this both physically – recuperating from your travels – and digitally – like recharging your phone and laptop. My computer was my lifeline to the outside world, and if I lost access to the internet then I’d effectively become bankrupt and aimless overnight. It was thus imperative that I always knew where the nearest charging stations were wherever I roamed.
The language barrier can pop up anywhere
Many entrepreneurs who want to become successful digital nomads think that they only have to worry about such things as a language barrier if they’re travelling abroad. Unfortunately, however, you can encounter language barriers just about anywhere; before I left the safety of my home to see the world abroad, I read up on the unexpected challenges I would face when overseas. None of the research I conducted warned me that I might encounter a language barrier in my own home country before I ever get abroad, however, and I struggled to find lodgings within my first month of travelling because of a simple miscommunication problem.
Before you think it’s easy to just head into the outside world, understand that you may struggle to communicate in certain circumstances. Having access to a language expert or a reliable translation service is essential towards making it as a digital nomad in the modern marketplace.
Scheduling will be a huge struggle
Of all the challenges you’ll encounter on a daily basis as a digital nomad, few will frustrate you as much as daily scheduling. You may think you have a handle on your calendar now, but the minute you become a digital nomad your life becomes vastly less predictable. Furthermore, any sort of unscheduled activity becomes a headache because it forces you to re-plan your day or perhaps even your entire week, especially if you have a rigid travel schedule.
If you don’t want to crash and burn right away as a digital nomad, it’s worth taking some time to study the advice of corporate travel junkies, who can help you maintain your work/life balance when on the go.
Keeping in touch with friends isn’t easy
You may think that the digital age would render it easy to stay in touch with your friends and family members across vast distances, but you’d be wrong. Despite the fact that modern luxuries like skype, text messaging, and smartphones make it a breeze to reach one another, you’ll still encounter many hurdles when combatting loneliness as a digital nomad. Time zone differences, for instance, will frustrate your efforts to schedule face-to-face conversations with your loved ones no matter where you go.
According to research, virtually all surveyed respondents noted that they used social media to stay in contact with their friends and family, so you’ll likely want to turn to some of today’s most popular platforms if you don’t want to be alone all the time. One of the most challenging struggles I encountered as a digital nomad was the sheer loneliness that could confront me wherever I went, but I found that platforms like Facebook and Twitter enabled me to stay in touch with everyone regardless of where I was working
It’s easy to miss out on payments
There’s no point in becoming a digital nomad if you can’t make a living doing it; after all, travel is extraordinarily expensive, and you’ll need a reliable source of income to see as much of the world as you want to. You may have enlisted the help of a company to get you working visas to the places you intend to live, but, many aspiring digital nomads don’t give a second thought to money before embarking on the journey of their lifetimes, which often produces disastrous results. It’s imperative you understand how easy it is to miss out on payments when working as a digital nomad, especially if you’re straying far from familiar labor markets and regulations.
Don’t let yourself get cheated just because you’re abroad. Work diligently to get every penny that you earn, and you’ll soon find that the lifestyle of a digital nomadic professional is within your reach.
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