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Please Digital Nomads, Stop Doing This!

So a huge chunk of creatives are digital nomads or shall I say that most digital nomads are creatives? Either way I’m getting tired of the endless GoFundMes of these digital whatevers crying out for help because their money has run out and their stuck in Shanghai or some other city without a penny or a flight home…

Becoming a freelancer full time or a remote worker is pretty much almost everyone’s dream. This generation seems allergic to nine-to-fives, but this generation seems also allergic to common sense…which is a pretty good thing to have if you want to go to a foreign land you’ve never been to before or have any connections in.

Many creatives make the mistake of jumping on a plane and going somewhere the moment they receive their first big check, thinking that their travel lifestyle has begun. As someone that doesn’t want to crush dreams neither do I want to encourage recklessness, this is stupid. Notice how I said jump on a plane and not plan a trip. Because that would mean that some part of the trip was planned. Yes, I love DamonAndJo as much as anyone else. But realistically speaking you can’t just “Shut Up and Go”.

There’s nothing wrong with being a digital nomad, don’t get me wrong. It’s something I’m constantly tempted with choosing. But before you decide to jump into it make sure that you have set aside a reasonable amount of money to get started and are realistic about the costs that you’ll incur while there. That big check that you just received will look pretty small after you’ve paid for the cost of accommodation, food and transport in a new country. I’m speaking from experience here….it often takes me three months to settle down in a new country and be really productive, and up to a year or more to really excel. The idea that you’ll get right back into work rhythm and maintain a work schedule in a new environment is pushing it. Especially if you’ve never traveled before. That’s the major reason that there are those GoFundMes all over social media with people’s desperate cries for help.

Personally I have nothing against GoFundMe. In fact I might start one in order to finance a new laptop that I really need right now. But those campaigns shouldn’t be started because one made a foolish mistake. I’ll assume that the majority of us are above the age of sixteen and can make adult decisions and also take responsibility for our errors. We need to stop promoting total callousness and calling it The good life.

I’ve examined the lives of many digital nomads(in real life) and read many of their blogs. The truth of the matter is that the lifestyle isn’t glamourous at all and often times is a way of escaping responsibility and facing the fact that one is growing older. As someone that perpetually feels like they’re failing to adult it even strikes me as irresponsible what we allow in the name of freedom and apparent liberation.

More so for female creatives. Misogyny aside. Imagine you’ve traveled to Marrakech and you’ve run out of money and you realize that having no money and being female in a country known for violating female rights who don’t suit a certain criteria (like having the indecency to travel alone which must mean she’s a white) is not the dream but rather a nightmare where men are trying to force their way into your pants and the law is on their side? Girrrrrrl. We’ve heard those stories and many of them are tragic.

If you want to travel and work remotely first of all establish your work and make sure you have a constant stream of well-paying work. By well-paying I mean that they pay you when they say that their going to pay you. You don’t want to get a heart attack in Bali when you’re client delays paying, you’re visa is about to expire and you were planning to use that money to buy your flight back home…ow and did I mention that you no longer have money for accommodation?

Another thing you should mind is that your travel should be behind your work by about three jobs. Meaning make sure that the costs of your travel are not dependent on the amount of money you’re currently making. It should be dependent on the money you’ve made at least three jobs ago so that there’s always space for financial pitfalls. For example, if you need an emergency tooth extraction in Thailand (which is actually occurs more than you’d think)

I’m not really saying anything here that’s out of this world or nonsensical. In fact it’s do sensible I really shouldn’t have to be saying this at all. So my creatives puppets let’s plan a trip together one day….you noticed how I used the word “plan” right?

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