Digital Nomads, you may have heard of us or you may just be one yourself, but let me get straight to the point. It’s not easy.
We probably all have that one friend, or know someone who is constantly traveling for work, posting those amazing pictures on Social Media and seemingly rubbing it in our faces, but what a lot of you don’t know. We put in that work!
Hours on end in a coffee shop, days behind a laptop in a ratty hostel, or cheap Air BnB, and fighting for WiFi domination, the life of a Digital Nomad is not all selfies, sunshine, and fancy dinners.
Three years ago I stumbled across some YouTube videos about Freelancers and Digital Nomads, where they talked about the places traveled to, how to live on a budget, their inspirations, and how they got into the lifestyle, but the one thing they never seemed to talk about was how much ass-kicking hard work it is.
I started my Digital Dream last year, (mid 2017) leaving an insanely well paying job in the Middle East, to first travel a bit, have fun, and get inspired before I decided dig in deep.
After an insane road trip around the US, hostel skipping around Europe, going full Anime in Japan, and Soju bingeing in Korea, I decided to hit up South America.
Buenos Aires, Argentina… the inspiration hit me, swooning over the city, and meeting the love of my life, I decided what I wanted to do next…
Start my own company.. heck yes, TriForceCode!
With my funds running low, I was in a panic. I literally just started the company in December 2017, of course I knew I wasn’t going to make money right away, but I had to do something.
Luckily, my now amazing fiance let me move in with her, and I enrolled back in University. Utilizing the Power of Federal Student Aid and my Post 9/11 GI Bill (Thank you Army) I have been able to keep myself afloat, but that is where the real work began.
A full course load, blogging, researching, creating courses, and writing eBooks, I am working a solid 12+ hour day, six days a week, and you guessed it.. all unpaid!
Yay!.. Am I insane? Why would anyone want to do this?
I am not going to lie, I love every second of it. As hard as it is, I have never been happier, for the simple reason, it is on my own terms. Is this lifestyle for everyone? Definitely not, but pushing myself beyond what I thought was possible, is non-stop rewarding. (Emotionally, not financially) I believe I will get there eventually and TriForceCode has a long way to go, but I am working hard to churn out kick-ass learning content for you guys!
Time for the Pros and Cons
- Those sweet travel photos on Social Media 😉
- Meeting amazing people.
- Knowledge sharing, and stumbling through a new language.
- Working for yourself and pushing that potential.
- Minimal Income (For Now)
- Poor.. Holy heck I don’t remember my bank account this low.
- Sometimes crappy Apartments or Hostels
- Slow WiFi.. all the slow internet speeds.
- Hard work
- Insanely long hours
With my Pros barely out-weighing the Cons, I implore you to please kick back and think for a long time, is this lifestyle right for you? If you decide this is what you want here are some helpful hints:
- Having a decent Savings before setting out at least $10k (USD) in the bank.
- Don’t be too proud about staying in Hostels or Cheap AirBnB’s (Saving money until you can make money is key)
- Make sure you have an in demand skill (Travel Blogging, Programming, Cloud Tech certs (AWS is a good one), YouTube Content Creation, or checking with your own company and see if they offer remote work.
- Hit up those freelance sites, Remote.co, Indeed, WeWorkRemotely, and others. (Some remote jobs have location restrictions)
- Shop around for the cheap flights, book in advance, and confirm reservations.
- Use meetup.com and other Social Media sites to meet with others for idea sharing, work groups, and other like minded individuals.
- Check out other Digital Nomads, reach out to them, learn from their mistakes, or just to get inspiration. Chris the Freelancer is one of my favorites. He has amazing content!
- Be prepared to work your ass off!
With that said, good luck on your Digital Journey!