Tribulations of Being a Digital Nomad
The digital nomad lifestyle is an enviable one. The idea of being able to bounce around the earth and see new and exotic places constantly while still working and being able to maintain such a lifestyle in perpetuity is an idea that has a lot of appeal to many people.
But as with anything else, it has its negative sides, and they are many, and some could even affect your good workflow and mess with your money in the worst of cases. For this reason they need to be addressed if you are going to pull this jet-setting globe-trotting lifestyle off properly and not have to go running home at the wrong time.
Problems using the internet in other countries can be as minor as needing to figure out a good Netflix Proxy, or as mayor as being in China and finding yourself behind the Great Firewall and needing a VPN for absolutely everything you need to do with the internet besides accessing Chinese websites and using Chinese apps in Chinese. The latter is of course an extreme case, and if things get any worse, China may be off limits for the working digital nomad just because you simply won’t be able to get anything done due to the internet being censored. In any case, VPNS are an indispensable tool, because you never know what may wind up being blocked from where, and how essential it is.
Another issue is simply the poor quality of the internet often to be found on hotel networks. One useful hack for the experienced world traveller is to rely heavily on AirBnB bookings as opposed to hotels, as these are usually homes with much more robust networks, and moreover, they aren’t used by hundreds of customers at a time. Some places in the world are very poor on AirBnB and in this case you will be forced to use hotels in most cases, in which case doing proper research beforehand to find out what kind of internet you will be getting is highly recommended.
Other Various Issues
Jet lag and just general confusion with time zones is another potential danger. Don’t forget to calculate for daylight savings time when and where applicable, either where you are or where someone you need to communicate with is at that particular moment. Getting times wrong can lead to miscommunications which could just be a minor annoyance, but could conceivably be bad for business.
You also have to stay on top of things like delayed flights and extreme weather (which is actually very easy to run into when you travel the world), and often problems with bureaucracy, even coming down to getting replacement debit and credit cards, for example. Things that used to be simple can become a minor nightmare.
Fortunately as with all else, proper planning mitigates or eliminates all these issues. So with proper planning and a little flexibility, you can live the digital nomad life in style.