Many of us dream about living the life of a digital nomad. Traveling around the world, discovering new places and meeting new people. This lifestyle sounds like it is a lot of fun, and it’s true.
Traveling not only teaches you a lot of things about the world and other places but also about yourself.
That is why today we want to share 30 things that happen to you when you become a digital nomad and start traveling.
1. You will become more sociable
As a digital nomad, you will probably be traveling alone or with a partner. Since you are constantly moving around, you will find yourself in new countries where you might not know anyone.
Most people don’t like to be alone for that long and want to make friends.
You will realize that with time you will become more sociable. It will be easier for you to approach people and start a conversation.
2. You will become more confident
Since you will spend a lot of time alone you will get to know yourself better. You will become comfortable in your own skin and will feel more confident with time.
3. Packing isn’t a challenge anymore
Most likely you will be moving from one place to another every couple of weeks or months. This means you have to take all your stuff with you every time.
You will soon become a packing pro. You will know what to pack, how to pack it and know all the travel essentials.
4. You will become more open-minded
One of the reasons why we believe that traveling is so important is because you get to see and experience other cultures. Seeing that we are all human, just with different cultures, will change the way many people think and decreases racism.
5. You will become a pro in facing problems
As you travel you will face various problems. You might lose your phone or your computer might break. You might have a bad internet connection where you are staying. You might miss your bus or flight, or it is delayed.
Those are things that can happen, and I think we have experienced all of them already. But you learn to face those difficulties and learn that they are not the end of the world.
6. You will find solutions you didn’t even know existed
With all the problems that can happen during your travels, you learn to find solutions fast. You will come up with solutions that you didn’t even know were possible.
Problems won’t be a big deal anymore because you have gained the ability to make them go away as fast as they came.
7. You will become a polyglot
You will know how to say at least hello, thank you, and bye in many languages because you will learn it everywhere you go.
If you have a talent for languages, you might be able to learn more than just the basics and hold short conversations in many languages.
8. You will realize how little you need
Your whole life will be in a backpack or suitcase. There isn’t that much space which means you won’t be able to bring many things. But that’s ok because you will realize that you don’t need all that stuff anyway.
Sure you might have things back home in a storeroom or at your parents’ place. However, those are things that are not within your reach, so you don’t really need them to get along. You become a true minimalist.
9. You only plan when it is work-related
You will be good at planning, but only if it has something to do with work. You will have your deadlines and know what you have to do.
You don’t want to lose a client or miss a deadline. You need that income because you obviously need to support your lifestyle.
10. You won’t have a plan for anything else
You might know roughly how your next 3-6 months will look like. But that doesn’t mean it is going to be like that because your plans can change from one day to another.
You will become more spontaneous and often you won’t even know where you are going to sleep the next day.
11. You prefer long stays over short trips
When you start out as a digital nomad you want to travel as much as possible. But soon you realize that it is better to travel slowly.
Stay at least 1 to 6 months in every place so that you have time to make some friends, know your way around, find your favorite places and things like that.
12. Tourist attractions become secondary
You want to get to know the people and culture of the places you visit. You want to be a part of the city or town where you are.
Sure, you want to see the main attractions too, but they become secondary to you.
13. You will miss little things you took for granted
When traveling you will be staying in many different places, sometimes dorms, hotels or Airbnb’s. Depending on your budget, some places will be very basic.
This means that you won’t always have privacy, a kitchen, or your own bathroom. All those things you had at home and took for granted, you will start missing.
14. Maintaining routines becomes harder
When you are moving around a lot it can get hard to maintain daily routines. However, some routines are important and will increase your productivity when working remotely.
It takes time to find your way around new places. Once you have the hang of it and are all settled, it is time to move again.
15. You will have to change working hours
Some days you might work 4 hours a day while others you work 12. Your shifts will change depending on what you have to do, the amount of new work that comes in and your travel plans.
16. You will have to deal with different time zones
As you move around the globe you will find yourself in changing time zones. You will have to get used to those new time zones again and again.
Most likely you will have a bunch of clocks with the different time zones from your clients, friends, and families.
17. People will think you are on vacation
When you tell your friends and family that you are working online, running a blog or doing whatever it is to make an income online, people will only understand “I am on a really long vacation”.
18. Everyone will wonder how you afford it
Your friends and family often won’t understand what you are doing and always wonder how you afford it. You will tell them a thousand times that you are working online but they won’t get it.
