When we think of ‘digital nomads’ we instantly think of travellers working in remote locations whilst sipping on coconut water. Well, we’re not wrong…although, there is a lot more going on beneath the surface. The digital nomad lifestyle is something that I’ve strived to achieve for nearly five years. I’ve lived in countless countries and tried my best to supplement my lifestyle in the only way that I know how: by working really hard.
Contrary to popular belief, digital nomads aren’t really chill. Yes, it might seem like we’re living the life (because we are), but at the end of the day, we’re all still working. The only difference is that we’ve chosen not to be confined to the four walls of an office. We’ve chosen to work in glimmering beach towns, in ancient cities and in towns you’ve probably never heard of before. The truth is, digital nomads are choosing to work on our specific fields whilst sustaining our passion for life.
So what do you do when you’re forced to be stuck at home?
This is a dilemma that I’ve been facing ever since April of last year. As we all know, we’re currently facing a global pandemic and most of us were forced to return back to our home countries. This means that the life I’ve tried so hard to attain has come crashing down…well, not really, but you get the picture. From a daily routine that consists of not knowing what I’ll do next, to a routine of constantly doing the same things over and over again, my life has become somewhat predictable. Although, that’s not really a bad thing, but I still crave the uncertainty that every single day brings whilst on the road.
When I was on the road, my routine looks like this:
Morning: I would do breakfast (solamente cafe) and then I’d bask in the sun for a few minutes. Then I’d go through my tasks for my day; like I’d have to check whether I have a volunteering task or if I have my free day. That’s when I’ll decide what to do with the rest of my hours.
Noon: I’m probably done with most of my volunteering tasks by then, so I’d simply walk around the city that I’m in. I’d try to find a cafe or a co-working space to work at, then I’ll spend the whole afternoon there.
Dusk: I’ll probably see what my friends are up to, then we’ll decide whether we’re going out or if we’re simply staying in.
Night: Our plans for every single night varies: some nights we’d be working our volunteering gigs, some nights we’d be watching Netflix together, but most nights we’d be partying. Every single night is different and I loved it!
Life on the road has that exciting thrill to it. You never really know what you’ll be doing on that particular day or on the day after that, and that’s the fun of it. Every single day is an adventure, but you obviously still need to do your work. Being a digital nomad is a constant cycle between wanting to have fun but also still being discipled enough to finish your tasks. It’s a constant struggle, but I won’t have it any other less.
Nowadays, we’re obviously still stuck at home. So my everyday routine looks a bit like this:
Morning: I take my morning coffee then I’d scroll through the internet whilst also working on the emails that I have to answer (and send out) for that day. Then I’d wait for a couple of minutes before I do a quick workout.
Noon to Dusk: I’ll be working from my room whilst the windows are open so I can get some fresh air. I normally am glued to my desk, it’s crazy!
Night: I cap off work with a pint of beer or sometimes a glass of wine if I’m feeling a bit bougie. Usually, some friends call me and these are moments that I live for since I do crave human interaction.
The reality of being stuck at home is that you’re confined to the four walls of your house. It does sound hectic, doesn’t it? Although, I can assure you that even though this sounds a bit counterproductive, it’s actually not that bad.
Yes, I don’t get to enjoy my working hours in cafes and yes I don’t get to see my friends anymore, but it does give me the ample time to focus on myself.
In staying at home, I get to focus on building my portfolio (for both literary and photography).
One of the best things about this scenario is the fact that I get to build a stronger and a more reliable client-base. When I was on the road, I took every single job that I could find—yes, even the sh*tty ones. I did this because I needed to survive and I needed the money to keep me on the road. However, since I’m at home, I get to choose the clients that I’m working for since I really don’t have to worry about living my day-to-day nomad life. This means that I get to work with clients who are fun, who understand my craft better and clients with whom I generally have a better work relationship.
This is also a perfect time to explore more of the things that you want to do or ideas that you want to dive into. Say, you’ve been wanting to dive into a career that you’ve been meaning to shift to. This quarantine season is the perfect time to do so…because what else are you going to do? We have so much time on our hands, and it’s super important to learn how to manage it properly.
Another great thing about being at home is that I get to save money. Yes, being able to travel is fun and I love it, but it sure is expensive! Even travelling on a shoestring budget is actually a bit costly since you have to pay for hostels, for flights and for your meals every single day. Don’t get me wrong, I’d do it all over again, but I’m a bit relieved that I get to have this time to save some money before embarking on a new journey.
I long for the day where we can travel again—freely. It seems like picturing a post-pandemic life is a bit harder than expected since we’ve gotten so accustomed to our lives now. Although, I can still see it clearly from my memory: roaming around without facemasks, dancing the night away, sharing meals with friends and simply hugging the people that you love. I’m not a real physical person, but I do love the customaries of physical touch. I can’t wait for all this to be over so we can get back on with our lives.
However, I’m going to keep on living my life as a digital nomad, no matter where I am. This time spent at home is a lesson for me to always be grateful for everything that’s been happening. We can never predict what the future holds, but we sure can prepare for it. So if you’ve been wanting to dive into the digital nomad scene, then now is the most perfect time to do so!
I’d love to be of help in any way: ask me questions or my thoughts on anything digital nomad related by commenting below. Let’s connect and let’s help each other out by growing this community. Be safe out there and ’til the next!
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV