This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. For more info please read my Disclaimer.

8 Fears of Becoming A Digital Nomad and How to Overcome Them

by | Last updated Mar 28, 2021

You might be in a similar position: You are tired of your uninspiring 9-5 job and your usual daily routines. You want to do something completely different, break free from your ordinary life and start living your dreams. You want to travel the world! You want to see those amazing places, experience different cultures, meet new people, and try exotic food.

How great would it be if you could simply pack up your work, bring it with you and start traveling? Good news: It is possible and not even that hard. But many people hesitate and are worried for different reasons. If you are one of them, read on. Here are 8 common fears of becoming a digital nomad and how you can deal with them.

Fears of Becoming a Digital Nomad, Worry, Lifestyle Change, Location-Independent, Remote Job

Becoming a Digital Nomad: 8 Common Fears

When I started my freelancing and nomadic lifestyle, I had many fears, too. (You can read about them in this interview I had with Emilie Blum of Heek). And from countless conversations with my family, friends and people I’ve met along the way I know, that there are many more worries people have regarding this kind of life.

However, they are often unfounded and only come up because of a lack of information or panic of the unknown. See what is really behind these fears and why there is no need to have them.


1. Fear of not having enough money

Many people assume that you need to have a lot of money when you want to be a digital nomad. But it’s actually quite the opposite. Nomads often (not always, of course) travel to places with relatively low costs of living.

There is a reason why Chiang Mai or Bali are so popular with digital nomads. Besides the great climate and lovely mentality, you can rent a very nice place for fairly little money. Food, internet, transport and entertainment are cheap, too.

That’s why many nomads will actually spend less per month than what they would spend back at home. Of course, this depends on your travel style and living standard. But if you wanted to, you could live a fairly cheap nomad life.

Apart from that, you will also earn money (at least that’s the plan, right?!). So it’s not like you will travel forever without any income. Sure you need to manage your budget wisely. But after all, you would have to do that at home, too.

Check this article if you want to find out how much money you would need to save if you wanted to survive as a digital nomad without any income for 6 months.


2. Fear of not making any income

Since we are talking about finances: Many aspiring digital nomads are scared that they won’t be able to generate any income while being on the road.

I have to admit it can be harder for some to find ways to make money online. It all depends on your skills, experience and also attitude. There are literally countless ways to make money remotely.

For example, you could start as a freelancer and offer your service to clients. That could be as a translator, web designer, virtual assistant, tutor, or as a content writer. Whatever skill you have or are willing to acquire, see how you can perform it online.

If you don’t feel like freelancing and prefer the security of being employed, don’t worry either! There are plenty of companies out there who are actively looking for remote employees. Check out this post to learn the best strategies to find these kinds of companies.

To add a third way of becoming a digital nomad and making money online: You could also start your own business. For instance, you could start a drop shipping business or make money with AdSense or affiliate marketing. Maybe monetize Instagram accounts? Or buy and sell domains? The list of online business opportunities is virtually endless.

Need more ideas what kind of online job you could do? Check out this list and get some inspirations.


3. Fear of being alone

Not many people are in the lucky position to start the digital nomad lifestyle together with a friend or their significant other. And if you don’t, you might be scared that you will be all alone during your next weeks or months or even years.

Again, this depends on your personality and how much you are actively trying to engage with others. But it is definitely not as hard to make friends on the road as you might think.

For one, wherever you go there will always be locals you can make friends with. In addition to that, there are thousands of other digital nomads, expats or travelers out there, looking to connect. You can find them in Facebook groups, such as Chiang Mai Digital Nomads, Meetup Groups, like Digital Nomads Hamburg, or websites and apps, such as Nomad List Forum.

If you want to find more online and offline communities for digital nomads, check out the linked article.

Fears of Becoming a Digital Nomad, Worry, Lifestyleac Change, Location-Independent, Remote Job

4. Fear of leaving friends and family behind

Another very common worry when becoming a digital nomad is what happens to your family and friends. Many are worried that staying in contact will be an issue and that they will fall apart with friends when they can’t see them as often as before.

I’m not going to lie; it is hard to say goodbye to your loved ones. It is hard every single time. But it is not like this is the end of your relationship.

You can always stay in contact with video calls on Skype, emails or WhatsApp messages. Sometimes I’m texting with my friends all day long so it doesn’t feel like I’m far away at all. And, of course, you can always come back for a short or extended visit. It’s not like you are out of the world.

Your family will stay your family no matter where in the world you are. They simply don’t have any other choice ;) With friendships it’s a little bit harder. You have to put in a bit more effort. But your true friends will stay with you no matter where in the world you are or how long you don’t see each other.


