The Best and Worst Things about Life as a Digital Nomad

digital nomad lifestyle

Are you interested in exploring the digital nomad lifestyle? As a person now living the digital nomad journey, I can attest to its numerous advantages and disadvantages. It’s tempting to think of the digital nomad lifestyle as all sunshine and roses because of the flexibility it affords you to work from anywhere in the world with just a laptop and an internet connection, but it definitely has some drawbacks as well to be aware of. In this blog post, I’ll discuss the best and worst parts about of digital nomadism based on my own experiences. I’ll discuss the digital nomad lifestyle, remote work pros and cons of this way of life, freelancing advantages and disadvantages, digital nomad benefits, and the “work from anywhere” drawbacks.

Relax with a cup of coffee (or your beverage of choice) and read on as I share some honesty about the realm of digital nomadism. If this is the kind of lifestyle that you can see yourself in to create your own personal dream life where you are your own boss, keep reading to see if it sounds like a fit for you!

digital nomad lifestyle

What is a Digital Nomad?

A “digital nomad” is a person who is able to utilize their electronic devices such as a laptop and cellphone to perform their job duties from any location of their choice.

People who choose to live as digital nomads are typically self-employed professionals with jobs that can be done remotely, such as writers, programmers, designers, or marketers.

Digital nomads are people who work remotely so they may live anywhere in the globe and still get their jobs done. Most often, digital nomads can be found working in cafes, libraries, or other public spaces with high-speed internet and a community of like-minded people. Technological progress and the emergence of the remote work trend have contributed to the proliferation of the digital nomad lifestyle. It all may sound great, but it does have some disadvantages! Read on to learn the pros and cons of the digital nomadism lifestyle.

The Best Things About Being a Digital Nomad

Make a Living While Seeing More of Our Beautiful World

My absolute, most favorite thing about being a digital nomad is the ability to see the globe and its many new cultures in different countries without sacrificing the ability to support myself. Many people feel that 3 weeks of vacation time a year isn’t close to enough time to travel and get to experience as much of the world as they’d like, myself included. And often when you’re traveling to far away countries, it can take a full 20 hours or more to even arrive at the destination or return back to your home base, eating up 2 full days of vacation time! 3 weeks is not nearly enough time to do more than one far-away country a year. I don’t know about you, but that’s not enough to satisfy my wanderlust at all. As a digital nomad, I’m able to work from wherever in the world I like and make a living doing it, as long as I have a decent internet connection. With a technology-enabled lifestyle, you could also purchase a satellite internet setup like Starlink and work from remote places!

Freedom and Flexibility in Life and Career

The freedom and flexibility over my life and my career is a huge perk that I love about being a digital nomad. I get to make my own work hours, my own work schedule, and choose my own working location. Digital nomads, in contrast to those who have traditional professions, are free to set their own hours and operate from anywhere in the world. This versatility allows me and other digital nomads the ability to choose to travel during less crowded times or extend our stays in desirable destinations that we’re loving and are not ready to stop exploring yet. I find that working from a beach, park, or my favorite coffee shops instead of a stuffy office often boosts my creativity, productivity, and happiness.

digital nomad lifestyle

True Work-Life Balance

Being a digital nomad allows me to create my own perfect schedule and work on projects that are meaningful to me, during the times I feel most efficient and focused. As I am able to set my own hours as a digital nomad, I’m able to strike a better balance between my business and my personal life. I can balance my errands, personal time and work time depending on how I’m feeling that morning, afternoon, or evening. And of course, I’m free to travel and see different cultures, both of which enrich my personal life and help me develop as a person. Being a digital nomad has allowed me to design a life that puts me first, one in which I can thrive professionally and personally and make the most of every moment.

