Traveling full-time is the new trend in the travel industry, especially for Millennials. They were born in an era where technology took off, which means that being a digital nomad is one of the most wanted jobs.
As a Millennial myself, I value experiences over things. I have a desire to explore the world, immerse myself in different cultures, ready for the next adventure.
We are bombarded every day with inspiring videos of people traveling, with not a care in the world. Almost every story is the same: “I quit my job to travel the world”. This seems to be the inspirational quote of the decade in the travel industry.
Young people feel burnt-out at their jobs, they feel exploited, tired. They save up money not to buy a home or a car but to travel. When they meet with friends, they talk about their latest experiences, not their latest acquisitions.
One thing is sure: for Millennials, expensive clothes are out, Southeast Asia is in.
Traveling is becoming a lifestyle and with so many people choosing to do it full-time, I can’t help but ask myself “Are these people aware of what being a digital nomad actually means?”. I honestly doubt it.
No time to read now? Pin it for later!
I’ve been traveling full-time while trying to make an income along the way for the past years and all my friends think I’m just sitting on the beach, with a cocktail in my hand. They only see the pretty part, the part that I share on my Instagram and Facebook but there is so much more behind.
Full-time travel is not just about seeing beautiful places, it is also a challenge, an experience that makes you grow. I’ve learnt to compromise, to work harder for my dreams, to sleep only a few hours per night, to be more organized.
But what is the price? This is what nobody tells you about being a digital nomad.
Good to know – If you want to find out how you can travel full-time and become a digital nomad, check out my recommendations here.
You’ll be away from your family and friends
This is probably the hardest part. Being a digital nomad means that most of the time you’ll be alone, on the other side of the world (unless you travel with your partner). Yes, you can make friends along the way but let’s be serious: if you choose a life of constant travel, chances are those friends won’t follow along.
Check out my article about the things you will learn when traveling as a couple.
You’ll meet many people on your way but no one is there to stay. People have to follow their own journey and everyone’s journey is different.
Most of us are used to have our childhood friends near us, not to mention our families. Deciding to travel-full time also means consciously deciding to not see your friends and family for an indefinite period of time (3 months, 6 months, who knows?).
After a while, Whatsapp will become your best friend. It’s the only way to keep in touch with your loved ones.
You’ll have to give up things. A lot of things
Think about your favorite pants, your favorite shirts, your favorite makeup or your favorite shoes. Now imagine that you can only take a few of your favorite items in your full-time travel journey.
For my full-time travel survival kit, click here.
Being a digital nomad means being location independent. Being location independent means that you will travel around the world, moving from one location to another. You can’t do that while carrying your entire closet with you. It’s just not gonna happen.
You’ll have to give up 95% of the things you own. Do you remember saving up 3 months to buy that amazing pair of shoes? Well, those shoes are staying home.
Apart from giving up most of your things, you’ll have to be practical. You’ll have to think about how you can make the most out of your backpack or luggage space. There’s no room for fancy things.
You’ll have to adapt
Let me tell you another thing: say goodbye to 99% of the brands you’re using at home.
We all have our favorite shampoo, our favorite perfume or our favorite shower gel. Chances are, you won’t find them anymore when you choose to be a digital nomad. You’ll have to adapt and use the brands found in each country you are visiting.
It might seem easy, but your hair will say otherwise.
You’ll work twice as much as you used to
Are you planning to leave your job because you feel burnt-out? Well, think again!
If you plan to travel full-time, you’re gonna need a source of income unless you’re a rich bada**. Finding a way to make money and making it work while you’re traveling non-stop is harder than it seems.
Think that for every place you visit you’ll have to search for accommodation, transport tickets, things to see in that location. After the searching part is done, here comes the most tiring part: actually visiting all the tourist attractions. After all, you’re traveling the world to experience different cultures, right?
After a day of sightseeing, you finally get to your hotel (a different hotel every 3 or 4 days) and you have to think and work for something that might or might not bring you money in the near future.
You’re gonna have to live for months with that kind of pressure and trust me, it’s not easy. When everything depends on whether or not you’re taking action, the pressure on your shoulders is huge.
You’ll have to get used to new, weird food
The food might not seem like a big problem but after months of eating things you never even knew existed, you’ll start missing the traditional food in your home country.
In Vietnam, you’ll have to learn how to use the chopsticks, in Myanmar you’ll have to learn to eat spicy and in Japan, you’re gonna have to eat sushi and raw meat. These are just a few examples but each and every country around the world has different food.
These are just a few of the changes you’ll have to do in your life when traveling full-time. You’ll have to get out of your comfort zone on a daily basis but in the end, you’ll grow into a better person. A person who is adaptable and mature. A person who can face anything.
May the travel bug bite you!