Why Most Digital Nomads Fail (And How To Avoid It)

Do you know why most digital nomads fail? Most people pick something like, ‘they can’t get their careers off the ground’ or that ‘they chose the wrong enterprise’. Others will say it’s because they run out of money, or that they didn’t budget well. And yes, these can all be the straws that break the aspiring nomad’s back. The thing is, often these are only symptoms of a much bigger underlying problem.

What am I on about? I’m talking about what I like to call the digital nomad disconnect.

Most travelers eventually feel the need to go home because they’re not socially integrated. The digital nomad’s existence of drifting from place to place might sound appealing, but it has some serious problems. In time, these lead many to pull the plug. So this is very much another thing you need to know about the digital nomad life.

There are two main reasons why this lack of belongingness affects us so. I’ll cover each in turn.
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How to Effectively Deal with Writer’s Block

Sorry for the long hiatus since the last article. Almost two weeks! How time flies. It was not – as some of you may now suspect – because of writer’s block. It was quite the opposite, actually. I’ve been churning out so much content for my clients that I didn’t have time to write a post here. Could I have? Probably, but I didn’t become a digital nomad to spend every waking minute working, after all. Like I’ve said before, half the reason I do this is for the better work life balance.

In truth, I don’t believe in writer’s block. I mean, sure, I have the occasional day where I find it harder to write. I’ll also occasionally struggle with a story or a concept. Sometimes I might push a particularly daunting story or article back by a few days and write something else instead.
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How to Learn the Skills You Need to Be a Digital Nomad

What holds most people back from being a digital nomad isn’t the ‘nomad’ part (though there are plenty of [myths] (/myths-about-digital-nomads/) about that). It’s the part where they aren’t sure how they’re going to be able to make their money online so they can take to the open road. If they could just learn that, then they’d be set. After all, once you’ve got income you’ve got the space and the time to learn the skills you need – including how to be a nomad.

For that reason, in this article, I’m going to look at the digital side of things. More precisely, I’m going to look at ways that you can learn the digital skills that you need.
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How to be Productive as a Digital Nomad

Warning! The next sentence might be upsetting. If you can’t handle brutal honesty and intellectually-explicit language, then look away now. You ready? Okay, here we go.

Digital nomadism has its downsides too.

Wait! Hey! Hold on, now! Let me explain! Hey, who threw that? This is a new shirt, you know!

Seriously though, like any life, it has its problems. And though for many these problems don’t outweigh the advantages, they’re there and need to be dealt with. One of the biggest problems for digital nomads and travelancers, as I’ve discussed before, is how to stay productive.
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How to Effectively Market Your Blog on Social Media

Many bloggers still seem to function under the premise that ‘if I build it, they will come’. They spend hours and hours crafting blog posts, put them up, share them on a few social media pages and that’s it.

Of course, the people don’t come and naturally, that’s disappointing. But as every article says that blogging is a long game these bloggers don’t get discouraged. Instead, they return to their keyboards and start writing up the next blog post. They’re convinced that if they just keep at it, sooner or later, if they just write well, they’ll get discovered. And then, then they’ll be famous.

If you’re one of these bloggers then here’s some tough love for you: This doesn’t work.

It’s like trying to get rich by winning the lottery. I mean, how many blogs make it? Let’s be extremely generous and say it’s 10,000 per year. Well, there are about 152 million blogs out there.
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How to be a Better Blogger and Let Your Thoughts Fly Free

Poorly written texts are cages that imprison your ideas within them. When you express yourself poorly, your reader has to break your thoughts from prison. They have to dig, sweat and work to bend the bars of your sentences and catch the thoughts between the lines.

And unless they’re motivated (e.g. they love you, you’re famous, you’ve got great marketing or they know your ideas are highly original) they won’t get far. They’ll give up and your words will remain locked up.

A well-written post, on the other hand, doesn’t lock in your thoughts. It sets them free. Your words aren’t bars, but wings. Letting your ideas soar skywards and carry your reader to exotic climes.
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How to Find Happiness on the Road (and in ‘Normal’ Life)

We travel because it makes us happy. From the cubicle, the vagabond existence seems idyllic. It is full of swaying palm trees, sandy beaches, and so many smiling people you’d think it’s a cult. The thing is unless you join a cult you can’t be happy all the time – not even then, actually.

Every existence, even the one on the road, has its shades of blue.

For example, you might feel lonely. You might tire of the hedonism and want more engagement and meaning. Or you might have been going for so long that you forget why travel is good for you and start seeing ‘normal’ life through rose-tinted glasses.

It happened to me two weeks ago. A wave of despondency hit me. I spent days questioning the vagabond existence. I shut myself away, went soul searching and wrestled with my demons.

It’s not like it is the first time. I knew it would pass. It always does. This time, though, rather than just battening down the hatches and waiting it out, I decided to do something about it. I dusted off my psychologist’s cap and took a positive psychology refresher.
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How to Pack Effectively for the Digital Nomad Life

For the last four years, I’ve had two bags and about 30 kg (65 pounds) to my name. This includes my clothes, my toiletries and my entire freelance ‘office’. I could take more, but then I’d have to carry it. And, after an 18-hour bus journey where they once again dumped you miles outside of town, the last thing you want is more weight. So I’ve learned to pack effectively – taking what I need and leaving the rest behind.

The truth is simple. On the road lots of things you think you’ll need you won’t. While other things – things you haven’t considered – turn out to be essential to the travelancer life.

I learned this through trial and error. I’ve seen a lot of puzzled faces. Sometimes it was because I was offering people in some far-flung place my perfectly good hand-me-downs. At other times, because I was looking for something they didn’t even know existed until I asked for it.
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How to Launch a Successful Freelance Writing Career

I’m not going to pretend I’m raking it in as a freelance writer. Of course, that doesn’t mean it won’t do so in the future. I’ve only been doing it full-time for a little over a year. Who knows what the future may hold? More importantly, I have achieved one thing. I’m making enough money for my girlfriend and me to see the world.

In this year we’ve gone from barely scraping together enough to live, to being able to travel across three continents (If you want to know more about that kind of life read my article 8 things you need to know about travelancing). Most months we break even and some we even end up ahead.

The best part? I’ve become a better – and faster – writer because of it. That means that for the most part I only work around four hours a day. So we’ve got plenty of time to see the sights. And so I’d say I’ve succeeded at my attempt to launch a successful freelance writing career.

So how did I do it? And how can you?
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6 Fantastic Reasons Why Travel Is Good For You

You don’t have to tell me how hard it is to take the plunge and throw yourself out there. I know all about that! There are so many reasons not to. These include your job, your family, your security, not knowing what to take, or what is out there and the fear, of course. For those reasons and others, millions don’t pursue their dream of seeing the world. Heck, they almost kept me from getting back out there on many occasions.

That’s a shame, because – as you no doubt know by now – I’m an advocate of the open road and what it can do for us. I believe travel is good for you, and I don’t just mean that for us as individuals, either.

I’m convinced that travel is a natural antidote to the surge in nationalism we’re seeing today.

(For those hit by the latest demonstration, check out my article about how to get out of the US of A)

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