Why being a Digital Nomad isn’t the “Dream” for Everyone

I’m writing this from a small restaurant in Mexico to say that it’s being a digital nomad is — big surprise — not all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, I get to wander the streets of Guadalajara with my laptop in tow, soaking up the sunshine and learning a new language.

But what you don’t see?

All the client calls I had to cancel, the stress of trying to get a single email out for 30 minutes on sketchy wifi, and my phone constantly running out of battery at the worst time. Don’t even get me started on what happens in the bathroom when you try new foods your body disagrees with…

Image via Giphy

I’ve done a lot of travelling already, so I should have seen this coming — but I didn’t. Hell, I was still a student for much of it. I remember doing my university courses online every summer while drinking espresso in Italy or eating a donair in Turkey.

At that time, however, I was only accountable to a couple professors and there were few projects due at all. Usually, I would just have to make sure I had wifi for an online exam once a month and complete a couple of quizzes. Most of my work involved reading my textbooks and taking notes on philosophy or literature which I could do on a bus or a train.

But working while travelling is an entirely different experience.

Part of the problem is that I have too much work on my hands and clients tend to need things all at once. But another part of it I think comes from the expectations from other digital nomads posting online about what a great life they live as a freelancer who isn’t bound to one place.

Image via Giphy

Of course, I’m grateful for my clients and my work — but honestly… part of me wishes I was home in Canada with my stable wifi connection. Next time I try to travel as a freelancer, I think it’s smarter to just take the time off away from work entirely.

I don’t have any big takeaway other than I suppose this is to say that everything you see online is just one part of the picture. Now, I have some Pina Coladas to drink and far too much other writing to get done!

Wish me luck,



Published by Victoria A. Fraser

Freelance writer, podcast producer, and comic artist.

2 thoughts on “Why being a Digital Nomad isn’t the “Dream” for Everyone

  1. Oh definitely. I think a lot of people have gotten a taste of the nomad life through WFH arrangements, but there are so many more challenges to it than people think otherwise. Thanks for this much-need realistic post!


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