5. Fear of letting go of possessions

Yep, humans can be terribly materialistic. When we live at the same place for a couple of years, we tend to gather oh so many possessions that they fill up entire houses. Tons of clothes, electronics, cosmetics, souvenirs and other bits and bobs.

Becoming a digital nomad often means that you will have to reduce your physical possessions. You can’t carry everything around with you and if you give up your home base you can’t simply leave it behind.

Most people get easily attached to certain things and almost panic when they have to give them away. That dress you haven’t worn in years? Your DVDs you haven’t watched in ages? The fancy kitchenware you have used only once or twice?

Be realistic: How often are you going to use it again? Maybe you only keep it “just in case”. Go through your house and sort out what you really can’t live without. In the end you will be surprised with how few items you really need to get by. And life is so much easier without having so many things to drag along.

If you want to find out more about how digital nomads can live a minimalistic life, check out the linked article.


6. Fear of language difficulties

I have heard that fear quite often: I couldn’t possibly move to a country where people don’t speak English! I would be so lost!

Nah, you’d be fine! First of all, you are likely to find at least a few people who speak a couple of words English in most big cities.

Second, it is astonishing how far you can come by simply pointing at things or nodding. And a smile is understood in every language!

If that doesn’t work, lucky you! Today there are countless of translations apps out there, that work even without an internet connection. You could use the classic, Google Translate, or go for something with more features, such as iTranslate.

And if you are planning on staying longer in a particular country, you can always do a language course and learn the language. Or at least learn a couple of words to get by.

Fears of Becoming a Digital Nomad, Worry, Lifestyleac Change, Location-Independent, Remote Job

7. Fear of failure

There is also the fear of general failure. People are scared that they are not going to make it. They could fail with generating income, fail with finding places to live, fail with actually enjoying their new lifestyle.

Being absolutely honest here: Yes, that can happen. All of it.

BUT if you prepare properly, chances are fairly small. Get as much information about the digital nomad lifestyle as you can. Do you really think this is the right way of living for you? Make a plan how you want to make money online. In best case, have your remote job sorted out before you leave. Save money so you don’t end up broke in case something goes wrong.

And if you still fail, what’s so bad about it? Maybe after six months you realize that the digital nomad lifestyle is not your thing. That’s completely ok! Nobody said that this is what you have to do for the rest of your life.

Take it as an experience. Analyze why it didn’t work for you. Were there parts that you enjoyed? Learn from it and see if you can use this experience and knowledge to create a lifestyle that works better for your needs.


8. Fear of negative situations

This is just a little excerpt of all those little fears people can have about becoming a digital nomad:

  • What if I get sick and need a doctor? – You go and see one. Pay for it cash and get the money back from your travel insurance company.
  • What if I lose my passport? – You go to your embassy and get a new one.
  • Where do I get my food from? – From the supermarket, restaurants, bars, pubs, cafes, street food stalls, markets etc.
  • What if I miss my family or friends? – You call or text them. If it gets too bad, you go and visit them (or ask them to visit you – could be a nice holiday for them).
  • What if I lose my phone? – You buy a new one (and, of course, you have made regular backup copies of important data).
  • What if my camera gets stolen? – You report it to the local police (and your insurance company if you have one that covers theft) and buy a new one.
  • What if my hotel cancels last minute? – You go and book a new one. Check or Airbnb for spontaneous offers.
  • What if I don’t like the country? – You go to another one.

This list could be endless. Out of fear, people can come up with the most irrational arguments you can think of.

Don’t stress out so much! You are only going to move to another country, not another planet. People there will most likely fight with the same issues as you do in your home country. For every problem, there is a solution. And it is often not as complicated as you might think.

Many issues can be solved with money one way or another (talking about things like theft, transport, accommodation etc.). That’s why I always recommend you to have an extra pot of savings for these kinds of emergencies. You will automatically be more relaxed knowing that you can get out of many situations.

Fears of Becoming a Digital Nomad, Worry, Lifestyleac Change, Location-Independent, Remote Job

Don’t Let Your Fears Stop You

As you can see, you are not alone with your fears of becoming a digital nomad. There are many people out there, who are worried about the same things as you are. This is fairly normal. After all, you are about to change your life completely and take a leap that not many people would dare to do.

If these fears help you to do better preparation before you start your new lifestyle, than it is even something positive!

It is important that you don’t let your fears control you. Try to be objective and realistic. What can happen in worst case? It’s very likely not the end of the world, so try to stay calm and don’t over dramatize it.

There are so many other digital nomads out there. Connect with them and support each other. If you feel like this is the right lifestyle for you and you are well prepared, then don’t let your fears stop you!