They will ask you if you went to that popular place and don’t understand that it is not a vacation. We often work more than we did when we were at home.
Sometimes you might even wonder yourself how you are going to afford next month, but you will learn to find ways to always make money on the road because you don’t want to give up on your lifestyle.
19. You know prices from things all around the globe
You will know the prices of things in many places. You will find some places extremely cheap and others more expensive.
Everywhere you go you will compare prices to other places and find yourself calculating how many meals or drinks you could get for the same money in a different country.
20. You will learn how to make the most out of travel time
When it comes to transportation, you will often take the cheapest choice. That is usually one of the longest, either because of long layovers or slow travel time.
But that is not a problem anymore since you know how to use your time wisely to write posts, edit some pictures or get some work done.
21. You will get to know yourself better
You will have a lot of time to discover what you like, what you need and what you hate. That means you will get to know yourself better.
What are your limits, how much risk can you tolerate, what are your fears are and what makes you truly happy? You will also discover passions you never knew you had.
22. You will learn that you don’t need everything you want
As you travel you will see many things that you think you want. Due to your lack of space, you most likely won’t be able to buy all of that.
But this is okay for you because you now know when you really need something and when you just want it.
23. You will become an expert in finding cheap flights
You become an expert in finding the cheapest routes either by plane, bus or train. You know the best and cheapest airlines, their routes, and their offers.
You know the best search engines and where to look for specific flights. If a friend needs travel advice you are the one to ask.
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24. You will have friends all over the globe
During your travels, you will get to know a lot of people from all over the world. With some, you will connect instantly and these friendships will last forever.
The experiences you make with your friends while traveling will be different and often more intense. That’s why your friendships will be very special and won’t compare to anything else.
25. You will have homes everywhere
Every place you visit will have a spot in your heart and will feel somehow like home for you, at least for a while.
You will also make local friends, which means that you will have places to crush all over the world.
26. You will learn more than school can teach you
You will have to teach yourself some skills to get along. That can be soft skills, like productivity tricks, hard skills, like languages, or skills for your job, like SEO. You can take courses to learn them, exchange with others you meet along the way, or teach them yourself by doing.
You will learn so many useful skills that you will wonder why they don’t teach them in school.
27. You will never want to give up the freedom
After a while, you might get tired of traveling and want a break. But you won’t get tired of your freedom. The freedom to travel if you want to, the freedom to do what you want when you want and be where you want.
This is because you have created a location-independent lifestyle and are able to earn money from anywhere. Even if you settle down, will never want to give up on that.
28. You will learn that failure is part of your life
Sometimes things don’t go the way we want them to or take longer than expected. Yes, you probably will have moments where you think you have failed, but you will learn to deal with it.
You are building something that many people wish for, and you know that if you really want it you are going to achieve it. That is why you won’t let temporary failure crash your dreams.
29. You will miss family and friends
There will be moments where you would love to be with your family. You will miss events and parties back home and you will feel sad about it. This is one of the disadvantages of being a digital nomad. But you are making your own memories and experiences and no one can take that away from you.
You can always take breaks and go back. You will appreciate the time you are spending with your family and friends much more than you did before.
30. It is worth it!
You will learn that it is worth taking the risk. All the effort, fears, and failures are nothing compared to the reward that you gain from being a digital nomad.
If you realize that it is not the right thing for you, at least you tried. You won’t regret it when you are old and wonder what would have happened.
In case it is the right thing for you, you have created a lifestyle that gives you the ultimate freedom.
About the Authors:
We are Carla and Oliver and together we run Exciting Adventure. We left our lives in Berlin to travel and explore the world. We became nomads by doing so and now we are on our way to become digital. You can follow our journey on our blog, where we give useful tips so that you can do the same. We believe that everyone should do what they love, and for us, it is easier as digital nomads.
You can also follow us on our social media channels:
Thanks for your comment, Enrico! Love the “spectacular disasters” :D You’re absolutely right, failing will happen and is so important!
What a great read Carla. Sobering and inspirational at the same time.
If there’s one thing I’d add it’s to supplement your point on failure and be prepared for some spectacular disasters along the way.
One of my own personal mantras has always been (well for the last few years at least) to Fail Often & Fail Small.
The lessons you pick up are priceless :)