For the last six years of my life, I’ve lived the ‘fabulous’ life of a digital nomad. I’ve travelled to Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, and Georgia, all the while working as a freelance writer (and occasionally photographer through my Blaise Clicks project) from the comfort of my laptop (and DSLR camera).
While I don’t deny that this experience has been great, there are a lot more things that happen behind the scenes that are never discussed. It’s not all beach-side Zoom calls and never-ending moments of enlightenment. So, unfortunately, there are a few life lessons that I’ve learned over the last few years of my life.
As the world slowly starts to open up again, the life of a digital nomad has become more coveted. But, before you press that button, here are a few life tips to help you on your journey to that life:
Research, research, research
I can’t stress enough how important it is to research before you go to a place – especially if it’s a new country to you. Not only should you research the country itself, it’s very important that you thoroughly look into the various neighborhoods that are available as well as any financial situations that may affect you (i.e. tax). As cool as it may be, the internet isn’t always available along a gorgeous beachside. [wpdiscuz-feedback id=”eayxcjyymi” question=”Do you have any questions for me? Let me know!” opened=”0″]Don’t be afraid to ask questions[/wpdiscuz-feedback] in Facebook groups and nomad forums, for those with experience would be more than happy to give you their opinions and stories.
Learn the local language
As a visitor to a country that is not your own, it really is important that you put in the effort to learn a little bit of the local language. While you’ll find that many places have English-speakers, learning the language of the land you are in could go a long way to help yourself if ever you get stuck in a situation that calls for it. Learn how to say “hello” and “thank you,” or even go a little further as to pick up a few phrases that you use on a daily basis. The locals would appreciate you trying to communicate in their tongue, even if it’s just to order a cappuccino at the local cafe, as it signals that you would like to learn about their culture.
On that note…
Learn the local culture
In the many lands outside your home country, there are a plethora of cultures with their own rules and norms. Make the effort to learn about them for there will be no other opportunity to, especially because locals will be more than happy to teach you. If you’re in Japan or Vietnam, it is expected to noisily slurp one’s noodle dish as it’s not considered rude unlike in Western cultures. Not only is it a good way to cool them down before it enters your mouth, but it signals to the chef that you’re enjoying the dish they lovingly made. Similar to learning the local language, learning the local culture is a polite way to show appreciation of your position as a visitor to another land.
Don’t overstay your welcome
This might be a given, but the number of times I’ve come across a person who has taken their position for granted could is honestly incredible. Please do not expect the locals to bend to your whim, simply because you are a guest or that you have more money than them and therefore are “helping them.” Again, you are a visitor in their homeland, and whatever you may believe of your status, you should not take this tip lightly. Respect is earned, not bought, and it is very important to remember this as you go about your adventures throughout the world.
Life tips from a digital nomad
Those were the most important life lessons that I’ve learned during my time as a digital nomad, and I hope you take them to heart as you journey around the world. If there’s really anything that I’d like to hit home here, it is to be kind to those around you and respect the country you are in. It will go a long way to a more pleasant experience not only for you, but for those around you.
More From LWOS Life
Make sure to stay tuned to LWOS Life for more on this and other stories from around the world of entertainment, culture and more, as they develop. You can always count on LWOS Life to be on top of the major news in the world of entertainment; whilst also providing you with editorials on everything from beer to movie reviews.
Featured image credit