8 Signs That You’d Be Happier As a Digital Nomad

Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

If you read our recent post all about reasons I love being a travel blogger, you’ll know that over 15 years ago, we packed up our stuff and left our regular jobs back in Canada to explore the world while working abroad.

I’m extremely grateful that we’re still on the road and living this life while working remotely.

Before we left, I felt like I was being pulled by some higher power. Every day at work became more laborious, and the more we started thinking about traveling and living abroad full-time, the more things just started to fall into place.

Me working on the Oil Rigs in Canada in 2006

For us, this has been a dream life. We travel and explore new places all the time, we don’t have a fixed office address that we need to clock into every day, and we can choose our own hours and work from anywhere.

But to get to this point, we had to follow the signs that were pointing us in this direction. I can’t be certain, but maybe these signs are the same for you.

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8 Signs You’d Be Happier as a Digital Nomad

Sometimes when you’re making steps in the right direction, life gives you signs to show you the way. For us, the signs were quite clear. Here are 8 signs that you also might just be destined to become a digital nomad.

1. Your Job Isn’t As Fulfilling As You Want it To Be

This is a huge one to me. My job in Canada just wasn’t fulfilling me in any way. I’m a creative person. I like building things. I like writing, taking photos, and creating videos.

visiting perito moreno glacier el calafate

My job in a plastic packaging plant in Alberta, Canada simply wasn’t ticking ANY of those boxes and it made me feel trapped.

I would go to work every day and work my ass off and by the end of the week when the weekend finally came, I was completely exhausted. 

Once we started planning for our digital nomad lifestyle, this all changed. Even though I was still working at that soul-crushing job for another 8 months while we saved up enough money to leave, I had a new energy.

Suddenly it was like I was beaming with new ideas and thoughts about what our life could be like. My creativity was sparked again and I was writing down my ideas for where we’d travel, what we’d see, and how we might earn money doing it.

travel planning
Our map planning our world trip

Everything started to fall into place and within 8 months, we were flying to Southeast Asia to start our new life of travel.

If your job isn’t fulfilling, even just taking a few steps towards some new exciting aspect of life can have a massive impact on your feelings of purpose and fulfillment and you might find that you’re filled with renewed energy, and your life will start conspiring to point you in the right direction.

2. You Love Traveling

This one is pretty obvious. If you love traveling, but you’re tied down to an office job, then that’s a major sign that you’re a digital nomad kind of person.

Dariece and Nick looking at the pyramids of Giza in Egypt. A view from behind them.

When you work remotely, suddenly you have the freedom to work from anywhere, so you can travel and live wherever you want.

Have you always dreamed of living in Rome for a summer? Or maybe Paris, or Amsterdam? This is all possible with a remote job.

3. You Want More Freedom

When we worked our regular jobs in Canada, we had just 2 weeks of vacation time per year. On top of that, we were only allowed to take them one week at a time, so like… one week in the summer, and one in the winter.

remote work is good for your health

We both really wanted to make travel a bigger part of our lives and we realized that our jobs simply didn’t give us enough freedom to do so.

When we made our first dollar online, it was like we were being released from prison. I’m not saying all traditional jobs are a prison. Absolutely not. If you love your job, it’s a positive thing for sure. But our jobs were keeping us from living the life we wanted to and I never felt fulfilled while working.

So when we first started remote working, we felt an exhilarating level of freedom and it changed our lives forever.

4. You Think There’s More To Life

When I was working night shifts back in Canada, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander. I was up at 3:00 am when everyone else was fast asleep, running a machine that was printing on plastic bags. It was hard not to daydream.

The plant where I worked

One of the things that kept nagging at me, especially after 7 years at the same job, was that there had to be more to life.

I know I’m not the only one. A lot of the people I was working with had been at that job for 25 or 30 years and they kept reaffirming this feeling every day. They’d tell me “not to get stuck” here at the plant.

Luckily I didn’t get stuck and Dariece and I made the giant leap to quit our jobs, sell our things, and start working remotely. We felt that we wanted to travel more, explore new cultures, taste new foods, and live every moment to the fullest.

blogging outside

If you have that same nagging feeling sometimes, I’m not saying you have to quit your job and sell your house tomorrow! But taking a few small steps towards a different lifestyle can feel great. Even just starting an online job that you can do from home, or planning a long trip, these things can make a huge difference in your morale.

