Loneliness, Uncertainty, and Problems of Separation: This is the ‘B-side’ of Digital Nomads | training | Economy
When Rubén Senor and Lucia Sanchez (Something to remember) They started with their life project 10 years ago, the concept of digital nomad didn’t exist. Both dedicated to marketing, and with a shared passion for travel, they only had one thing clear: they wanted to travel. And one night, after dinner and in front of a bottle of wine, they overcame their last doubts and bought that first ticket to Beijing: “We just wanted to travel. Later, being owners of our own time and direction became a necessity,” Senior recalls. China, Japan, Chile, India, the United States, South Africa, Cambodia and Colombia are just a small sample of the destinations they have visited. Neither of them (and if you ask Koke and Tindaya, it’s probably their two traveling little boys) would consider another way of life, and in this they agree with most digital nomads: 92% are very satisfied with their job, versus 68% of people with traditional jobs, according to For MBO Partners report State of Independence 2022.
The most obvious advantages of this lifestyle (working while traveling thanks to technology) include a high degree of freedom that allows you to decide not only where you work from, but also when to stop, move or rest. But it’s also an experience that “opens your mind to new ways of doing things; makes you an open-minded person and eager to learn about other cultures and people; helps you be a more responsible and committed person; and it makes you approach things with a positive attitude, energy and happiness,” explains resource expert Carla Gil. humanity in the field startup companies.
Did the epidemic affect the spread of this phenomenon? definitely. In the US, for example, the number of digital nomads with traditional jobs increased by 9% in 2022 (from 10.1 to 11.1 million); But in 2020 this number has already doubled, and in 2021 it has increased by 42%. With regard to professional fields, and according to the MBO Partners report, the most common are related to ICT professions (21%); creative works (12%); education and training (11%); sales, marketing and public relations (9%); finance and accounting (9%) and consulting, training and research (8%). Moreover, 69% stated that they intend to maintain this lifestyle for the next two or three years. But with everything, it is an option that is not valid for everyone, because not everything is to work from the beaches of paradise or in front of mountains or lakes. A less visible face also speaks of loneliness, problems with separation or personal relationships.
Nearly four in 10 digital nomads (41%) say their lifestyle affects their ability to maintain romantic relationships, a similar percentage for those who say they feel lonely “often always,” according to the study. The dark side of being a digital nomad And From Passport Photo Online and based on reviews from 950 of these nomads. The right to digital disconnect is not always easy to achieve, because the freedom to work when and where you want often has a flip side: 44% of those surveyed admitted to working longer hours than before, often working on weekends, answering emails outside their working hours and even feel guilty for taking time off or disconnecting from work (in 83% of cases). However, six out of 10 work 40 hours or less.
Be aware of the challenges
For Senor, the worst travel companion has always been uncertainty, “the second aspect of the safety that normal life provides. We are the owners of our own time and our movements, but we are also involved in many projects that do not go out… In the end it is a purely economic issue, but if I can handle it, it’s not too difficult to implement,” he explains. Then there is the matter of seeing family in one form or another; But there are people who have a very stable life and see it as less than us.” The feeling of “missing something” (fear of missing out, FOMO, in English) is very common among digital nomads.
“The hardest thing for me is being away from friends and family, missing the important moments,” admits Gil, now head of people and culture at Prophero. “At first you miss a dinner with friends, or a birthday celebration…but, over time, you stop thinking that you chose the lifestyle you live, and that those moments will be there when you return.” Since she discovered that her job was human resources, she focused on searching for projects that would allow her to combine work with her passion for travel, passport At the moment it carries “stamps” from Thailand, Bali, Australia, the United States, Portugal or Ibiza. Personal safety, difficulties arising from the time difference and logistics are other aspects that must be considered.
“For me, the hardest thing was learning to manage the rhythm of the journey, because ultimately you are more vulnerable to the things that happen to you. And the uncertainty that happens day in and day out is great, but at the same time it gives me some anxiety, especially when you have to run a business.” On his part, he admits. Isabelle Bofill. She began her career as a nutritionist, but in moving to nomadic she trained (and became) a digital marketing consultant and strategist, while Joshua Perez, his partner, is a vegan cooking instructor. Spain, France, Germany … Both recognize that the difficulties of having a stable social circle are other challenges, such as the difficulty of regular exercise or space. And not because you have less storage space, which is actually a plus for me [viajan en una autocaravana] Because we live with so much more than we need and we live in the heart of consumption click (…), but because living with two people and a dog in such a small space limits individual time and makes us have to work together more when it comes to eating and sleeping,” he explains.
Is it my life plan?
Being a digital nomad isn’t, however, a viable life plan for everyone. “The one thing you have to know before you jump in is that if you want to live to travel and have your time, you have to do it. You can’t keep that inside, because it’s going to affect you. Of course, if you don’t feel like it, if you’re happy with a family Paella every Sunday, so don’t get carried away with trends and networks. Don’t do it; you don’t need it,” Lord advises. And, of course, if you have doubts… the best thing to do is try it: “I recommend living the experience first, in some way. Rent or borrow a car if you know someone who owns it, and do the exchange for a few days… There are many ways to But you have to try.”
Then, on the road, much of the experience depends on being able to enjoy a good internet connection. “In my case, I usually choose cities made for digital nomads, and then look for spaces for them joint work Where there is startup companies And where I can find people with a work rate similar to mine. This allows me to meet new people and do so NetworksJill says. “[Estos espacios] help us to have a separate home and business, and facilitate the much-needed task of entrepreneurship; have an internet connection; Kitchens. garden; Beer and lunch from time to time…and the prices are much cheaper than they are at the office, Perez and Bofill explain. Spain, for its part, has become a very popular destination within this group, and many cities (Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia …) have developed specific ecosystems to attract them, with spaces for joint work Long-term housing and cheap accommodation options in rural areas, as well as measures promoted by the government, with the creation of specific visas and tax benefits.
Financial planning is essential
Although it is a cheaper way of life in some ways, good financial planning is essential. Not surprisingly, three out of four digital nomads worry about their economic stability. “Anytime you travel, you need to have financial resources to start your adventure, but it is beneficial to leave home with a job that generates a monthly income. And, of course, to have international health insurance,” says Gill. Signor and Sanchez, Rubén and Lucia, planned their first long trip “in the most obvious way: we sold everything we had, saved what we could before leaving and divided that money by 365 days. Hence our daily budget. We recorded all our expenses meticulously, and if we went on a day of “Days away, we cut expenses the next day. Then we realized that, contrary to what we thought, we could make money from traveling and we wanted to extend the trip. There was no turning back.”
For his part, Bofill recommends taking the time to create a financial plan that includes issues such as how much you’ll need to live each month, how you’ll get it, available savings, or means of generating income. A plan, however, that “doesn’t just work for digital nomads; so it generally has to be in life. We also don’t teach financial education in the current educational system, to control your expenses, invest, save, and generate your own money.” So what happens next? It is that most people don’t control their finances, they control you.”
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