Digital nomad life (part 1)

Hayley (2)

These days, working a remote job is the new office. It is something that, arguably, the pandemic encouraged more as companies needed to adapt to changing times. But as a result of that, a growing community of professionals from a variety of different fields has emerged – digital nomads.

Not only do they work from their laptops, yet also champion a work-life balance through doing what they love, traveling the world, and most importantly, capturing it online. 

During my month-long trip in Mexico, one of the digital nomads I met was Hayley (@headforhorizions). She did all kinds of work from teaching English online as a second language, social media content creation, and helping others transition into the digital nomad world. 

But the reason Hayley wanted to become a nomad in the first place reflects the struggles of many people who have a regular, corporate, and even stressful type of career. 

“Once I started the normal route of the 9-5 after university, I began to realise just how un-normal it really was after the first year,” Hayley said in our interview. “I was working so much overtime and not being paid for it. Regularly expected to give up my evenings to work. I saw first hand partners missing their childrens important life events to stay in the office.” 

It took a backpacking trip through South America and a year of hard work, but eventually Hayley was able to make a stable income online. She went on to explain how the freedom associated with digital nomad culture is what she enjoys most about the lifestyle. It’s possible to travel anywhere, meet inspiring people, and to find happiness. Despite all that, however, there are some challenges that come with always being on the road. 

“As humans we like familiar things, routine and that can be hard when you’re traveling,” Hayley said. “Constantly moving around, saying bye to people you love and going to the next place can be hard to deal with at times.” 

Even with that said, though, the upside to being a digital nomad outweighs the negatives. Social media, YouTube videos, and online coaches (like the one in this article) also make it easier for you to reach that goal. But, like most great things, becoming a digital nomad will take time. It is something that Hayley was transparent about when asked to share tips for beginners. 

“My advice is to make a plan and try multiple routes to see what you like. If you are in a 9-5 job now, spend some time in your week working on your digital nomad dream, build your skills, portfolio, online presence and pick up small amounts of work. Don’t worry if things don’t work out or you start some kind of work and end up not enjoying it. It’s all about trying and seeing what’s right for you.”

Undoubtedly, nomads like Hayley could make some people rethink their career. But maybe that’s exactly the point. 

One of the few good things about the pandemic was the increase in remote positions. So, why not strive to create the work-life balance you’ve always dreamed of? You can be a digital nomad.