Save on Living Expenses

Since I can choose where I work and live by working remotely, I can choose to live pretty much wherever I’d like. This allows me the opportunity to relocate to areas where the cost of living is lower. Currently, my husband and I are living in Tulum, Mexico. Even though the costs in Tulum are on the rise, when I’m ready to move I can earn the same amount of money, but work and live in a country with a cheaper cost of living and affordable housing, such as one in Southeast Asia or Central America. Because of this, I am able to save money and maintain a reasonable standard of living. Plus, as a digital nomad, I can pick and choose when to travel, so I can take advantage of off-season deals and avoid paying high season costs in popular destinations, which can save plenty of money. Being a digital nomad has helped me to save money without sacrificing the freedom to pursue my career and see the globe.

Many Job Opportunities as a Remote Worker

Since I’m not limited by my location or proximity to a company, I’m able to pursue a larger variety of career paths and projects I choose to take on as a digital nomad. Since many businesses are now open to the concept of remote work since the pandemic, finding work in my field hasn’t been difficult and I have had the opportunity to work for clients on many continents. This allows me to explore remote work opportunities that would otherwise be inaccessible to me as a traditionally-employed person, while accepting only projects I am the most passionate about that utilize my expertise. As a result of being a digital nomad, I have access to more career prospects than I would have had as a traditional employee.

digital nomad lifestyle

The Worst Things About Being a Digital Nomad

The Feeling of Isolation

As a digital nomad, I frequently find myself working alone on projects (at least physically), far away from my usual network of coworkers and friends. When I work from home or abroad, especially in a new location or a new country, I’m not able to engage with my coworkers as I would in a regular workplace, and it can be more difficult for me to form strong bonds with them. When working in an unfamiliar environment, feelings of isolation can be even stronger. Luckily, I was homeschooled as a teenager and have worked independently for years, so these feelings don’t affect me as much as they might newer remote workers. It can also be difficult connecting with friends and family back home when you’re dealing with a major time difference.

While being a digital nomad has many advantages, like independence and mobility, it can also be isolating if you don’t take efforts to combat it. A few of the things you can do to help include connecting with other digital nomads and meeting other new people, attending networking events, making time for new friends and working in shared office spaces.

Income Can Be More Inconsistent

Since I often operate on a freelance or contract basis as a digital nomad, my income can fluctuate, and I can make plenty one month and much less the next with a variety of remote jobs. Some nomads feel they lack the job security and stability of someone with more conventional employment. My income might also be affected by external variables, such as the number of clients who require my services, the length of time it takes to complete a certain project, and the health of the local economy. Since my income is unpredictable and may change from month to month or from week to week, it can be more challenging to develop long-term financial plans. If you’re considering a lifestyle as a digital nomad, it’s important to also be aware of the risks associated with this lifestyle and take precautions to protect yourself financially, such as diversifying your income, setting aside emergency funds, and seeking out long-term contracts or retainer agreements with clients. Currently, I’m working remotely with a salaried, full-time job as a Director of Marketing in the tourism space, so I’ve managed to strike a balance between flexibility and income stability while maintaining a digital nomad lifestyle.

digital nomad lifestyle

Lack of Stability / Permanent Residence

The lack of a permanent residence is a potential drawback of the digital nomad lifestyle. It can be difficult for people embarking in digital nomadism to feel settled in their personal lives when they may not have a set place to call home, especially if they’re jumping around to a new place and from Airbnb to Airbnb with their nomadic lifestyle. This can cause anxiety and make it hard to form lasting friendships or a tight-knit community. Having no fixed residence also makes it difficult to receive mail.

Also, while traveling, I have to make sure I always have active medical travel health insurance, such as Safetywing’s  Nomad Medical Insurance Plan, which is the plan I use, as I won’t be covered for emergencies like I would be in my home country. Even though this is an additional expense, the travel insurance plan I have through Safetywing is affordable, comprehensive, and easy to sign up for. If you’re interested in learning more about Safetywing and seeing prices, check out this link:

Maintaining a Healthy Work/Life Balance

When working from home, it might be tough for some people to completely turn off their work brain and relax their body and mind. I also personally experience the risk of exhaustion and burnout if I let myself spend all of my free time in a new and fascinating area discovering and experiencing everything it has to offer without any downtime.

