5 Biggest Myths About Digital Nomads

Thinking about a digital nomad lifestyle, many people imagine a young lady or a guy, lying with a laptop on the beach. The person holds a tropical drink, from time to time typing something on her/his tiny laptop. Digital nomad works for 1-2 hours and spends the rest of the day surfing or partying at the nearest club. What’s more, the person is most probably a programmer.

Is that all true or just a set of stereotypes? In today’s article I’m debunking the 5 biggest myths about remote workers who decided to travel the world.

Digital nomad always works on the beach

Even though it might sound tempting to take your laptop to the beach ?, I must take you out of that illusion straight away ? I’ve been there and tried that. You really don’t want to have all these grains of sand all over your laptop’s keyboard. I bet that you won’t last more than 10 minutes sitting on the beach and typing – your back would die. Also – what do you think about the sun shining directly at your screen? Last, but not least – believe me that it’s very hard to find an electricity socket on the beach ?

Joking aside, I’ve never seen anyone working with a laptop on the beach. Except for taking pictures, which are then published on the Internet and make people believe this illusion. The most digital nomad can afford is sitting in a nice bar close to the beach. Assuming it has comfortable seats, good Wi-Fi and access to electricity. The truth is that remote workers spend most of their working time at the rented apartment or co-working space.

Co-working spaces in Bangkok (on the left) and Kuala Lumpur (on the right)

Remote workers work for 1-2 hours a day

That’s totally opposite to what I experienced being a member of the digital nomads community. Digital nomads who work for a single client or employer spend 8-9 hours a day working, like every other “normal” employee. Those of them who are solopreneurs or “solopreneurs-wannabes” work even longer. In the end, they’re working to boost their own business, which – in most cases – requires much more than 8 hours a day.

The same goes for influencers. Many people think that conducting a blog or Instagram profile is very easy and doesn’t consume a lot of time. In reality, it’s the other way around. Working on a single social media profile with an engaged community can take even 10-12 hours a day.

On the positive side, there is a group of digital nomads who can afford working for 1-2 hours a day. These are mostly people having their own business for years, which is now well-automated so it can mostly work on its own only being supervised. This is however a rather small group and definitely not a majority of remote workers.

While others are still sleeping, you still need to get your work done ? Sometimes in “unusual” conditions like in this Baku-Tbilisi train ?

Digital nomads are mostly programmers

This is another common belief within people who never actually joined the remote workers community. That’s true that programmers can easily switch to remote work. Probably it’s still the most obvious profession for working remotely. However, that’s totally false that most digital nomads are software developers. While traveling South-East Asia I met dozens of digital nomads who are not programmers. Many of them worked as copywriters, interpreters, graphic designers, English teachers or accountants. All of this can easily be done online.

Many digital nomads are also solopreneurs. Having their own business (selling digital products or online courses) makes their life more flexible. Being able to define your own working hours and schedule can be very helpful when traveling.

Another group of people who travel the world and work are influencers. They are people who communicate with their community via social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and/or a blog. Influencers earn money by entering cooperation with brands or becoming solopreneurs with time.

All digital nomads are freelancers

Many people think that to be able to travel the world and work, one needs to become a freelancer. Well, it sounds good – you can be “freely” defining how much and when you want to work. On the other hand you not only can do that, but you have to do that. No one will find a new project for you and ensure you are paid on time. As a freelancer, all of that is your responsibility.

However, being a freelancer is not the only way of becoming a digital nomad. Thanks to companies like Yumasoft, you can work full-time remotely and still be able to travel. In practice, you simply change the physical office for your laptop and can work from almost any place in the world.

So if you ever wondered about working and traveling, consider companies like Yumasoft. Being a freelancer is also an option, but working full-time you don’t have to worry about looking for another client or getting paid on time.

Digital nomads are lonely nerds

I heard many times that remote work is perfect for nerds. People asked me if I was not afraid about becoming lonely and “out of society” after deciding to work from all over the world. The answer is simple – it depends on a person, exactly the same as working in the office. If a person is nerdy and prefers to work on her/his own, avoiding social contacts – it will be the same in the office and when traveling.

I would even say that living in digital nomads hotspots, like Bali or Thailand, there are many more opportunities for meeting people than when living a “casual” life. There are dozens of co-working spaces, bars and meetups created especially for digital nomads. Remote workers often intentionally travel to places like Ubud just to feel this digital nomads vibe. It’s actually hard to avoid meeting another remote workers in such places ?

In South-East Asia, digital nomads communities are actively encouraging their members to meet. Remote workers can meet other remote workers at various meetups. Such meetings often lead to starting a new business together. It means that starting as a lonely and nerdy digital nomad, you can even become an entrepreneur working with your clients and co-workers or co-founders ?

Myths about digital nomads – summary

Being a digital nomad is a great way of living, but it also has its downsides. It’s very important to know how it looks in reality, so your expectations are not too high. Don’t always believe in what you read on the Internet or the pictures you see. I still encourage everyone to at least try working remotely from another country. Trying is the best way to see whether this lifestyle is good for you or not ?

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