For many people, the idea of leaving their everyday routine behind and exploring the world seems like a dream come true. However, travelling for extended periods of time can be expensive, so how can you reconcile this passion for adventure with the need to make a living? The answer: remote work.
With the rise of remote jobs, it’s easier than ever to work from anywhere in the world with just a laptop and an internet connection. This not only allows you to travel while still putting in a full day’s work, but it also offers the opportunity to experience new cultures and lifestyles without having to sacrifice your income or career.
However, being a digital nomad (a remote worker who travels frequently) is not without its challenges. It requires discipline, time-management, and a lot of planning. In this blog, we’ll explore the ups and downs of remote work and traveling abroad, and offer tips for making the most of this lifestyle.
Pros of Remote Work and Traveling Abroad
Freedom and Flexibility
One of the biggest advantages of remote work is the freedom it offers. You can choose your own working hours, work at your own pace, and customize your work environment however you like. When you’re living on the road, you’re not tied to one location so you can work from anywhere. You can work from a beach in Thailand one day and a coffee shop in Bali the next. You can plan your workday around sightseeing and other activities that you’ve planned in your destination.
Travel can be expensive, but if you’re a digital nomad, you can save money by living and working in affordable destinations. For example, if you’re earning a US salary but living in a country with a lower cost of living, you’ll be able to stretch your budget further. You can explore cheaper countries and save on accommodation, food, and social activities.
Traveling to different countries and experiencing new cultures can be a life-changing experience. As a digital nomad, you have the opportunity to live like a local and fully immerse yourself in the culture. You can learn new languages, try new foods, and explore off-the-beaten-path locations. You can interact with people from different backgrounds and learn about their way of life. This experience can broaden your horizons, expose you to new ideas, and make for lasting memories.
Cons of Remote Work and Traveling Abroad
Isolation and Loneliness
Working remotely can be isolating, and traveling alone can be lonely. It can be tough to make new friends and build relationships when you’re constantly on the move. You miss out on the camaraderie of a traditional office environment where seeing people face-to-face on a regular basis can build friendships. In addition, traveling can be exhausting both physically and mentally. When you’re dealing with those feelings alone, it’s easier to become deflated, so you need to be conscious of the socialization and human connection necessary to sustain your emotional and mental wellbeing.
Distractions and Lack of Routine
Traveling can be distracting, and it can be challenging to maintain a routine when you’re constantly on the go. You may find yourself constantly distracted by events and sights when you should be working or that one coffee shop with poor internet connection that you went to for inspiration but ended up killing your workflow. It’s important to set aside designated hours each day for work and make sure you take breaks for rest, exercise, or sightseeing.
Working remotely requires a strong internet connection, and depending on where you’re traveling, this can be a challenge. You may have to deal with slow or unreliable internet, which can impact your work. There are many factors to consider when working remotely too such as accessibility to information during meetings, power outages, language barriers, and more.
Tips for Making the Most of Remote Work and Traveling Abroad
Create a Routine
Having a routine can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance and improve your overall productivity. Set regular working hours, stick to them as much as possible, and create a schedule that includes downtime for exploring and sightseeing. Plan ahead and make sure to schedule blocks of time to work on important projects or meet deadlines in areas where you can focus on your work.
Choose Your Destination Wisely
Do your research before choosing your travel destinations. Consider the cost of living, internet connectivity, and the time zone difference before deciding on a location. Take note of the power voltage and the types of power outlets available in your travel destinations in case you may need to purchase adaptors for your electronics. You can use resources like Nomadlist to help you make informed decisions on the logistics and further compare destinations by safety, air quality, and more.
Network and Meet New People
Join online communities of remote workers and digital nomads to connect with like-minded individuals. Consider attending meetups and events in your destination to build a community and make new friends. Go on group tours, attend festivals or other social gatherings in the area, join a fitness class, volunteer, or approach a coworker or two to hit up the local happy hour together. Additionally, you can also reach out to people you admire via social media, LinkedIn, and similar platforms to ask if they would like to grab coffee or host an online chat related to your interests.
When traveling and working remotely, unexpected challenges can arise. Plan ahead as much as possible to avoid any last-minute complications. This can include booking accommodation and flights in advance, as well as ensuring you have reliable travel and health insurance. Know the visa and PayPal requirements of a place before you visit to avoid any financial constraints when you are there.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of overworking when you’re traveling and working remotely. Prioritize self-care by taking regular breaks, getting enough sleep, and practicing mindfulness exercises like yoga or meditation. Plan your day or week around what’s important to you — health, wellness, work, leisure, or a mix of all these things.
Remote work and traveling abroad can be a life-changing experience, but it’s not without its challenges. By following the tips outlined above and having a strong work ethic, you can create a fulfilling and rewarding digital nomad lifestyle. So why wait? Start planning your next remote working adventure today!