Digital Nomad Lifestyle: 5 Reasons to Ditch Your Day Job
10 min read
According to Forbes Magazine, 7.3 million American describe themselves as digital nomads, with an increase of 2.3 million from last year. As many workers have chosen to leave their desk job behind, the nomad lifestyle has become increasingly popular. After all, why work from home when you can travel the world while making money?
Life as a digital nomad certainly sounds adventurous. There's nothing quite like sitting on your beach chair, watching the waves crash in, sipping a rum punch while you finish up your work on your laptop — or maybe, you prefer to hop from coffee shop to coffee shop, testing out the best americanos on the East Coast while you tune out to your Spotify playlist. It's easy to see why so many people are dying to try the digital nomad life. But what other perks are there? Read on to find out why you should take the leap and pack up your laptop for life on the go.
#1: Ditch Your Mortgage
Nothing sucks more than spending most of your paycheck paying off your mortgage (or rent!), the electricity, gas, cable, you name it — there's a bill for it. When you're stationary, it's easy for these things to add up without even realizing it. Before you know it, you're spending seventy-five percent of your income on things that you don't even remember using.
One of the great things about digital nomad life is that you can cut out unnecessary costs. Because you can work just about anywhere with cell service (hello hotspots!), there's no need to pay extra to have all the channels your flatscreen has to offer, let alone pay the massive heating bill of a two-bedroom house.
As digital work availability grows, so do housing opportunities. Many people are choosing to ditch their full-scale homes for tiny houses, skoolie buses, or decked out vans. In fact, according to Home Advisor, the average cost of a fully equipped tiny house is about $45,000. That price point isn't even half of the cost of the average house in today's market, which you can't travel with anyway. Once you have the ability to take your home and belongings with you, you can go just about anywhere your heart desires.
#2: Say Hello to Your New Social Life
One of the best things about being a digital nomad is getting to travel all around the country. Naturally, as you travel, you meet new friends. While moving from place to place might seem daunting, it doesn't need to be! Personalities of locals can change depending on the region you're in and you might find that the state you've lived in your whole life wasn't as great of a place as you thought it was.
Meeting new friends as a digital nomad can be a rewarding experience. Instead of being stuck with the same old crew of co-workers every time you clock in, you can work from coffee shops, bars, libraries, parks, beaches, and restaurants. Every place you travel provides new opportunities to make fresh connections. One of the best benefits about this perk is that you can network new contacts, away from your usual crowd, to help your business grow. While staying in the same city can reach a stalemate, you'll never run out of new people to meet and connect with when you're on the road.
#3: Prioritize Personal Goals
As you start a new job, it's hard not to get sucked in to after work networking, meetings, and even sometimes putting in extra hours on your own time. A full-time career can be a huge drain on your personal goals, since career goals often take priority. You might find yourself trying to make a good impression by staying extra hours at your desk until your boss leaves or volunteering to headline a huge project in the hopes of getting a bigger Christmas bonus. When you work at an office, especially one that's in close proximity to your house, it's easy to put in extra time here or there until one day, you wake up feeling like you're consumed with work and there's no time for yourself.
The nice thing about being a digital nomad is that you don't need to spend as much time doing these things in order to be successful at your job. In fact, many people become digital nomads so that they an improve on their personal goals and develop new hobbies and habits. Ever dream about becoming an Olympic table tennis champion? Now is your chance to work from the game room in between matches. Do you enjoy painting? Reply to your emails while you paint your canvas in front of the crashing waves of your favorite beach. Your career shouldn't take up your whole life — it's only a part of who you are, not everything you are. As a digital nomad, you can take the time to prioritize your own goals while still making enough money to be comfortable.
#4: Ruin Your Routine
As adulthood really hits us, it's easy to fall into a routine. Maybe you start your morning with scrambled eggs and coffee every day before you hit the gym and then make your way to the office. You might find yourself picking up your two-year-old from daycare every day at 3:45 only to go home, make dinner, clean up, do some chores, and before you know it? You only have an hour before you have to get to bed. So, you sit and watch an episode of The Walking Dead before you head on upstairs and turn out the lights, only to do it all again the next day.
At a normal 9-5 job, life can get monotonous. You might feel yourself going through the motions, and even maybe developing anxiety or depression because of it. Life as a digital nomad is different — it's exhilarating because you never know what your day might be like, who you might meet, or where you might go. Each and every day is different, so why shouldn't your routine be different, too? As a digital nomad, you might wake up in one place one week and another place a different week. Digital nomads might change time zones or park at the beach, just to travel to the woods the next day. Instead of making every day the same, you can choose to make every day as unique as you'd like it to be.
Changing up your routine can be good for your mental health, and it can help you to become more productive, happier, and less anxious. A new routine can open up possibilities that you've never ventured to think of before — it can help you explore your greatest hopes, fears, and passions because your schedule never gave you the chance to try them. By ditching your comfort zone and trying life as a digital nomad, you might make new discoveries about yourself that you wouldn't have had the opportunity to discover before working remotely.
#5: Go Green
One of the greatest perks of being a digital nomad, in my opinion, is learning to live without all the material possessions you thought you needed. While you might think you need the latest Keurig coffee maker or the really cute wall tapestry you found at Free People last year on Black Friday, chances are — you probably don't need any of those things. When you choose to become a digital nomad, you will probably need to downsize, which means embracing your inner Marie Kondo and only packing the items that bring you joy. After all, you might not have room in your new abode for that fancy treadmill you thought you needed. Instead, you might choose to hop from place to place and run wherever the wind takes you.
Letting go of your material possessions can teach you a lot about yourself, but it can also help the environment. The average person throws away seventy pounds of clothing a year, and about 1,600 pounds of total garbage per year. Considering most plastic and fibers take anywhere from twenty to one hundred years to decompose, it's no wonder our planet is struggling. When you become a digital nomad, you don't have the opportunity to take as much with you, which eliminates your overall waste habits. If you choose to live in a tiny home, you might find yourself choosing more reusable alternatives, like a hydroflask instead of plastic water bottles. You might not have the room to buy enough groceries for one week, so you buy enough for two days instead, further eliminating the waste you might have had if you didn't eat everything. These little changes might not seem like a lot, but they can make a big impact on our environment over time.
It's not difficult to see why so many people are trying the digital nomad lifestyle — there's many perks that most people find appealing, like traveling more, saving money, and prioritizing self-care. The digital nomad lifestyle has many benefits that regular office jobs just can't compete with — the possibilities are endless.