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These Are The 6 Most Difficult Things About Being A Digital Nomad According To New Study

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Remote work, digital nomadism, van life, bus life and everything in between is taking the world by storm!

Today's workforce is saying ” no more!” to the status quo of the typical 9-5 cubicle life and hitting the open road with their laptop.

While that sounds nice and all on the surface, there are some negative aspects to consider before taking the plunge into becoming a full-fledged digital nomad.

woman with laptop on beach

This enriching experience can't be all sunshine and rainbows, right? There has to be some challenges just like anything else life throws our way.

The folks at Passport-Photo.Online came up with a study from speaking with approximately 950 digital nomads of various ages to determine what is most difficult about this chosen lifestyle.

Some of the results you would expect, while others are topics we may not think about while daydreaming this life of freedom.

Whats interesting is that 94% of those surveyed want to continue on despite the roadblocks they have encountered.

digital nomad in hammock

According to their study, these are the 6 most difficult things about being a digital nomad:

Ruining Romance

Life behind a computer screen can impact meaningful connections according to those surveyed. Sure, maybe you meet another remote worker at a cafe or hostel and hit it off.

Unfortunately, not all digital nomads tend to stay in one spot very long. So it's been determined that even those random encounters quickly fade when one of you decided to pack up and hit the next destination.

27% of men and 32% of women said they always feel romance on the road is hard to come by.

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male and female travelers laughing

FOMO Is Real

If you don't know what FOMO is then you probably don't have it! The stats say that over 55% of social media users have fear of missing out.

So how does this affects nomads exactly? The study resulted in 12% saying they never have this fear but for the other 88%, it can be a real head-scratcher on how to deal with this mental block.

The top mechanism used to cope with FOMO is to simply remind yourself that social media posts often aren't as great as they seem and are catered for “likes”.

curated social media post

In all likelihood, you are not missing out on much at all! Just enjoy the moment you have created for yourself by taking on this new empowering lifestyle for yourself.

Life Can Be Lonely

There's no lunch break hangouts when its just you and your laptop. This can cut out a big chunk of the typical social scene that comes with working in an office.

A lack of social connections can be a downer if you don't distract yourself or put in a little extra effort to find your tribe.

solo female traveler on beach

40% of nomads surveyed stated they feel lonely often, while 24% of women and 29% of men said they always feel a sense of loneliness.

Road Fatigue: Did I Really Sign Up For This?

The life of travelers can be extremely rewarding but also very tiring. 24% of nomads said they frequently experience road fatigue.

Here are the best ways to cope:

  • 26% of travelers simply take a break from the globetrotting
  • 24% use meditation or other relative techniques to refresh body and mind
  • 21% say to just power through the rough patch
  • 19% say to change plans and go at a slower pace
  • 11% say caffeine is the answer
yoga and soundbath near the beach

Financial Hurdles

Digital nomads are a mix of entrepreneurs, remote workers and freelancers. Not every job provides a steady paycheck.

When travelers are on the road, expenses can pile up no matter what your profession may be. It's no different for digital nomads.

For this study, remote workers were more concerned that both entrepreneurs and freelancers.

84% of remote workers have financial stability on their mind compared to 71% of entrepreneurs and 75% of freelancers.

traveler with cash

The Dread Of Taxes

Its safe to say whether you're a nomad or not, taxes are no fun for anyone! To make matters more confusing, life on the road can cause headaches when tax season rolls around.

Taxes are complicated enough in America, so throw in regulations from other countries and you might find yourself in an emotional tailspin.

84% of everyone studied said they have faced challenges with their taxes, while the other 16% have remained worry-free about them somehow.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Al LeFeusch

Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

I'm so glad I'm just a regular nomad and no a digital one. It would suck to be digital.