The ugly side of the digital nomad
Being a digital nomad is the new “thing”.
Meaning: You run a business from your laptop and you travel the world.
And I would be the biggest hypocrite on Earth if I claimed that the idea didn’t suck me in for a while there. But just like everything, there’s a behind-the-scenes that's not ideal for most of the people who register for the dream.
Here is a list of the not-so-openly-spoken about, ugly side of being a Digital Entrepreneur.
Hotel Rooms. (so impersonal)
Chlorine Pools in those hotels.
No extended family nearby.
Your Best friends back home - all at work.
Your new friends here are at work too - trying to build their digital empires, working round the clock.
Overnight Red-Eye Flights for the sake of a few bucks and travel hacking.
Language Barriers in awkward medical - and other - situations
Unreliable water sources.
Travel Bloggers - who are on such a tight schedule with where they are that they don’t meet a single person who lives in the town they are staying — but hey, got a few great snaps!
Travellers who wear crocs and zip-off pants… and socks with sandals… and travel-wallets.
The inevitable “Heeeeeey lets go out drinking cos’ we left the corporate world so we could party all day long” attitude you get when you hang around a bunch of other digital nomads in a nomad “hub” spot.
Living out of a suitcase.
Time zone Hangovers.
Relationships that are destined to end before they’re ready to end.
The same karaoke night. Every week. With only a few different People.
An abundance of packaged foods.
Stolen, Loved, Belongings. In foregin countries. Where you don't speak the language. And you now have no money.
Missing out on big moments in loved ones lives.
Smelly people in small spaces.
Lack of office or dedicated work space, and sometimes not even any personal space.
Enlightened wankers on their “spiritual path”… who also don’t shower or wear deoderant.
Figuring out how to make your phone work in a new home
International plug holes for electronic devices, and different Voltage Requirements.
Tourists… doing the tourism thing and missing out on the local thing... *shudder*
Working around the clock because “there are no rules”, and it not even mattering where you are in the world because you haven’t left your computer screen.
Lack of boundaries.
Feeling ungrounded and scattered.
Forgetting to eat.
Forgetting where you live.
Safety issues in different cultures.
Not sleeping on a comfortable bed or with a comfortable pillow.
Feeling lonely and Isolated.
No kitchen of your own to cook meals in.
Not having your own community.
Things looking a lot less like this on social media.
…and a lot more. Trust me, some of these things seem cool and like good problems to have - and most of them have solutions -but it still gets old. And please note - some of these issues are not reserved just for digital nomads - they can occur in regular life - they just happen to be accentuated in these extreme environments.
Seems funny that I should say this, because I’m promoting what seems to be something similar at the minute with the Gypset Adventure.
I’m not, actually.
Gypset is a lifestyle. And it can be lived in your backyard, as well as anywhere.
The Gypset adventure is a life-coaching adventure. Run by two life coaches, (Myself and Vienda Maria) who also happen to be well versed at travelling in a sustainable, soulful way. Focused on your wellbeing, and an internal, forward-focused feeling of freedom, wherever you are.
It’s aimed at people who want to travel, because we know so many people who don’t know how to do it in a way thats going to enrich their life - soulfully, financially and physically.
The issues above are resolved in a very natural and expansive way.
Now picture this:
You wake up in the morning to the sound of Howler Monkeys at 4:30am. You know the sun is about to creep over the horizon and you rise out of bed and slip into a bikini and shorts. You grab your journal and head to the ocean - a mere 50m from where you are sleeping. (Howler Monkeys still enjoying themselves). You sink your feet into the pre-sunrise cold sand, and you are deliciously teased by the warm breeze that still blows even in the dark. In silence, you spend some time meditating, journalling, and maybe even doing a little bit of movement- and then you head into the water as the sun peeks over the horizon and take a dip.
You head back to the bungalow you rented off a local, pour yourself a cup of tea and make some breakfast.
“Today is going to be wonderful! I’m so lucky!” After enjoying your meal, running a few morning errands - like playing with the local kids in the street for a little while - you come back to your bungalow, and sit down at your laptop to settle in for a few hours of focused, productive work.
This is the most exciting part of your day - because you get to connect with you passions and create money doing what you’re doing. You chat with your team, everything’s on schedule, you tick off your to do list, and you check in with your body to see what she needs.
A hike! So off you go. You put on your shoes, you grab your camera, your book, a few light snacks and a water bottle and you head up into the hills to catch a few hours of afternoon sun, and relax with your book in front of a nice view, and break a sweat.
In the evening, after connecting with a few clients, and sending out any relevant emails, you spend some time sitting around the table enjoying a nice healthy meal and a glass of wine, made by you, from fresh ingredients at the local market, with a couple of locals, and a couple of travellers, and you listen to local music playing across the road while the sun goes to sleep. The friends you have here are spirited, happy people who enjoy life and love to talk about their adventures and learn from the locals about their ways.
Afterwards, while everyone is heading out, you check in with your body once again and realise that what she needs is some “me” time away from the world that you’re in. You have been out learning to dance and exploring on your moped the past few nights. So you stay in instead, and practise some beautiful meditation, catch up with some friends on Skype, or spend some time practising some self love in your own little way, and connecting to your life goals and checking in with where you're at.
You gently fall asleep to the sound of the ocean, ready to start it all over again tomorrow, grateful for the experiences you’ve witnessed today, grateful for the time you've given yourself to really experience the local life here, excited about all the possibilities ahead, and feeling full.
Life each day is by your own design, and the time you spend is dictated by your own body and her rhythms.
This is the Gypset way of life. And like I said, you can do this in your own backyard, Because freedom in life is an internal job. And it’s important that you get it right. For yourself, for the people around you, and for future generations of people who will enter a world where you can do anything, and be anyone.
Make Freedom and Internal Happiness Your Legacy.
I'd love to hear from you! Tell me, what are your biggest fears about travel, or being a digital entrepreneur? And then, what will you do to resolve them in a holistic manner?