Top 3 Digital Nomad Challenges & Remedies
The digital nomad lifestyle is an aspiration for many, but it doesn't come without its own unique set of challenges. In this article, we interviewed members of our community about their struggles and tips for overcoming them.
Challenge #1: Loneliness
Research shows that our level of happiness has more to do with the quality of our relationships more than the amount of money we have. Unfortunately, building quality relationships take time and effort, and is especially difficult for the unrooted digital nomads who may change locations every once in a while. To us, it's always a trade off between the excitement of exploring somewhere new and getting to know a place.
Upon arriving at somewhere new, one can make new connections through a variety of channels. Dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge are repurposed outside the dating realm and have become commonplace for people who just want to find someone to check out a new cafe or bar in their free time. However, there are usually strings attached with dating apps. More platonic channels of meeting people include Facebook groups, MeetUp, and just spontaneously showing up to the hot spot in town.
While there are more than a dozen ways to meet people, the quantity of our relationships doesn't always correlate with quality. These “surface people”, as one of the digital nomads calls it, are great for hanging out and perhaps nice conversations, but they likely are not people who will be there with a tub of ice cream when you're having a meltdown in your living room.
There are no shortcuts to building a relationship with someone, so the first remedy is to stay in a place for a longer period of time. This may not apply to all destinations. For example, you may choose to stay in Location A for 6 months, spend a month or two checking out two more locations, and just when you start to feel lonely, return to another “home”, where you have friends and family waiting for you. Another solution for loneliness is to travel with someone or arrange to live with housemates at your next destination.
Digital Nomads Nation can help you. Sign up and join our community to access our database to meet up with digital nomads in your city and plan trips with other nomads.
Challenge #2: Travel & Visa Requirements
For those who prefer a “digital nomad lifestyle” over a “nomadic lifestyle” of constantly moving, sometimes the tourist visa just may not cut it. Applying for visas can be a pain, especially with pandemic restrictions. Since every country has a different set of regulation and procedure, the research and administrative process can be extremely tedious and time consuming.
One of the ways to minimize this frustration, as simple as it sounds, is to either travel entirely as a tourist (with either no visa or an low-requirement visa) or travel less frequently. When switching a location, visadb.io is a very useful tool that provides an overview of requirements to travel between two countries.
Challenge #3: Lifestyle Adjustments
International travelers know perfectly well the struggles of scrambling to find an outlet converter or entering multiple restaurants before finding one that is friendly to certain dietary restrictions. The list is endless, and digital nomads need to learn to be flexible and resourceful whenever they go.
The key is research, preparation, and the willingness to adapt. Many digital nomads utilize our platform and Facebook community to inquire the condition of their next destination or what they would need to prepare. Bring an extra outlet converter just in case, a portable battery wherever you go, and extra cash for countries where credit cards are not accepted everywhere. For those with dietary restrictions, different continents features cuisines with particular ingredients, and it is possible to find destinations that are more compatible with your diet. If all else fails, bring snacks with you in case you cannot find anything else.
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