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  • Ella Heart

Pros & Cons Of The Digital Nomad Family Lifestyle


pictures of us in Amsterdam


It all has its advantages and disadvantages


We became a digital nomad family of 4 without planning to do so. It all fell into place when we started to follow our gut feeling. Since 2016 I am self-employed and I experienced harder and easier years but I would never go back to being in the rat race with an all-in contract with a company.


But wait before you decide to also become a digital nomad. Everyone is different and different lifestyles fit different types of people. I also think that no human being is perfect for the rat race.

Cover of the psychedelic Netflix series: The Midnight Gospel, screenshot by author

We are free spirits and in this reality we are all currently on this planet is being ruled by money and power.

The digital nomad lifestyle gave me a certain freedom that I never experienced before.


Disadvantages and advantages from the perspective of a digital nomad


Let’s start with what is great about this lifestyle.



pictures of us in Chiang Mai


Pros

  • You can decide when and where to work

  • You can change your income sources when you feel like it

  • You are your own boss, nobody tells you how to work and you decide with whom you want to work and with whom not

  • You can spend much more time with your family

  • You can work from home and like this, you save a lot of time (no time investment needed for going and coming back from work)

  • You can be as creative as you wish and try out endless ideas and projects as long you have the money and energy for it

  • You can do whatever you like with your life, as long as you make enough money with your activities

  • You feel free

  • You are super flexible

  • You can switch locations when you feel like it and you can travel the world

  • You meet the most interesting people

  • You can learn about other cultures, learn other languages and get a better feel for how other people spend their days

  • You will gain a lot of life experience with this lifestyle and this will give you a lot of opportunities to grow

  • You will create a stronger and stronger mindset and get much better at decision making

  • You don’t need to fit in, wear certain clothes or follow certain rules

  • You can eat whenever you want, you can get up from your desk whenever you want to

  • You are never in a hurry if you plan it right

  • You can create a team that you enjoy working with

As I mentioned before, it is not all rosy and great. Here are the disadvantages that I experienced in the last few years.


pictures of us in Vienna


Cons

  • Financial uncertainty: Some months might be tight, in some months you won’t know how to pay for utilities and even your rent

  • You are 100% responsible for your earnings, you will not receive a 13th and 14th salary like in Austria on an employment contract

  • You need to pay your taxes and handle your insurance (in Austria you are automatically insured when you are employed)

  • Holidays are never 100% free time, you will always have to work, at least a little bit

  • You don’t have paid sick days. If you are sick and you cannot work, you don’t have an active income and you need to rely on your passive income, which you hopefully have built up by now

  • A lot of work, especially in the first 2 years might seem completely unpaid. You need to invest your time for free in the beginning until you reach the point to actually earn with the activity (blogging, creating YouTube videos, publishing a book, etc.)


Tips & Tricks that make the digital nomad lifestyle easier

  • Always have some money on the side. In my experience, this amount is about $7k for a family of 4

  • Keep your head clear, meditate regularly

  • Keep not just your mind fit, but also your body, with the right amount of workouts and a healthy and balanced diet

  • You have to develop solid discipline. Look for tools that help you (a timer, scheduler, certain apps like notion, etc.)

  • Keep it fun and easy as much as possible (KISS method, Keep it Simple and Stupid)

  • Never overwork yourself, it is all about consistency, take breaks when you need them



John in Chiang Mai



How to start

If you can ease into the digital nomad lifestyle, do it. Reduce your working hours with your employer more and more while you build up your side hustles (for example 3 to 5 different side hustles). Before you go full-on digital nomad lifestyle, make sure to have some savings on the side, for difficult financial times. I like to have enough on the side so our family of 4 can survive without any income for at least 6 months, but even better 1–1.5 years.


This lifestyle is great and comes with a lot of freedom and more responsibility than ever.

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