Fears of Becoming a Digital Nomad, Worry, Lifestyleac Change, Location-Independent, Remote Job

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links. This is at absolutely no extra cost to you, but it will help keep this site up and running. Thank you!



Denise Mai

Denise Mai

Founder of Digital Nomad Soul

Hi, I’m Denise – a travel addict and remote work enthusiast. I have been traveling the world since 2008 and explored, worked, and lived in more than 80 countries. To me, there is nothing better than the freedom and flexibility that comes with a location-independent lifestyle.

You May Also Like

14 Popular Digital Nomad Reddit Communities You Should Check Out

14 Popular Digital Nomad Reddit Communities You Should Check Out

Reddit is not only a discussion website. By now, it is the 17th-most-visited website in the world; used by people to find information, inspiration and sometimes even job offers. Luckily, there are also plenty of digital nomad Reddit communities on this platform. For...

23 Best Video Conferencing Tips for Professional Online Meetings

23 Best Video Conferencing Tips for Professional Online Meetings

Video conferences play an essential part in most remote jobs. They are a great way to communicate with your team members, clients, or customers all over the world. However, they can be tricky sometimes. If you look for ideas to professionalize your online meetings,...

Top Black Friday Deals for Digital Nomads and Remote Workers

Top Black Friday Deals for Digital Nomads and Remote Workers

If you have been following this blog for a while you know that I’m not much into materialistic things. So having a few days or even weeks dedicated to sales and shopping is not exactly what I want to support. However, there are certain Cyber Monday and Black Friday...

How to Manage Your Mail as a Digital Nomad, Traveler, or Expat?

How to Manage Your Mail as a Digital Nomad, Traveler, or Expat?

Many aspiring long-term travelers worry about how to manage their mail as a digital nomad, traveler, or even expat. Without a home base, how do you receive your letters? Luckily, this isn’t as complicated as you may think. Handling mail when traveling is actually...

31 Home Office Gadgets You NEED To Have When Working Online

31 Home Office Gadgets You NEED To Have When Working Online

Luckily, you don’t need much equipment when you work online. However, there are a few home office gadgets that can make your life SO MUCH easier and also much more fun. Check out the following work-from-home equipment to improve your remote work routine and skyrocket...

21 Best FREE Portfolio Website Builders for Freelancers

21 Best FREE Portfolio Website Builders for Freelancers

If you want to offer your freelance services to clients, you need to have a portfolio website to showcase your skills and experience. But not everyone knows how to code or build a website. Luckily, there are many free portfolio website builders for freelancers out...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Zero to Remote Work Success

Online Course Bundle - small

Get the most comprehensive online course on Remote Work now!

How to Find the Perfect Remote Job

Join this FREE webinar where I share my proven 3 step strategy to find a remote job that you love AND that pays the bills.


13 College Degrees That Make You Rich Working from Home

Today, money is not the only criteria when it comes to finding a job that you actually like. People are also looking for additional factors, such as health care benefits or the option to work remotely. It’s no surprise that search terms like “college degrees that make...

How to Become a Content Creator 2021 – Beginner’s Guide

If you asked young people today what their dream career path is, I’m sure many would reply that they want to become a content creator. Only 10 years ago, that wasn’t even a real job. Now it’s a billion-dollar industry and more and more people want to profit from the...

13 Best Travel Credit Cards for Digital Nomads in 2021

  Did you know that you can’t just save money by using certain credit cards while traveling but actually MAKE money by using the right ones? That’s right! You can get money for free with travel credit cards via cashback, rewards, or sign-up bonuses. That’s why...

15 High-Paying Part-Time Jobs You Can Do From Home

Many people think that online side hustles only make a couple of dollars. However, there are plenty of high-paying part-time jobs that you can do on your laptop. For some you need a degree, others can be done without any specific knowledge. Check out the following...

9 Surprises Of The Digital Nomad Experience To Expect

  Despite all of the exhaustive research, preparing, and planning you’ve done to finally launch into your digital nomad experience, as soon as you embark, some huge surprises will still crash into you like waves.  If you’re not prepared for them, they could...

How to Find the Perfect Remote Job

Join this FREE webinar where I share my proven 3 step strategy to find a remote job that you love AND that pays the bills.

Denise Mai in Laptop
Denise Mai in Laptop

How to Get Started with Remote Work

Join my FREE webinar where I share my proven 3 step strategy to find a remote job that you love AND that pays the bills.

You don’t need to have any type of experience or skills to be able to work remotely!

Register for FREE!

Awesome! Please check your inbox!

How to Get Started With Remote Work

Join my FREE webinar where I share my proven 3 step strategy to find a remote job that you love AND that pays the bills.

You don’t need to have any type of experience or skills to be able to work remotely!

Register for FREE!

Awesome! Please check your inbox!