The Misconceptions of Life as a Digital Nomad

You work in hammocks on the beach

Your nose grows every time you post a beachy selfie with your iPad on your naked legs, as you are sitting under a palm tree, stating this is ‘just another day at the office.’ Be an honest person and post a realistic photo of how you actually look when you’re working from home. Pyjamas, messy hair, coffee and laptop in bed.

Secretly, you’re a bored millionaire

Yes, you’re a millionaire. You make 525 948 minutes per year and you put your best effort to spend them wisely. But you aren’t bored. And you’ve never won the lottery, at least not the monetary one.

You have a 4-hour work week

It’s not impossible, but highly unlikely. When leaving your 9-5, no one prepares you for the 11-1, the 2-9 or the 12-12 that follow. But pursuing your passion blurs the line between work, life and fun. You’re not working too much, there are just not enough hours in the day.

You earn less than the average 9-5 employee

You will be lucky if you can make $100 in your first month as a fledging freelancer or entrepreneur. On average, it takes at least six months to prove yourself, have a network of clients who trust and recommend you and get a decent amount of money. But there is no limit to what you can earn when everything aligns. It is your choice whether you will slowly climb the corporate ladder, tied with a security rope, or fly off as a digital nomad.

You’re just chatting on social media

Yes, your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts are always open. It’s easy for someone not familiar with how digital nomads work to assume you’re lazy and just chatting and watching cat videos all day. And yet, you are working super hard to build an online presence, network with new clients and drive more traffic to your website. Okay, a cat video or two per day won’t hurt. Better than being an ‘office-paper-shuffler.’

You can easily explain what you do

A little bit of writing, translating, managing companies’ Facebook pages, being a virtual assistant, blogging, acting in low-budget films, designing logos, renting your spare room on AirBNB, transcribing interviews, looking for new clients. But you would be boring if you could explain what you do in just one phrase.

Weekends mean something for you

You roll your eyes every time a friend asks you why you are home on Saturday night. Saturday is just like Wednesday or Tuesday for you. Weekends don’t mean anything. They are just two more days when you can earn some extra cash toward your dream trip to Southeast Asia. And besides, Monday is the best day of the week. You can sleep until noon. No alarm clocks. You’ll wake up when you wake up. And all normal people hate you for that.

You are a pretentious spoiled vagabond who should, eventually, give up and get a real job

Tell your parents to shut up.

Freedom is a gift

Out of all misconceptions, this one is the most hurtful one. Your lifestyle looks too easy and not serious on the outside. And yet you want to yell it, ‘I fought for this! I was strong enough to say NO to a decent amount of lucrative job offers. I had the guts to hack the 9-5 system. There were days when I had to survive on spaghetti and ketchup, count my coins and fear from the unknown. But I didn’t give up. I stood up more times than I fell. And I’ve earned my freedom!’

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