As A Homebody, I Honestly Never Want To Become A Digital Nomad
Traveling and somehow making a living as a digital nomad has such an irresistible appeal that’s extremely marketable. Millennials are sick of the white picket fence dream and as disillusioned as they are with the current state of the job market, the burnout, the debt, and the stifling confines of lifestyle conformity, it’s no wonder why they’re trying to live up to their fullest potential and fueling their intense wanderlust before they become too old to travel from place to place. Instead of figuring out a way to settle down in their early twenties, they have a tendency to postpone it and not even think too much about it until they reach their late 30s.
I get it. I get why this lifestyle seems so glamorous, freeing, and more satisfying than the cookie-cutter lifestyle in quiet suburban neighborhoods with work defining your entire existence and having others judge you for what you have and what you lack. I completely understand why millennials love to hop from country to country, share their adventures with the rest of the world, and somehow make a living off of their exciting experiences that make other people jealous.
However, I (and I’m sure there are others out there who agree) personally don’t believe that this kind of lifestyle is feasible or sustainable. It may be to certain people, but definitely not for me.
Before I get into the reasons why I don’t want to travel the world and why I’d rather have roots in one place, there are some very persuasive arguments that digital nomads have, which made me second-guess myself:
- Living in another country for over six months can broaden your perspective on how other people live and deepen your connection with a particular culture.
- Cost of living in 2nd and 3rd world countries is lower than in the United States and other 1st world countries.
- You can do whatever you want with just a laptop and Wifi. You can be a web designer, writer, blogger, social media manager, content creator, and digital marketer. This means no more putting up with difficult people, the fear of getting laid off, and burnout in an office setting.
- When you downsize your personal belongings to make this new lifestyle feasible, you realize that being stuck in a consumerist lifestyle is much less satisfying than creating and exploring to your heart’s content.
- Changing your environment does help your mental health, especially when the place you grew up in gives you painful (and sometimes, traumatic) memories and you’re sure that getting a fresh new start far away is the only way you can get better.
Although many of these digital nomads deny that hopping from place to place is a form of escapism (as well as a different kind of consumerism), I don’t really believe that I need to live on five different continents to “discover myself” because I’m quite content where I am. I don’t need to consume more experiences to make myself a better person if I can do it at home in my own way.
Reasons why the digital nomadic lifestyle is not for me
I’m a person who rarely ever gets bored when I’m at home all day. Growing up, my parents would make an effort to go out every weekend — to local museums, free events, gatherings, shopping centers, parks, etc. — and I never found visiting local touristy attractions interesting. It’s not that those places are bad, but I’ve always felt more bored when I’m out and less bored when I’m at home. In addition to that, we’ve had a few long trips and many shorter trips, but I haven’t been on a vacation for almost four years now and I’m still content with that.
I tend to be a very cautious person and I know that there are many dangers when traveling. Dengue fever. Mosquitoes. Malaria. Pickpocketers. Violent crimes against tourists. Food poisoning. Fake officers. Scammers. The risks of breaking laws that you don’t even know. It may sound like I’m listing excuses out of fear, but I’m really not because if there’s a risk of these things happening, I’d rather not endanger my life. These dangers are real and traveling from place to place only makes me more prone to them. I don’t have the intrinsic motivation to leave my old life behind and live on another continent anyway, so nothing would compel me to change my mind on these certain dangers.
I’m also a natural homebody. I don’t have to try to find something to do because I always do. I’m quite happy with staying in and working in solitude. I’m someone who craves stability and routine, so it drives me crazy if there are too many external changes and I can’t really function at all when I have a lot of adjustments to make.
As someone who’s skeptical of things that seem too good to be true, I think the cons of traveling and never settling in one place outweigh the pros. Even though I do like the freeing aspect of living out of a suitcase and working on projects that fulfill you, I realize that I can choose to do those two things at home, or at the very least, incorporate some aspects of the digital nomadic lifestyle to my own stationary one. And a life built upon a foundation of FOMO-based motivations is not a worthwhile one to me. I’m a natural homebody who doesn’t need a drastic change in scenery every half a year, and as someone who’s always been inclined to plant roots, I want to stay that way.