16 Months of Digital Nomadism

10 pros & cons of digital nomadism by Rosie Andre

We started Digital Nomadism 16 months ago, in December 2022.

At least, that's when I officially start counting, although maybe we should start counting from when we left Miami in May 2021. Technically we were working online and didn't have our own place. We spent roughly 18 months living with family due to family things going on at home that we wanted to be around for.

So maybe it's actually been 3 years at this point? But that's not important.

What is important is how I feel after such a long time of doing this lifestyle.

The Pros:

  • freedom to stay where we want for how ever long we want (visas permitting of course)
  • seeing lots of different things (temples, waterfalls, markets, architecture, culture, traditions, religions, nature, community and so much more)
  • eating amazing new foods (mango sticky rice was a fav!)
  • meeting lovely people (which can sometimes be hard with this lifestyle but when we do meet people, it's really special and we form a great bond with like minded individuals who also love to travel)
  • being immersed in nature (some of my fav moments were in nature, at waterfalls, swimming above coral reefs, admiring elephants, swimming with wild turtles, seeing crocodiles in the wild, hiking volcanoes & mountains and so much more)

The Cons:

  • not feeling settled (always being on the move can take it's toll on the nervous system)
  • being away from family (especially when bad things happen)
  • not being able to build a community of friends around us (it's hard when you travel to build up real relationships and make friends)
  • feeling tired from always exploring new places (it's fun to travel all the time, but it does make me tired and I need some days to just rest)

We started the digital nomad lifestyle with the idea that we would do 6 months and see how we feel. Starting with 1 month in Vietnam. We then spent 1 month in Cambodia, 6 weeks in Thailand, 2 weeks in Australia, 4 weeks in Sri Lanka, 6 weeks in India, 3 months in Malaysia and about 7 weeks in Bali.

What started off as a little adventure, turned into a whole 11 months of backpacking around Southeast Asia.

We didn't know if we would like this lifestyle enough to carry on, but sure enough, here we are 16 months later and still going strong.

Sure, there are moments when I feel tired, I feel homesick, I feel unsettled. But the highs far outweigh the lows.

Some of the highs include boat trips through Lan Ha Bay in Vietnam, seeing the Taj Mahal at sunrise, spending my birthday with elephants in Sri Lanka, hiring a motorbike to visit the temples of Angkor Wat, snorkelling daily in Amed, eating Pho Bo everyday for dinner in Vietnam, chasing waterfalls in Northern Thailand, attending a friend's wedding in Melbourne.. we have so many incredible memories, which thankfully I filmed for my YouTube channel.

I know this lifestyle isn't for everyone. Most people like to have a home, they like routine, they like having a plan. And with the way that we live, we don't have any of these things. We simply go with the flow of life and how we are feeling in that moment.

Some of our most important decisions are "where should we go next week?", "what do you want for dinner?" and "should we go to Starbucks today or work from home?".

But it wasn't always this easy.

At the beginning, we started in Vietnam in full on tourist mode. We were out all the time, doing all the things and seeing everything. Making sure we ticked off all the boxes of each town.

But as we continued, we realised this wasn't sustainable. We needed to slow down. We realised that we don't need to see every single thing. Every temple, every market, every important building..

So we switched our mindsets. Now we have more of a balanced view on things. After 16 months of digital nomadism, we have learned a couple of things along the way.

We are living our lives, whilst living abroad, we aren't on vacation. We aren't tourists 100% of the time. We are living our life somewhere that isn't home. And that's the main difference for me.

We still have a Netflix day on the sofa to chill. Of course we still eat junk food sometimes. We still work on our projects and businesses. We still spend time talking to family & friends back home.

A lot of our life is similar to how it used to be. But it just means that after an afternoon of working in Starbucks, the walk home is different every week.

One week it might be a beach walk and a sunset swim. Another week it might be a walk through a bustling main city. Another week, maybe it's a dirt path through a small town.

We have found comfort and routine in the chaos of backpacking.

And somehow it works.

And we love it!

If you want to read more about life as a digital nomad, here are 10 pros & cons of digital nomadism!

16 months of digital nomadism by Rosie Andre
16 months of digital nomadism by Rosie Andre
16 months of digital nomadism by Rosie Andre

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