The expectation that I should be productive and accessible at all times is another challenge I’ve had to overcome. It might be challenging to set limits and take time for myself when working remotely because of the assumption that I will be available at all times. Without the regularity and structure of an office, it might be hard to put yourself first.

However, I have learned that it is possible to create a balance between my professional and personal life. Having set work hours and shutting off alerts outside of those hours has helped me maintain a healthy work-life balance. Also, establishing a routine and making self-care activities like exercise a top priority has enabled me to feel more stable and at peace.

digital nomad lifestyle

Which countries have digital nomad visas?

Wondering about the different places you’d spend your time as a digital nomad? There are a handful of countries that provide special visas for a number of digital nomads in an effort to keep them in their countries. The following are just a few of the destinations that now provide visas for digital nomads to add to your “great places for a digital nomad list”! Many successful digital nomads from different cities and countries spend their time in the following locations:


A digital nomad visa issued by Croatia grants foreigners the right to live and work in the nation for up to a year. A minimum monthly salary and proof of health insurance are two of the requirements for applicants.


Digital nomads can remain and work in Estonia for up to a year according to the country’s digital nomad visa program. A minimum monthly salary and proof of health insurance are two of the requirements for applicants.


Barbados’ Welcome Stamp program grants remote employees a one-year visa to work and reside on the island. In order to qualify for the program, candidates must meet income and health insurance coverage requirements.


Working remotely in Bermuda is legal for up to a year provided you have a Work from Bermuda certificate. A minimum monthly salary and proof of health insurance are two of the requirements for applicants.

Costa Rica

Remote employees can stay in Costa Rica for up to two years if they have a special visa that permits them to do so. A minimum monthly salary and proof of health insurance are two of the requirements for applicants.

Remember to research each country’s individual rules and criteria before applying for a digital nomad visa because the requirements and terms of these visas might vary widely.

What Types of People Would Do Well with a Digital Nomad Lifestyle?

I believe that the following types of people are well set up to thrive in a digital nomad environment:

    • People who have transferable digital talents, such as a web developer or graphic designer, people who work in writing, or marketing, and are able to work from home.
    • People who can get their own work done without much in the way of direction or supervision.
    • Individuals who have a good grasp of modern technology and can solve problems alone without calling in the IT department.
    • People who are curious about the world, open to trying new things, and who travel frequently (or crave to).
    • Those who are proficient at setting and sticking to priorities in order to be productive and fulfill their deadlines.
    • People who are mobile and comfortable working anywhere, be it a public library, a coworking space, or a coffee shop.
    • Those who know how to blend their professional and personal lives well.
    • People who are able to efficiently manage their money in the face of income variations and who are not bothered by the prospect of uncertainty.
    • People who are at ease using virtual meeting spaces and teleconferencing software to collaborate virtually with clients and coworkers.
    • People who can maintain their drive and concentration in the face of unfamiliar surroundings and interruptions.

Does that sound like you? If you see yourself embarking into the challenging and fulfilling world of becoming a digital nomad, I wish you much success. Feel free to reach out with any questions you might have!

JennExplores Signature Love Jenn

P.S: You Might Also Like to Read:

Living in Puerto Rico: Pros and Cons, Cost for Expats

Living in Puerto Rico

SafetyWing Travel Insurance Review 2024: Best Insurance for Digital Nomads

Work from Home Jobs Using Just Your Cell Phone 

How to Upload Video to Instagram from PC or Mac

How to Become a Digital Nomad


digital nomad lifestyle


The Best and Worst Things about Life as a Digital Nomad

I’m Jenn, a photographer, travel writer, and content creator based out of the beautiful Canadian Rockies. I’m glad you’re here – now let’s explore!

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