This lifestyle is more popular than ever; digital nomads. So live as nomads without a fixed place of work and place of residence while you earn your money online. The ideal way to see more of the world. Nowadays there are many online jobs that make this possible, both independently and for a boss. You can see the most beautiful photos on Instagram; chilling in a hammock with your laptop on your lap and a cocktail in your hand … Isn’t everyone dreaming of that? Or is the reality of working abroad less beautiful than it seems?
For the past six months, Remco and I have traveled through South America as digital nomads. We have experienced super cool things, but this free lifestyle also has its disadvantages. High time to bring it to the attention:
The life of a digital nomad can be lonely, especially when traveling alone. Of course you meet plenty of nice people along the way, but these are usually short-term relationships. Although your online network is growing stupidly, there are few people with whom you stay offline for a long time. Moreover, you spend a lot of time behind your laptop because you have to work as usual, even if you are staying on a paradise island.
How many hours you make naturally depends on the type of work you do and the corresponding income, but one thing must be clear: it’s not a vacation! While other travelers make beautiful trips every day, you just have to work. Especially when you are traveling, it often takes a little extra discipline. You don’t have any colleagues you can lean on during a bad day and you are usually flexible to schedule your workdays and times yourself. This is both one of the greatest advantages and disadvantages of life as a digital nomad. Although you stay in the most beautiful places, you choose that yourself after all, you will just have to sit behind your laptop to spend your hours. If you’re lucky you can still enjoy a sunset on the beach after a long day at work.
3. Bad workplaces
What goes without saying in the Netherlands is when you go to work abroad suddenly become a lot less obvious. Think good WiFi, tasty cappuccinos and a nice table / chair to work on. Especially in less touristy places, digital nomads sometimes require a long search for fast WiFi. Fortunately, there are more and more blogs and other useful websites where digital nomads share their tips for flexible workplaces, nice coffee bars, etc. Also keep in mind time differences. Especially when dealing with telephone / online customer service, it can be awkward to work on the other side of the world. So think carefully before choosing your destinations.
4. Deregister in your country (Example of Holland)
If you’re staying abroad as a digital nomad for more than eight months, you must deregister officially from the municipality. If this is neccessary you will have to think a lot about extra things. If you work independently and you want to remain registered at the Chamber of Commerce, you need a permanent home address in the Netherlands. There is still much uncertainty about how you can best arrange this if you are going to work abroad for longer. As an entrepreneur you will then have to pay tax in the country in question. It is still a gray area for entrepreneurs, but very important to have these things in order. You also have to deal with the fact that for every full year (between the age of 15 and 65) that you’re staying abroad, your accrual for the AOW (benefit / pension) is temporarily stopped (discount of 2% per year deregistered on the final payment).
5. Family and friends are far away
A few weeks ago we rushed back to Holland due to health reasons in the family. At such a moment you suddenly feel very far away and it is incredibly exciting to board a plane for twelve hours, while the situation is so uncertain. Fortunately, with the help of our great travel insurance, we were already in the Netherlands the next day. So don’t forget to take out good insurance.
Yet the above points do not outweigh the benefits of the digital nomad life. The freedom, the special encounters and changing workplaces … we will keep it up this way for a while. Keep you updated about our experiences.
Do you want to read more about the ideal preparations for your world trip? Then check this blog!
Do you have questions or comments about this blog? Let us know! In this way you help us and all other travelers and we are very grateful …. Send a message on social media or fill in our contact form