SEE ALSO: How to Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance: 10 Steps for Digital Nomads

5. You Wish You Could Work in Your Pyjamas

Maybe it’s just me, but the minute I get home from anywhere in public, whether it’s going to the grocery store, going out for coffee, or meeting up with friends… the minute I walk back in the door of my house the first thing I do is put on pajamas.

blogging in an office

There’s just nothing better. When I worked at the plant in Canada, I tried buying the most pajama-like clothing possible to work in, but for safety reasons, we were supposed to wear jeans. Luckily my boss was pretty cool and let me wear jogging pants, but still, having steel-toed boots on really took away from the comfort that comes from PJs.

Now we work wearing whatever we want – which is usually our pajamas. As I’m writing this blog post I’m sitting upstairs in my quiet office with my comfy PJs on. That’s pure bliss. 

If you have always wanted to work from your pajamas, then you might be destined to be a digital nomad.

6. You’re Creative

Like I said earlier in this article, I’m a creative person. If I spend too long not being creative, I start feeling tired and unmotivated.

Nick Working Blogging Otavalo-8

The moment I focus again on creativity, like making a new online course, recording videos or writing blog posts, I feel a whole new energy.

If you know you’re a creative person, then remote work might be the ultimate job for you. There are so many remote jobs that allow you to harness your creativity.

Creating your own website, posting on social media, freelance writing, selling photos, and even more traditional remote jobs like teaching online, all have a significant level of creativity involved.

Don’t let your creative juices become sedentary. If you’re a creative person, you should do everything in your power to create whenever you have free time. If you take steps towards a creative job, you’ll feel much more fulfilled every day. I know I do.

7. You Have An Entrepreneurial Spirit

This is one thing I didn’t even know I had, just because it never clicked with me, but ever since I was a kid I’ve always had a mind for business.

digital nomad working in playa del carmen
Focused on work at Ah Cacao Cafe in Playa del Carmen. It was nice to have a home base for a while.

When I was in high school, I was always starting mini businesses. Building things in my parent’s garage and then selling them, or buying products in bulk and reselling them at a higher price per unit. This was always the way my mind worked.

Now that we work remotely and run our own online businesses, I get to use this entrepreneurial spirit every day and it makes me feel fulfilled. We run teams and we work with people to grow our businesses. It’s rewarding and inspiring to be able to do it every day.

8. You Hate it When Your Holiday Is Over

The first holiday that Dariece and I ever took together was down to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico and it changed our lives forever. After 7 days, our trip was over and we had to pack up to board our flight back to Canada.

living in mexico pros and cons

I remember thinking, why does this have to end?

Of course, I would never want to live in an all-inclusive for my entire life… I’d end up being a bored, obese alcoholic for sure. But it was the idea that the days of being free to explore a new country and not punch the clock at work had to end.

A lot of people might watch this video and think “Well nobody wants their holiday to end”. But that’s not true. If you really love your job, you can’t wait to get back after a holiday.

My brother is like this. He works in Canada much like I did, but where I didn’t want to go home after a week, my brother feels like a week is too long of a holiday. It’s because he loves his work.

If you feel like Mondays and the end of your holidays come too soon, that’s a sign that you might be better off working for yourself.

FAQs About Becoming a Digital Nomad

What are some of the cons of being a digital nomad?

The main downsides of being a digital nomad are the lack of a home base, being away from family, and not having a steady paycheck (if you work for yourself).

What are the best digital nomad cities in the world?

Bali, Chiang Mai, Tbilisi, Bansko, Playa del Carmen, Lisbon, and Oaxaca are some of the best digital nomad cities all around the world.

What are the best digital nomad cities in Asia?

Chiang Mai, Bali, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur are some of the best places for digital nomads in Asia.

What are the best digital nomad cities in Europe?

Bansko, Budapest, and Lisbon are some of the best cities for digital nomads in Europe.

What is the best way to become a digital nomad?

The best way to become a digital nomad is to save money and start applying for remote jobs like proofreading, freelance writing, and teaching English online.

What are the main signs that someone might want to be a digital nomad?

The main signs that someone might want to be a digital nomad include: they love traveling, they want a more fulfilling job, they want more freedom, they think there’s more to life, or they want to work from their PJs.

To Summarize

Being a digital nomad isn’t for everyone. There are definite pros and cons to this job as I listed above. But if you love traveling, you’ve always wanted to work for yourself, and you have an entrepreneurial spirit, these are just some of the signs that you’d make a great digital nomad.

I can tell you that after over a decade of living and traveling around the world while working, I think that the pros far outweigh the cons and it’s a great job for anyone who craves adventure and doesn’t mind working while they’re on the road.

I hope you enjoyed this article! If you did, you can Click Here to watch the video on YouTube and you can comment there if you want to ask any questions or talk about what it’s like being a digital nomad.

Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

Written by

Nick Wharton

Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his expert knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. He has been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and has more than 10 years of experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship.

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