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I've done it from 2013-2016, on and off.

What many people do is travel then think "this is it, I want to do this forever", then travel, isolate themselves from their home communities, live in cheap places, make some money, share cocktail by the pool photos on Instagram with a hashtag #nomadlife and then get clinically depressed. Then they return to their home countries after 3 years, but they've lost touch with their old communities. And everything is expensive. And it's cold. Now they're worse off than before they left! That's not the way to go.

The issue is that most people present the digital nomad lifestyle it as a black and white thing. You're either a 9 to 5 wage slave who hasn't escaped the system yet, OR you're a "broken-free" digital nomad and then you have to give up your home life completely, keep moving around from place to place for years and it'll supposedly be awesome. I did it, and it was fun for about a year until it got VERY tiring.

It shouldn't be black and white. Digital nomad stuff should show us that we can have more freedom in terms of location. That means, deciding "I want to live/work in X for the next 3 months". And going for it. Then coming back home. If you live in a cold place, you might want to skip the winter altogether. If you have a particular hobby you'd like to immerse yourself in, move to the place in the world where you can do that (like tango in South America or learn about sushi in Japan) for a few weeks. Then go back.

The feeling of being in a strange place is amazing. New smells, tastes, people etc. That's why travel is so exhilarating. I've been from Asia through Europe through Latin America. It's completely changed my personality and perception of reality for good. But it doesn't mean we need to do it full-time.

Balance is still something that has to arrive in the digital nomad community (and I'm in it).

I moved back home and use it as a homebase to fly everywhere. I like that I have the freedom to take a taxi to the airport and be there in 10 minutes, board a plane with my laptop in a carry-on backpack and fly somewhere random, work from there and stay there until I get bored and fly back. That's extreme freedom and it means I still can have my home life and friends + have amazing travel experiences.

Balance!




> I moved back home and use it as a homebase to fly everywhere. I like that I have the freedom to take a taxi to the airport and be there in 10 minutes, board a plane with my laptop in a carry-on backpack and fly somewhere random, work from there and stay there until I get bored and fly back. That's extreme freedom and it means I still can have my home life and friends + have amazing travel experiences.

That freedom is the holy grail, and I think has more to do with financial independence than anything. It's cheaper to be a full-time nomad because no rent, but money is worth trading for comfort. It all depends on individual preference. Confidence in your goals will bring you where you want to be!


You raise an important distinction between the different motivations of digital nomads. Personally, I'm currently traveling because it's cheaper than living in a major US city, and gives me a longer runway to work on projects. Eventually I hope to have a similar arrangement to the one Pieter is describing, with a home base and maximized travel ability.

Financial independence is the goal. Digital nomading can help get you there by extending your runway, and it can also be a benefit of the independence once you achieve it.


If you leave you can Airbnb your place and mitigate that (and even make a profit).


True, save the areas where legislation disallows. But this is a consideration when I purchase/rent a place now, so your point is definitely valid.


You're essentially still paying the rent/mortgage costs of having a fixed home + any travel expenses. I thought the advantage of the DN lifestyle was that you didn't have the costs of a fixed home and could funnel that towards seeing the world.


You can easily mitigate that by just Airbnb'ing your place out when you're not there.


Or just make enough money that you can afford to pay your mortgage and travel at the same time.


Depends on your income, like anything else. The idea of being a digital nomad means different things to different people.


> What many people do is [...]

You've provided no sources or anything




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