Question was originally posted on Reddit.
Wishing to be a digital nomad and committing yourself to actualising your dream are two distinctive circumstances, held delicately with a fine thread of reality and delusional, makeshift world you live in.
The majority of us envied a nomad’s lifestyle, but how often do we give ourselves excuses to avoid making difficult decisions of letting go one too many obsessions (i.e. dream car, watches) and possessions (i.e. white picket fences, cars, favourite belonging).
The truth is, it’s never been easy. Nothing ever is. And being a digital nomad is not all bed and roses.
Seasoned nomads could easily have testified on their hardships if they had the chance. So here are some valuable experiences you can learn from these nomads.
[Note: There’s no one hard and fast rule to defining ‘failure.’ Like this Reddit comment, it’s up to different individuals to entirely set their own benchmarks of making it or going home]
The Nomad who never fails to hustle even at the end of his sharing…
I’m a digital nomad in Chiang Mai who moved to Samui last year for 4 months, made a little money with my freelance work, but ended up moving back to USA, and working a low pay IT position for 6 months, saved most every penny, and now I just came back 2 months ago but when I was at home in USA for those 6+ months, I was learning all the ways to make money online (freelancing).
Now I live in Chiang Mai with guaranteed freelance income, with that being said, it’s a small amount of money (perfect for Thailand) but I also have a masters degree in finance and worked at a law firm for 2 years before coming to Thailand last year.
I’ve come across ‘some’ simple legal freelance work, (scanning legal documents for specific information) but would love to connect with someone over here doing legal work as that is my only professional experience, this is sort of my resume, would you by chance have some extra work or clients I could help you with?
The Nomad who’s optimistic and positively encouraging…
Yeah, I’d have to define “fail” and/or “do not make it”. Still, I think I’m open to leaving it up to the ex-digital nomads to define it themselves.
- Maybe they ran out of money and felt like they had to go back and get a job.
- Maybe they got sick of travel and wanted to build a business that wasn’t held back by it.
- Maybe they just always viewed it as a gap-year, and were happy to get back to “real life”
I’m open to all of those. I can tell you my bias – rather than being a cautionary tale, my guess is it would be motivating for those looking to try. They’d get to hear from people who went through their “worst case scenario” and see it’s not really that bad.
The Nomad who got scammed and went into desperation…
Not digital nomad but I am friends with a french ex-accountant that started a french restaurant in Saigon and got scammed out of his ownership by his local business partner. He was living on French unemployment benefits so no real financial stress there.
I would never start a physical world business in places like Vietnam unless your project has the budget for the best possible legal advice and you are covered in both the legal and bribery sense.
At the restaurant there worked a French waiter, 50 something year old guy. Got divorced back home and running from alimony / child payment / debt. Made exactly the same as other waiters, about $200. Those are the real sob stories here.
The Nomad who really got hit by a train and had his legs amputated…
I met a (homeless vagrant type) guy in Sicily who had no legs. This was probably 4 years ago when I was in college and knew nothing about what a digital nomad was.
He said he went was en route to Malta to start an online gambling website when he got his legs clipped off by a train. I didn’t really believe him, but, whenever I read a thread that talks about the “failures” I can’t help but wonder if he is an example of such a dubious fate.
Even though some of these stories are pretty scary and offputting, take these as valuable lessons you can learn from those who have been there and done that. After all, what are these experts for, if they’re not your mentor.
On a lighter note, if you really want to make a change to your lifestyle and still pursue a life of work and travel, let us help you achieve it. We can’t promise there won’t be challenges ahead, but for sure, your route to success will be LESS scarier and LESS uncertain.
PS: We can get you hired in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta, Singapore and Vietnam (these locations for now). Stay tuned with us for other countries 🙂