It starts to seep through the search results: The unhappy nomad. Digital nomads who find that ‘the lifestyle’ does not live up to their expectations. When I read a post and replies on Reddit, I learn that that unhappy nomad makes enough money, yet not enough to travel or to return home.
In other articles, I learn that the constant travelling is wearing nomads out, the constant job seeking, the uncertainty of not knowing if your income is steady enough. Most unhappiness seems to come from a sense of being trapped. A feeling of not being able to move forward as hoped for, or as learned from the internet while preparing.
When you do research on digital nomadism you kind of end up in the land of make-believe, the land of a bunch of people that present the digital nomad lifestyle as a happy ever on the beach, constant travelling way of vagabondish living. Unfortunately, they seldom share the constant search for jobs and income, the working long hours to be able to buy the next plane ticket and the nothingness that is left when they are not successful.
The post I read on Reddit lingers in my mind, not earning enough money to go back home and live a decent life back home. What is a decent life, I wonder? Has this person not figured out beforehand what he needed to live happily? If you fail to make a list of life improvements you want to gain from choosing a digital nomad lifestyle you might end up feeling trapped.
Not being able to return home, is returning ever an option when you start a nomad lifestyle?
I knew I started this lifestyle out of necessity. I was losing my home ‘back home’ and would have been ‘home-free’ anyway. So why not combine that and travel the world instead of roaming around homeless in the streets of my home country where it gets cold in winter and wet in autumn?
I can never return home, for my income is not enough to live there, same as the writer of the Reddit post. My income is not enough for a luxury lifestyle. I make way less money than I hoped for.
Am I an unhappy nomad? Not realizing my dreams?
Sometimes I feel unhappy. I still work for my money, I would have hoped that by now my income would be passive enough and sufficient to not even work 4-6 hours a day. Yet, I am still struggling to make ends meet and I live a very modest life. Somehow I am not successful. My fan-base is not as large as I wish for, the ‘goodwill factor’ among my readers is so low that the donate button to thank me for free information is seldom used.
People want information for free. People want to be entertained by drone views and funny Vlogs of skydiving high adrenaline-seeking young people, and not by a 59-year-old woman that seems to look troubled most of the time, for that is my face, even when I look happy. I always seem to carry a burden, and although I do not, that is how I look. And let’s be honest, I am not the prettiest ‘gal on earth’.
When I focus on all of the above and believe me the feelings with these facts run much deeper than you can read even between the lines, I am most certainly an unhappy nomad.
I dream, like you do, about success, and yet I fear it also, and I have no clue why
I have no clue why, but somehow I feel like I boycott my projects and occasionally unpaved my road to success which is paved for me by all the good that happens in my life. I am a “half-empty glass”-kind of person. Yet I do know I drank the other half and I loved it.
I grew up feeling small and I wonder if I will ever outgrow that feeling. I was belittled at home, in school, and being raised like you do everything wrong, that probably seeps through the makings I throw at my fans on the internet. I need to free myself from that negativity my childhood put in my mind and live up to whom I am: A strong woman that travels the world and was mighty successful in her work and doings before she lost her job and was left out by society.
Nobody wants to hear the story of failure. We all seek solutions to eternal happiness
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.