Western Union + Dear Alyne: Life as a Digital Nomad

Dear Alyne is a World Citizen and has been to 72 countries around over the Globe. She is a WU customer and guest blogger who we’ve teamed up with. Follow along with her adventures, here: https://www.instagram.com/dearalyne/   

Ahh, the classic photo on Facebook of your friend relaxing at a beautiful beach while working on their laptop. It’s a photo we’ve all seen, and most of us have envied. But what’s the story behind the photo? What exactly is a “Digital Nomad”?

A Digital Nomad is essentially someone who works online and can work from anywhere. They’re not tied to an office, so they often post these gorgeous pictures working on their laptops from beaches, tree-houses, or other beautiful locations. I’ve been a Digital Nomad for 2 years and while it’s a great lifestyle, it’s not for everyone. And while working from your laptop can be amazing, I think that before you pursue this lifestyle, it’s important to be prepared and know the full story behind the beautiful pictures you see!

Working Online.

Working from anywhere gives you a feeling of freedom. You can fly from country to country and see the world after your online working hours. But in many countries, good internet is hard to find and looking for it can be really time consuming and frustrating. Walking from cafe to cafe looking for a place that’s quiet enough to work and with good internet is fun for the first few days, but soon enough you’ll realize how much time you waste on this endeavor. Not every country is blessed with fast internet, so many times the accommodation you book won’t have it at all or it will be so slow you go crazy!

Balancing costs

I made around $1000 USD a month when I got started as a Digital Nomad, which is enough to live in Asia but not enough to cover frequent international flights. The amount of money people make while working as Digital Nomads can vary, so you’ll have to budget accordingly! When I was just starting out, I would try to stay in certain areas of the world for longer periods, to avoid the expensive long-haul flights. Renting a room via a home sharing site or getting in touch with locals for local homesteads may also bring down prices on accommodation.

Self-Motivation

You have to be at least somewhat organized and structured to be a Digital Nomad. Many online jobs don’t require specific working hours, so you need to be self-motivated! I frequently would work more hours than asked of employers just to make sure I did the best job possible and kept my employer happy.

The Difficulties

Humid or rainy weather, missing family and friends, bug bites, and adjusting to new cultures are all part of life as a Digital Nomad. When things get hard and you get sick, miss a flight, or just have a down day, you’ll miss the comforts of having family and friends nearby. When the humidity makes your hair so knotted you can’t brush it, you’ll miss the cool breezes of home. And when you forget to slather on bug repellant one evening and get 100 bug bites in 5 minutes, you just may temporarily question your sanity.

So next time you see a photo of a friend working from an exotic locale and start to dream of your life as a digital nomad, remember – while yes, it’s a life of beautiful sunsets, gorgeous views, and new cultures, it is also bug bites, homesickness, and long work days away from home! And maybe, just maybe, this article will help you appreciate your life as a non-digital nomad just a little bit more.

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