Why the digital nomad life is not all it’s cracked up to be

For a number of months this yr, once I informed other people I used to be running remotely from seashore cities in Mexico, they spoke back with expressions of jealousy and palm tree emojis. If they just knew.

My revel in confirmed me how tricky it may be to arrange a piece lifestyles and be productive even in stunning places—no longer since the environment are tempting and distracting, however since the surroundings is regularly problematic. 

While some other people understandably were given uninterested in running from house throughout the pandemic, my time as a virtual nomad has given me the other revel in. There’s not anything like time spent looking to be productive from lodges and cafés to make you recognize some great benefits of a house place of work.

If you’re desirous about starting off for far-flung places so you’ll be able to stay your task whilst seeing the sector, call to mind this as a tick list of items to arrange for—and a caution that it gained’t be as glamorous as you could consider.

Physical discomforts

When you hit the street, you’re no longer bringing an ergonomic chair or status table with you. The probabilities that you just’ll be capable to arrange a workstation that’s at ease are slender, so get ready for again and neck ache and carpal tunnel syndrome. That’s only for starters. You can’t do a lot to keep an eye on the lights, so that you’re prone to revel in eye pressure as neatly. And temperature keep an eye on will also be evasive—throughout my months in Mexico and South America, I used to be nearly by no means ready to get a room to a at ease temperature. This damages sleep as neatly.

Slow, untrustworthy Wi-Fi

There’s a superb opportunity that you want quicker web and extra bandwidth than you already know. And a fair higher probability that you just’ll have problem discovering it while you go back and forth. Most espresso stores and lodges that supply Wi-Fi regularly can’t fit what you’re used to in an place of work or at house. This is particularly true if you happen to’re just like the thousands and thousands of people that stay loads of tabs open immediately.

There’s additionally the a very powerful subject of safety. Using public Wi-Fi can divulge your data, and that of your employer, to hackers. It’s necessary to make use of era like a VPN to offer protection to your information. But there’s additionally the subject of “shoulder surfing,” by which other people within sight see what you’re typing. Hackers prey on virtual nomads, and a few have got superb at disguising what they’re as much as.

Inadequate sanitation 

In maximum American places of work and eating places, staff can rely on a fundamental degree of sanitation to be stored up—in part because of well being codes. But in another puts, it’s simply no longer the similar. Without going into main points, let’s simply say that I needed to see greater than my proportion of unclean restrooms. Also, my fiancée (who was once running remotely as neatly) and I were given salmonella poisoning from sushi. Yes, that is conceivable within the United States, however much less most likely. Be cautious, and beware. 


“Mosquitoes are bane number one of our lives,” wrote probably the most other people in the back of the site Discover Discomfort, in a submit about full-time go back and forth. I had no concept what a large downside bugs can be, together with indoors—even with computer virus spray and different fundamentals. These aren’t simply an annoyance. They’re a major threat and will elevate all varieties of illnesses.


The clamor of visitors, crowds, development, within sight airports, and extra could make it particularly tricky to take calls or do Zoom conferences. Sound too can dramatically lower productiveness while you’re attempting to pay attention, and noise-canceling headphones can’t eliminate the whole thing. Continuous noise air pollution too can make you extra irritable and wired.

Loneliness as opposed to hookup tradition

I used to be lucky to be with my fiancée. But another virtual nomads we encountered on our travels are a few of the loneliest other people I’ve ever met. Many other people running remotely, even from house, have wrestled with loneliness lately. But in vacationer websites, equivalent to coastal towns and cities, the place persons are running remotely, they run into a difficult state of affairs. Vacationers display up on the lookout for a snappy fling, however the virtual nomads are on the lookout for deeper connections and actual dialog. It may end up in frustration.

Does this imply the work-from-anywhere lifestyles is all unhealthy? Definitely no longer. We were given to peer stunning points of interest, from Playa del Carmen in Mexico to Machu Picchu in Peru. After lengthy workdays, we were given to chill at the seaside. We’ve noticed puts and met other people we by no means would have in a different way. We additionally know we’re lucky that our employers give a boost to far off paintings.

But for me, it’s a lesson realized: Most other people, together with myself, usually are best and have the most productive paintings revel in once they’re desk bound and throughout the comforts of a house place of work.

Gaetano DiNardi is a enlargement marketer and consultant to the sector’s quickest rising tech corporations. He works for Aura, which has a challenge of making a more secure web for everybody.

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