The current generational gap between baby boomers, millennials and generation Z is much deeper than it appears at first. It’s not just about understanding new technologies and trends and living in the digital world. It’s about different lifestyle goals and ideas. Low homeownership rates amongst millennials is a systemic issue and is conditioned by more than just high real estate prices and low job security.
Hurricanes, global disasters, looming world war and market crashes are fears that prevent a lot of people from leading a sedentary life. While on the run, one’s risking a lot less, seeing as how most investments go towards memory acquisition, which is something that you will never lose. That being said, it turns out that living in a moment and leading a life of a digital nomad, in a way, gives you more security than committing to a traditional dream of a 9 to 5 job, a white picket fence and a dog named Spot.
Here are some aspects that you absolutely must master in order to get the most out of this lifestyle.
The first thing you need to understand about digital nomadism is the fact that it doesn’t mean sleeping somewhere else every night. This lifestyle method is financially completely unsustainable, while even those who can endure it financially might not be able to do so physically and mentally. In reality, changing your location every several month is a scenario that is much closer to reality. For this to work, you need to plan your itinerary properly.
Even with a platform such as Wi-Fi map, you’ll find that sometimes finding a decent connection might be a great difficulty. Therefore, you need at least one 100 percent reliable spot from which you can work, seeing as how you can live this kind of a lifestyle for as long as you can sustain it budget – wise. Sure, on the go you’ll get a holiday – like experience every day but make no mistake, you’re not on a holiday.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that even in 2018, you can’t just cross borders at your own behest. EU countries no longer have internal borders like they used to and you can cross the entire US and AU while completely disregarding state borders. On the other hand, if you want to cross from one country/zone to another, you might have to undergo a vetting process (some are stricter than others).
In most cases, this involves a lot of paperwork and even some legal aid. For instance, as a foreign national who wants to visit Australia, you would have to do some research on terms of getting work visas in Australia. Needless to say, this is yet another reason why it’s particularly smart to plan your itinerary ahead of time.
Another thing worth keeping in mind is the fact that you get to meet new people wherever you go. Unlike your neighbors and friends from college, these are people that you meet specifically due to your lifestyle, people you would never meet if you were to lead a sedentary lifestyle. Nevertheless, sometimes people tend to mix up cause and consequence.
You see, as a freelancer and a person active on various platforms and social networks, you’ll often meet people from exotic locations to which you later aim to relocate. If you establish a deep enough personal connection with these people, you can sometimes use their help while relocating. In this way, you have a friendly local to help you pick an apartment, the neighborhood and adopt ways of the local culture much sooner.
The next oversight that a lot of people make is focusing too much on transportation between countries and continents that they completely forget about the importance of the local commute. Some countries still don’t have Uber, which means that taxi companies still dominate the urban commute. More developed countries with greater environmental awareness tend to display a greater disposition towards walking and cycling, while in some parts of the earth, public transport tends to be the most popular option.
Even if you decide to drive, you need to know a thing or two about local driving customs. In some countries, you’re supposed to drive on the left side of the road (UK, Australia, Japan, India and others), while, in the rest of the world it’s completely opposite. All in all, before renting out a vehicle at your target location, make sure to check this out and even take several driving lessons, just to make sure.
The issue of culture difference differs from region to region, yet, one of its aspects that tends to be the most persistent problem is that of language and currency. First of all, just because English is an international language doesn’t mean that everyone speaks it. This, surprisingly, holds true even for some highly developed European countries (like Italy and France) and even positions that you wouldn’t expect this from (like a receptionist). Therefore, learning several key phrases in the native language of the country that you visit comes as highly recommended.
Another issue you’ll face is the one of currency. Online payment allows you to use dollar or euro as your basic payment currency but when it comes to cash, this might not hold true. Therefore, getting an app that allows you to convert currencies may be more than a bit helpful. In time, however, it’s much more time-saving to develop your own mental system of conversion to help you out.
While this list may make it seem like living the life of a digital nomad is too much work, you also need to consider all that you gain through this lifestyle. You get to learn, see and experience in a year what some people don’t get to do in an entire life. On its own, this notion alone would be more than enough to endure any hardship.
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Emily is a business psychologist with a passion for marketing. Researching, exploring and writing is her favorite thing to do. Besides that, she loves animals, music, and traveling.