Nomad life isn’t all Pina Coladas and beach vacations. There are mountains too! Just joking. It’s hard living your life on the road and not everyone is cut out for it. Before you start preparing and daydreaming about your digital nomad lifestyle, check out these 17 clues to see if you could hack it as a digital nomad.
1. You like having a home base.
You can have a home base and travel. It’s actually really nice to be a nomad with a home to “go home” to. If you want to be a nomad AND have a home base, you have a couple options.
If you own your home, you could rent it out, using short-term rentals like AirBnB or HomeAway.
You could also do a long-term rental and either sell or store your belongings. With both options, you’d need to hire a property management company to manage your home while away.
If you’re a renter, then your work is MUCH easier. You could sublet (as long as the landlord is cool with it) fully furnished or you could sell or store your belongings and have your mail forwarded to a close family member or a friend.
And for my totally hardcore nomads, you could always get a P.O. Box and hit the road.
So don’t worry. You can hack it as a digital nomad even if you want to have a home base.
2. You have a fear of flying.
All sane people have a fear of flying, at least I do. The idea of being in a metal tube for 14 hours was absolutely horrifying and then something crazy happened; I forgot I was on a plane.
I’m not trying to belittle your fear, but I am saying that your fear is rational and you’re not the only person with a fear of flying.
However, there are plenty of people who have a fear but don’t let that fear stop them from experiencing life.
And if you’re really too afraid to get on an airplane, you can still be a digital nomad. All you need is an RV with a tank full of gas, wifi, and place to go.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at vanadieu.com. This couple is on their way to digital nomad freedom with just their van and a desire to live without strings.
Believe it or not, you can hack it as a digital nomad even if you have a fear of flying.
3. You LOVE experiencing new things
As a digital nomad, there is a never-ending supply of all things new.
If you’re in a new country, there’s a new language, culture, and in places like London and Singapore, you have to walk and drive on the “opposite” side of the street.
If you like new experiences, you’ll have no problem hacking it as a digital nomad and for those who don’t necessarily like new things all the time, don’t worry.
There are definitely people who seek out the new and exciting but as a digital nomad, it’s also exciting when the new becomes the old — when we get so used to things that they’re no longer new; we’ve become accustomed to them. That’s also fun.
And being a digital nomad, it’s just as much fun to constantly seek out the new as it is to so thoroughly acclimate to the new that it becomes second nature.
There’s room for both perspectives and to hack it as a digital nomad, you actually have to know which adventure you’re after.
4. Traveling gives you the heebie-jeebies
Being comfortable with traveling is a learned skill. Not everyone has it, especially if you have very little experience moving around. It’s fine.
Being able to hack it as a digital nomad has less to do with your comfort level traveling and more to do with your willingness to be uncomfortable and unsettled. Whether you’re in Casablanca or Seattle, your ability to find your comfort zone in the midst of a bit of chaos is what makes you a digital nomad.
5. You’re a whizz at learning languages
If you love languages, you may be able to hack it as a digital nomad. At the very least, you’ll find your footing in a new place quickly by learning the local lingo but even if new languages give you a headache, you can still succeed as a digital nomad.
6. New languages give you a headache
Believe it or not, you don’t have to be a walking Google Translator to enjoy your life as a digital nomad.
A willingness to learn and more importantly is a better indicator as to whether you’ll be able to make it as a digital nomad.
Related post: 7 Foreign Language Hacks When Traveling Abroad
Related post: 99 Foreign Language Survival Phrases To Travel Abroad
7. Different cultures frustrate you
Learning new cultural traditions and norms can be fun for some and frustrating for others. And more likely than not, it can be both.
I bet living in a predominately Muslim or Jewish country would take some getting used to. The weekends would be Friday and Saturday instead of Saturday and Sunday.
And to most Westerners, that could take some adjustment.
Luckily, if you fall in the latter category, don’t fret. You can be a digital nomad and never leave your home country.
8. Adjusting to new cultures excites you
If new cultures excite you (you’re my people!) then traveling abroad may be present a ton of new possibilities for you.
And if you’re considering traveling with a family, it’d also be a help to your family learn how to adjust to new cultures.
9. You’re single
You’re unattached and other than a job, you have no one to answer to. You’re free! So you can definitely be a digital nomad. The only question is, “how do digital nomads make money?” And more importantly, how do you want to make money to fund your digital nomad life?
10. You have children
Having children makes everything a little more challenging but it also makes things more enjoyable and so much more interesting. Being a digital nomad with children is possible. It just takes a bit of extra planning.
Related: How to move abroad with a family.
11. You love your job
You don’t have to hate your job to be a digital nomad. Being a digital nomad is not a way to run away from life. It’s a way to enjoy MORE of life. In fact, you can love your job AND figure out how to take it with you.
12. You hate your job
Becoming a digital nomad is NOT about running away from a life you hate or a job you can’t stand. If hating your job is your ONLY reason to become a digital nomad, you may not be able to cut it.
If you hate your job but you know what you WANT to be doing instead, pursue it with gusto and start making money. Then figure out how to move abroad to become a digital nomad.
13. You’d miss your family.
I hate to be heartless, but everyone misses someone. Unless you live in the same city as everyone you’ve ever loved, you will miss someone.
You can still hack it as a digital nomad while missing your family and the people you love. You just need a plan.
Once you plan how often you’ll see your family and you know how (and how) often you’ll connect to them, you won’t miss them nearly as much.
And let’s be honest, the people you love the most wouldn’t want you to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime because you’d miss being with them from time to time.
Most digital nomads miss someone, and you can miss someone (or multiple someones) while enjoying your life and living as a digital nomad. It just requires you to plan when you’ll see them and how you’re going to stay in contact with them.
Related: How to move abroad with a family.
14. You’re not the entrepreneurial type
You can hack it as a digital nomad. Being a digital nomad doesn’t require you to be an entrepreneur. There are plenty of government and multinational organizations that need employees to travel (and travel extensively). There are also jobs with companies like Buffer that allow their staff to be located anywhere in the world.
If you’re not the entrepreneurial type, you just need to find a remote job. Check out remote.co. They have a TON of interested full-time remote job options.
15. You don’t have enough money
Money is one of those things that’s easy. And I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I started my first job after college making just $20k annually. That’s not even enough to buy most cars now.
I learned though that making money is easy, especially when you know how to pitch your experience! Learning how to spend that money efficiently and how to make it last is the hard part.
If your dream is to become a digital nomad and see the world, great. You just need to start a side hustle to make some extra money. Figure out how much money you think you’ll need, double that number (or triple), and start saving.
Not having enough money isn’t a good enough reason to abandon a dream. You can be a digital nomad without a TON of money but it’s so much more fun (and safer) to solve your money dilemmas before you set out on your digital nomad adventure.
16. Health insurance is really important to you.
It’s not just important to you. It’s important to just about everyone, especially for people who live in (or travel to) countries that don’t provide universal healthcare.
Don’t let health insurance stop you from becoming a digital nomad. Check out these 10 best international healthcare companies.
17. You want to see the world!
If you want to see the world (even if you only want to travel across the country) and that is your soul’s desire than nothing will stop you from hacking it as a digital nomad. Yes, there will be issues before you get started, and there will be issues during your digital nomad adventure (no matter how long it lasts).
Whether you want to believe it or not, most people—no matter life circumstances and preferences—can hack it as digital nomads. For most of us, it’s just a matter of making the lifestyle choice and pursuing it with relentless passion.
When do you leave?