Pros & Cons of being a Digital Nomad - Soul Seed Media

Pros & Cons of being a Digital Nomad

I am a digital nomad – that is a person who travels and who runs their business online. Digital nomad’s are business owners and freelancers who are reliant on technology, internet and laptops.

I’ve been a Digital Nomad for about 5 years now. Life is an adventure, I love to travel and discover another little part of this huge world that we live in.

Soul Seed Media - Cheryl Slater

Monks chanting in a Chiang Mai temple

I am currently in Chiang Mai, the ‘hub’ for those of us who run an online business – the digital nomad capital of the world due to the low cost of living and you get a lot for your money! Chiang Mai is a culturally vibrant city and has everything you could possibly need and more at a fraction of western prices. The food is absolutely delicious, fresh and cheap! If you’re a vegetarian as I am you’ll be in food heaven. I’ve found some great cafes where I can get my health kick juices in the mornings for only £1!

Soul Seed Media

Let’s start with the pro’s shall we!

  • Freedom – have computer will travel! Yep it really is that easy, you can in theory work anywhere in the world as long as you have a laptop and of course wifi (more on that later).
  • Extra time –  although I go through periods where I am working all day and all night i’ve learnt to structure my days more now and give myself a cut off point. I tend to work for a few hours in the morning and a couple more in the evenings giving myself the afternoons off. I invest most of this time in my yoga practice – wherever I am in the world I always join a local yoga studio.
  • You learn to let go of things you don’t need (and become less materialistic). My life possessions include one suitcase, one bag and a few bits in storage in London (only a small suitcase and a couple of bags).
  • Exploring new territories – new countries, cities, cultures, people, sights, tastes, cafes, shops, temples, markets etc.
  • Self awareness and self development – having to adapt to different environments and people means you’re constantly growing and evolving as a person.
  • Learning new skills and the development of existing ones – such as organisation, planning long trips, researching places to stay, riding a scooter, apply for and extending a visa, driving on the other side of the road, languages, patience, grounding, getting on with strangers, trust and communication.
  • The travelling expands your horizons – giving you a greater outlook on the world.
Soul Seed Media - Cheryl Slater

Learning to ride a scooter in Koh Yao Noi

And the cons!!

  • When the wifi is poor – your business is dependent on having good wifi, it’s your lifeline. This is a number one priority for a digital nomad.
  • Lack of security – it can be unsettling not having a place called home and once in a while it’s good to stop and live in the same place for a few months. You have to learn that home is inside of you and draw on that security from within you.
  • Missing friends & family – this is a hard one to deal with, thank god for Facebook and Skype!
  • Finding somewhere to live – living in a multitude of guest houses whilst travelling, in sometimes less than desirable living conditions such as having to share a room or bathroom with strangers isn’t ideal. As I will be in Chiang Mai for one to two months I am renting my own, very big one bedroom apartment.
  • Fear – being a nomad, living in uncertainty and doing a lot of travelling your life becomes riskier.
  • Travelling without a safety net – no one has control of our lives ultimately, but when you are living nomadically you are far more aware of that fact. Traveling without a home base makes you far more vulnerable because you are completely at the mercy of your current circumstances. You are traveling without a safety net or back-up plan. Instead, you must face life head-on in the moment and respond accordingly.
  • Being self reliant – you are solely reliant on yourself to earn a living and manage your workload and clients. If you get sick or something happens to you this puts you at risk unless you have someone else who can do your job.
Soul Seed Media - Cheryl Slater

Wat Prathat in Pai

A nomad of course doesn’t stay in one place for long, they keep moving. So where to next? I spend part of my year in Ibiza and I am one of the founders and organisers of a non profit association called Healing Ibiza. I will be back on the ground to help and assist with our next event – a 2 day festival on the 11th and 12th of May. And then I will be back in London for the summer to run more social media workshops.

Are you a digital nomad? Would love to hear from you, please leave a comment or email me on cheryl@soulseedmedia.com.

 

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3 Responses to Pros & Cons of being a Digital Nomad

  1. Polina March 6, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    I loved reading this article and discovering your lifestyle. I am hoping to do a similar thing to you and am currently building my own online business to be able to do so. Your inspiring article has shown me that it’s well worth the ‘pros’ (and there are ‘cons’ in any lifestyle!).

  2. Kayla June 26, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    I am half digital nomad, half obsessive traveler and work based in a city. When I first set off to travel it was my goal to set up complete digital nomadship (is that even a word) but it wasn’t until I ended up completely broke in London one year later that I realised I was going to need a better strategy than google adwords on my travel blog ;). Kind of accidentally I set up an online business doing marketing strategy and social media for non profits and social enterprises. While this was mostly online, I didn’t want to miss out on all the opportunities London had to offer and have worked in some pretty cool offices with some pretty cool people every now and then. And then…I became a yoga teacher. It is work that I love but I am now trying to figure out how I can maintain my location freedom while still building up a base of yogi’s and yogini’s who will want to come to my classes or workshops or retreats or watch my videos wherever I go in the world! I’d be interested to hear from you or any other nomadic yogi’s on their experiences with this!!

    I also find all of the cons you’ve mentioned to be completely true! Sometimes I am completely homesick for friends and family and a home and my root chakra/ Kapha side feels out of balance in all sorts of ways. And sometimes I can’t even believe how lucky I am to be living and traveling to so many cool places! It feels to good to be true!

    Great article and glad I found your blog 🙂

  3. Dean November 19, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

    Hi Cheryl,

    Have computer will travel, thanks for the pros and cons, nice motorbike, thanks for the information on your blog, I love Thailand and would not want to leave that is the biggest problem.
    Many Thanks
    Dean

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