Leaving Home - How Embracing Digital Nomadism improved my Life

7 min read

There was a time when I had to ask myself: Is the comfort of my home actually my prison? It was time to pack my bags, pack my laptop, and dive into the life of a digital nomad. It's the best thing I've ever done for myself, and I believe it could be the same for you.

The Comfort Cage

I, like many others, found myself stuck in the comfort of my daily routines, familiar surroundings, and worn-out paths. It was as if I had built a cage of comfort around myself. And it started to feel that this comfort zone was actually hindering my potential.

The digital age has given us a golden ticket to break free from the shackles of the traditional 9-to-5 office job. More and more people are trading in their office desks for a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection, and they're not looking back.

Why? Because becoming a digital nomad isn't just about escaping the office. It's about embracing discomfort, and seeing the world through a new lens. It's about challenging you and pushing yourself to new heights.

@Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist

At some point, when you can do it, you have to leave home. You can always come back, but you have to leave at least once. Your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings. You need to make it uncomfortable. You need to spend some time in another land, among people that do things differently than you. Travel makes the world look new, and when the world looks new, our brains work harder.

@ Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist

The Benefits of Digital Nomadism

Stepping outside of my comfort zone and immersing myself in a foreign land, surrounded by people with different traditions and approaches, wasn't just a change in perspective – I was experiencing a whole new way of life. I pushed myself to adapt to unfamiliar situations, conquer fresh obstacles, and undergo personal growth beyond my wildest expectations.

And let me tell you, it is truly incredible.

The process of adapting to new environments, learning new languages, and navigating cultural differences enriched my life in ways I never imagined. It broadened my horizons, enhanced my adaptability, and sparked my creativity.

But it isn't just about personal growth. It's about embracing a lifestyle that values freedom, flexibility, and the endless pursuit of growth and learning, all while keeping your professional path on track.

The Road to Digital Nomadism

It wasn't an overnight transition. It required careful planning, a dash of courage, and a willingness to embrace the unknown. But I remembered I can always come back home, so this gave me a boost in my decision.

However now that i've tasted the freedom, the meaning of 'home' has taken on a whole new meaning.

Preparation for the Transition

So I was ready to take the leap. Here's how I've prepared for my journey into digital nomadism:

  1. Choose a Nomad-Friendly Career: I realize that not all careers are suitable for the digital nomad lifestyle. Luckily as a programmer I can work from everywhere around the globe.
  2. Build a Financial Safety Net: Before saying goodbye to my office job, I made sure to save up enough money to cover my expenses for at least six months, if things go down south.
  3. Plan for Health Insurance: Being a digital nomad, I knew I needed a health insurance plan that would cover me internationally. I took the time to research different options and chose a plan that suits my specific needs and budget. I can anybody recommend Safety Wings for that.
  4. Choose My Adventure: The world is your oyster, for me it was South-East Asia and especially Thailand that sparked my fire. I delved into researching the visa rules, ensuring that I respected and complied with them. After all, overstaying a visa or working illegally can lead to hefty fines, or even prison here. Deciding to go with a Employer of Record (EOR) Company was a good move, because it allowed me to navigate the complex legalities and regulations of working in a foreign country with ease. Payroll, Taxes, Work Permit were handled efficiently.
  5. Prepare for Challenges: I was well aware that the new lifestyle isn't all smooth sailing. I anticipated facing challenges such as finding reliable Wi-Fi, navigating time zone differences, and overcoming language barriers. However, these challenges were opportunities for personal and professional growth."

Navigating Cultural Differences

Immersing myself in different cultures has been incredibly enriching. However, I've come to realize that these differences can also present unique challenges. Here are some tips based on my experiences to help you navigate these:

  1. Learn the Local Language: I've found that the best way to truly integrate into another culture is by making an effort to learn the local language. Even if you can't become fluent, learning a few basic phrases can go a long way in showing respect for the local culture.

  2. Adapt to Local Customs and Behaviors: When living abroad, it's important to 'read the room' and align with local behavior. If everyone is wearing masks, wear a mask. If people dress conservatively, do the same, especially in certain parts of town. Locals will appreciate the effort and respect you more for it.

  3. Stay Neutral on Local Politics: Local politics can be intricate and sensitive subjects. As an outsider, it's usually best to refrain from commenting publicly or getting involved. Instead, focus on positive ways to contribute to the community.

  4. Engage in the Community: Participating in community activities is an excellent way to connect with locals and give back. Consider volunteering at animal shelters, participating in beach clean-ups, contributing to disaster relief efforts, or donating to local causes. This can help you form meaningful connections and gain a deeper understanding of the community.

Overcoming Unique Challenges

As a digital nomad, I've faced unique challenges that you might not encounter in a traditional office setting. For instance, finding a suitable and quiet space for important meetings can be a real struggle, especially when you're in a new city or country. Co-working spaces can be a good solution, but even they can have issues, like people not respecting the rules and talking loudly to their colleagues over speakers while others are trying to concentrate.

Living in an another country present additional challenges that were not present in my home country, like electricity or internet outages. It's important to have a backup plan in place for these situations, my portable charger and unlimited internet plan on my phone is a lifesaver sometimes.

But, I want to emphasize that every challenge was an opportunity for me to grow and adapt.

Taking the Leap

So, are you ready to ditch the desk, and see the world too? Make some changes in your life, take small steps. Begin by transitioning to full remote in your current job. Once you're comfortable working remotely, you can start traveling and take a look if it suits you.

Being a digital nomad can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It offered me the opportunity to live a life of adventure and freedom, all while pursuing a fulfilling career. However, I understand it's not for everyone. It requires a high level of self-discipline, adaptability, and resilience. But if you're up for the challenge, the digital nomad lifestyle can transform your life in ways you never imagined.

Phang Nga Bay, Krabi, Thailand

View of Phang Nga Bay, Krabi, Thailand