Surviving the Struggles Associated with Working Abroad

While there are many enticing reasons to pack up your stuff, book a plane ticket to a far-away land, and start your life anew as a digital nomad, there is also a myriad of struggles associated with this lifestyle.

While it doesn’t have many of the constraints that are part of a traditional 9-5 job, it also doesn’t have the same stability either, and it can lead to several problems—financially, physically, and even emotionally.

These are some tips on how to survive the struggles associated with the digital nomad lifestyle and working abroad in a foreign country.

Isolation

While it can be exciting to set off on your own and begin to see the world, it can also be lonely; Humans have always been social creatures—even the loneliest of lone wolves need human interaction from time to time. This can be especially hard when you find yourself living in a foreign country, halfway around the world from the place you grew up and the people with whom you are friends.

However, just because you’re far from home doesn’t mean you’re far from potential relationships. One of the most important things to do when it comes to combating feelings of isolation is stepping outside your comfort zone and forcing yourself to meet and interact with people.

This can become even easier if you find yourself in a country that is a common destination for other digital nomads—if you’re experiencing these feelings of loneliness and isolation the chances are, they are too.

Finances

While the digital nomad lifestyle can certainly help alleviate daily, monthly, and even annual costs, it doesn’t always start out that way.

While you can certainly find a country that can serve as your base, it’s still going to cost money to get there, you’ll also have to ensure you are able to afford things like travel insurance and access to healthcare. It can be scary getting sick or hurt in a foreign country and realizing you don’t have the means to get access to medical care.

Additionally, you’ll need to be prepared for an inconsistent revenue stream—it might take some time for you to start making money on a consistent basis.

The best way to deal with financial problems is to prepare for them before they happen. Budgeting, planning, and research can all help prevent the worst-case scenario: finding yourself flat broke in a foreign country.

Discipline

While it can be exciting to set off on your own path and start experiencing the freedom that the digital nomad lifestyle can offer, it also comes with a significant demand for self-discipline.

Part of the struggles associated with being your own boss is not having someone to keep you on track and working towards a goal.

While some people are naturally intrinsically motivated, others rely on that outward source of motivation, and it can be a struggle at first to find it from within.

One of the best ways to do this is to stick to a schedule—whether that follows traditional business hours or not, whether you want to spend your days enjoying life and your evenings/nights working—it’s imperative to find a schedule that works for you and stick to it.