Every time I see a post on social media about someone else’s travel adventures, I get a twinge of envy. I look out my window at the cold snow and the reality of work the next day and then back to the screen where someone is lounging by the beach with a margarita, climbing a mountain, or photographing wildlife in the Serengeti. While it may seem like these people have the perfect life with unlimited cash flow, this is very likely not the case. What travellers and writers fail to mention is the work, the stress, and the worry that often accompanies a digital nomad. Here are a few myths about the nomadic traveller in all of us.
Travellers Have Unlimited Freedom
Career travellers have to abide by the same laws of economics that apply to the rest of us. It takes a ton of work and time to run a successful blog or to write articles for a travel magazine. With the exception of a select few, self employed travellers who rely on their writing to make ends meet often have to pick up side jobs to stay afloat while on the road, such as bartending or helping out in a hostel in exchange for a place to stay. Freedom is found when you have both sufficient time and money to do the things that you want, however often when we have time we don’t have money and vice versa. Travellers are no different.
Travelling Is The Perfect Job
Imagine a career where you get to enjoy the beauty of everything the world has to offer, the chance to meet new people every day, no minimum hours, and the freedom to write about whatever you want. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Too bad that job also has no medical benefits, no pension, pays next to nothing, and is often lonely. It’s awesome meeting cool people at hostels, however most people tend to stay in one place for a very short time. The career traveller tends to stay a little longer, forcing the need to make new friends on a weekly basis.
Career Travellers Have It Easy
Murphy’s law is a bitch. Passports get stolen, wallets and cash go missing, planes and buses get missed, health deteriorates unexpectedly, income is unpredictable, burnout is a real thing, and homesickness sneaks up on you. Of course, some days are better than others. However travellers aren’t immune to the emotions and disappointments that plague the rest of us. Just because they aren’t tied to a 9 to 5 job doesn’t mean they don’t have to hustle like everyone else.
While travel is an amazing opportunity to experience different cultures and sights outside of your own, be aware that doing it as a full time job may not be as great as you had imagined it. Some people that travel do it with cash they have saved from previous employment and others wing it as they go, however it is rare to find someone who stays on the road for longer than a few years. Stress, money, and loneliness all too often sends the would-be traveler home quicker than he or she imagined. Travel seems to be much more rewarding when you can take off work for a few weeks and make tracks in another part of the world without worrying about lodging or how you’re going to make ends meet five years from now. That being said, I’d love to be proven wrong! Share your travel experiences and ways of making money on the road below in the comment section, or email me on the contact page. Thanks for reading.
Jonathan Beam is the author of Crimson Morning - The Philosophy of Travel, available on the member page by signing up above. He is a blogger who writes about travel, adventure and philosophy. He has also written a novel that is currently under consideration to be published!