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Becoming a Digital Nomad seem a little hard? What about this alternative….

At some point, most business owners are drawn to the idea of having more time off, longer overseas holidays or an office overlooking the ocean. It is the fulfilment of this dream which has propelled many ‘digital nomads’ to far flung destinations to run their business immersed in a new culture, waking up to new horizons. But for many of us, this can seem hard work. Running a business is tough enough without having to navigate the world as well!

Although the tropical beaches and wall to wall sunsets may be calling you, perhaps the comfort of your sofa on a Friday night may also be more of a pull than you might care to admit. And that’s ok, because you know what? It is possible to have it all.

One size does not fit all.

I have noticed that a lot of our fellow ‘digital nomads’ are pretty hard core. They have designed their life to absolutely suit their needs and priorities; they live in a campervan or RV, carrying all their worldly possession with them as they criss-cross continents; they move from developing country to developing country, feeding themselves on just a few dollars a day; they call upon random connections as they go, kipping on sofa beds and emailing from internet cafes.

But is this the way it would work for you?

Chris & Cherie from Technomadia.com

Travelling and business-the big differences

On our 8 month RTW honeymoon we experienced ‘travel’ in a ton of different ways. We drove from the west coast Canada to (nearly) the east coast in a clapped out camper (we would have got to Halifax had the van not lost a gear per province until we limped into Ottawa with only reverse remaining). We made the snap decision to spend Christmas in Koh Tao and New Year in Phi Phi in 2004, which turned out to be the best decision we ever made. We did nothing in Fiji and almost everything on a road trip around coastal Western Australia. But the difference was we were ‘travelling.’ We didn’t have to worry about where the next internet connection was coming from or what impact a glitch in PayPal would have on our income. As unlikely as it seems to us now, we didn’t even take a laptop (lord knows what we did with our time instead).

Hotdesking in California

Would you like an upgrade?

But now, we’re a little more, umm…. high maintenance (some may say spoilt!) We like  all the good stuff about being ‘location independent’ but without having to construct our bed out of the dining table every night; without having to spit toothpaste down a drain as the ‘bathroom’ doesn’t quite run to a basin; without Chris having to sacrifice a chunk of his wardrobe every time a battered old classic whispers to me from the window of second hand book store.  I like sleeping in Egyptian cotton sheets. I like the option of air conditioning when I am feeling hot and tetchy. I like to choose from a menu which doesn’t just make the same 4 dishes look like 15 by changing the order of the words (shrimp fried rice; fried rice w/shrimp; rice and shrimp, fried). I work hard so I can travel in a way I am comfortable with. I don’t mind roughing it in order to experience something special, like the amazing night sky you can only properly appreciate from a sleeping bag in the wilderness. But I’m really not going to want to do it too often. It’s just not in either of us anymore.

Emporium Hotel, Brisbane. That was a good thread count!

So, this is where the ‘lite’ part comes in. I’m starting to realise that whatever this lifestyle is, it doesn’t have to be lived in constant motion. For us, a part-time approach merges better into the rest our lives. We spend about 6 months a year in the UK making sure the consultancy side of the business delivers and expands. We break it up with shorter trips and we have a home we love and are happy in for the short summer months. And once our business is all tied up, we head off, for 2 or 3 months, however long we can manage before the next project comes in. It works for us, and however much resistance some people may have about the idea, I imagine it would probably work incredibly well for a lot of people, maybe even you.

So give it some thought. Is there a part of you that thinks you could perhaps make it work? The great part about this lifestyle is that it’s so varied. That’s what works for us. It’s also great to have a home to go back to. It really is the best of both worlds, and much more do-able than you might think

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2 Responses to “Becoming a Digital Nomad seem a little hard? What about this alternative….”

  1. I loved the paragraph on ‘one size does not fit all, it sums up some people I have met perfectly!! I’m just not that hardcore!

    • Neither are we! I think that is key to this kind of lifestyle, you have to make it work for you (and your partner!) only.

      • Hannah and Chris
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