The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely as a Freelance Digital Nomad

Freelance Digital Nomad – Working while backpacking across exotic locations is a dream for many salaried workers today, especially young millennial’s. And it makes sense, too. Humans were most certainly not designed to live a dull desk life or to sit in front of a computer for well over eight hours every day.

The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely as a Freelance Digital Nomad

Becoming a freelance digital nomad allows you the freedom to:

  • Work from anywhere in the world,
  • Choose your own working hours,
  • Handpick projects that match your interests, and
  • Charge a fair price you actually deserve.

Such freedom trumps any lucrative corporate job in the eyes of many young folks. Yes, it’ll take a lot of hard work and hustle to get things off the ground, but freelancing is a great way to put an end to the tedious 9-to-5 drudgery. It can be your passage to travel the world and run your own little business as a solopreneur.

That said, freelancing and being your own boss is not for the weak-willed. You need to be self-motivated enough to work through the tough times without anyone telling you what to do. And you’ll no longer be a salaried employee, so you’ll also have to look after the business, marketing, and accounting side of things apart from the actual client work.

On top of that, being a “nomad”, you’ll be traveling frequently? which brings its own set of challenges. So, before you seriously decide on adopting this kind of  lifestyle, it might be helpful to take a look at the complete set of pros and cons of working remotely:

Pros of working remotely

Besides the exciting work-related freedom already discussed above, here’s all the good stuff that comes with being a freelance globetrotter:

  • Cheaper cost of living: Thanks to the currency difference, living in many popular digital nomad paradise destinations such as Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and so on is extremely pocket-friendly. This means with some prudent budgeting you can live comfortably and save money at the same time.
  • Save big on taxes: Don’t like the tax laws in your country? Pack up and live elsewhere. Learn more about filing taxes as a digital nomad in this guide.
  • Learn how to live independently: Like it or not, you have to leave the nest someday. Living as a freelancer on the other side of the world is the best way to learn how to survive and thrive independently.
  • Meet new people and experience different cultures: You can live like a local and truly appreciate the beauty of a place, its people, and culture.
  • Overall self-growth: Nothing fuels your personal development better than traveling alone and fending for yourself.

Cons of working remotely

Every rose has its thorn, and this exciting lifestyle is no exception. With the incredible freedom also come some not-so-thrilling challenges:

  • Little-to-no financial stability: Sure, due to the currency difference, you have the ability to live comfortably and grow your wealth over time. But at the same time, constant travel, unforeseen expenses, and late-paying clients won’t allow you to have a stable monthly income.
  • Productivity may take a toll: As you may have wondered, it’s true that working from a sandy beach isn’t ideal for your productivity. Instead, you might want to consider a co-working space, and those can be a little pricey.
  • Downtime is pretty much unaffordable: You can’t really afford to catch a serious sickness when you pay your own salary, and that is especially true when working from a far-away land.
  • Social isolation: There may be times when you feel lonely or miss your loved ones back home. While social media helps stay in touch, some may find it difficult to stay away from home for long.

Conclusion: the “digital nomad” lifestyle is not for everyone

The bottom line is this? If you’re in your twenties and open to an adventurous life of unstable income, then take the leap. Don’t overthink it. You don’t want any regrets when you look back at the age of forty-five with a spouse and family to take care of. Now is the time to live bravely.

If, however, you prefer to have financial stability, work your ass off toward early retirement, or have other responsibilities to take care of, this is not the lifestyle for you. Nonetheless, traveling can be extremely rewarding for your mind, body, and soul, so be sure to frequently take some time off for traveling.

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Article Author Details

Shyamal Parikh

Shyamal is the Founder of SmartTask, an online work management tool that's helping teams be more productive by having clarity on who's doing what by when. Has a penchant for researching and sharing strategies that could benefit a team's productivity.