Travel. For many of us, the word alone conjures images of lush tropical beaches, backpacking through misty jungles or exploring new and mysterious destinations. Traditionally, travel has been something we take time out of our daily lives to do. But what if you could make travelling an integral part of your whole lifestyle?
More and more people are choosing to do just that. Working remotely as they explore the world, ‘digital nomads’ embody the freedom and adventure many of us crave. Combining work and travel in this way can open the door to an entirely new lifestyle, and the benefits are numerous. Here are a few:
1. Total freedom from obligation
How many of us have daydreamed, on a long and tiring commute to the office, of a life free of obligation? Imagine being liberated from all the things that tie us down, and tire us out. No commute. No expensive bills. No rent, or mortgage, and not having to spend hours cleaning or fixing up our homes. Working remotely as you travel could free you from all of the above.
Living as a digital nomad means you don’t have the same obligations as someone holding down a traditional, full-time job. You’d get to choose who you work with, and what you work on. You get to choose when you work. You get to choose where you live. There rarely comes a time when someone living a work/travel lifestyle has to feel tied down, or like life’s a ‘grind’ – and if things ever threaten to get stale, you have total freedom to change them.
2. The whole world becomes your home
One of the catches of ‘traditional’ travel is the fact that it only lasts for a short while. Whether you’re relaxing by a pool for a week, or hiking for a month, it can be great to get away, and just as great to come home – but becoming a digital nomad could elevate things to an entirely new level, and make the whole world your home.
Living a travel life in this way teaches you to be adaptable, and settle into new living and working situations quickly and effortlessly; after a while, working remotely can teach you to feel at ‘home’ anywhere in the world, and new locations no longer seem intimidating – they simply seem welcoming.
3. You meet amazing people
One of the best things about living as a digital nomad is the sheer number of people you get to meet. People are amazing – they’re inspiring, interesting, and entertaining. Few lifestyles give you quite the same opportunity to meet as many wonderful people as the life of a remote-working traveller.
The situations you meet people in are often as interesting and diverse as the people themselves, too. You might choose to work in one of the numerous and bustling digital nomad ‘hubs’, or another co-working space, which could provide you with a chance to catch up with fellow remote workers and share some knowledge or experience, swap a few local tips, or just share some travel stories.
You also get the opportunity to meet local people from anywhere you decide to put down roots, however briefly. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in local culture is to speak to local people – and as a digital nomad, you could meet people from literally all over the world – all the time.
4. You have total control over your work
One of the most important contributing factors to job satisfaction is the amount of control you have over your work. Those of us who have ever worked for a boss who micromanages everything we do will know just how important autonomy over our own work is. The best solution? Become your own boss.
Travelling the world and working remotely doesn’t just provide you with one of the best lifestyles outside of work, but also as you work. You choose your working hours, and you’ll never have to worry about ‘company culture’ again. Don’t suit a 9-5? Not a problem – you get to pick the hours you’re most productive and work around them. Heard about an unmissable local event? Schedule your working hours around it.
Working in short bursts or long stints on a whim, and choosing which days you will or won’t work, can mean that your job won’t have to get in the way, as a 9-5 can – and instead of trying to balance your work and personal life, the two can exist in total harmony.
5. You learn more about yourself
While some digital nomads might travel in small groups, or as couples, many choose to travel alone. Regardless of whether you’re setting off by yourself or in the company of friends or loved ones, the life of a digital nomad inevitably leads to all kinds of self-discovery.
You’ll have plenty of time to reflect on the things that truly matter to you – you’ll likely need to abandon a lot of the possessions tying you down, and a less material lifestyle can help you to reconnect with what’s important.
You’ll also need to make decisions frequently – about where to live, travel next, and when and how to work. Making these kinds of decisions regularly forces you to focus on what’s best for you, and will help you learn about what you truly value. You’ll make some great decisions, and you’ll likely make a few mistakes – all of these will help you grow.
A remote working, travel-centric lifestyle might not suit everyone. It’s also important to point out that there are lots of elements to it that are challenging – it’s a life of uncertainty, constant change, and regular upheaval. The result, though, is a way of living that truly connects you to the world we inhabit. It gives you total freedom over your personal and working life, and immerses you in cultures and experiences you might otherwise never have encountered.
The benefits are numerous, and a life of travel is a deeply personal and subjective experience. Embarking on a remote-working adventure could open the door to the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.
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Author: James Hale
James is a keen reader and passionate writer. As a graduate of English Literature, and working as a brand ambassador for The Hideaways Club, he has developed a love of writing about travel, exploration, and adventure – but will pen his thoughts on anything that piques his interest.