They tell you to quit your job, travel the globe, be your own boss, manage your own hours and not be a slave to the 9-5 grind. Become a digital nomad, a location independent member of generation Y who spends their days working by a sunny poolside, and evenings sipping cocktails with new friends.
OK so ‘they’ is actually a bit loose, non descriptive, but you know the types of blog posts and articles I mean right? The ones which try to impose upon that you could have it so much better, when truth be told you probably have it pretty good anyway.
I wont lie, the digital nomad ‘dream’ doesn’t sound half bad, and for a long time I thought it was where I wanted to go with this site and my career … assuming I could ever bring the mrs around to my way of thinking.
Clearly this kind of lifestyle is desirable, and attainable. I know a few bloggers living that exact lifestyle right now, and smashing it, and I’m really genuinely very happy for them … and a tad envious at times too perhaps.
But here’s the kicker, I’m not them, I’m me. While I may sometimes dream of travelling the world of a living, I just don’t see it as realistic and don’t necessarily see it as something I would want 100% of the time. Call that a lack of drive or ambition if you want, but I know myself, what I’m capable of, comfortable with, and where I feel my place is.
And do you know what, I’m cool with that, despite what I hear and what other people tell me.
My Freelance Fears and Reservations
I know that whilst I really enjoy blogging (most of the time), I don’t see that I really have a specialist skill within blogging that would see me pull in what I believe to be the required work load to be able to survive as a digital nomad/freelancer. As much as I for a time wanted my blog to do well and allow me to make blogging a full time career, it hasn’t worked out like that and my career now lies elsewhere.
While blogging is a big part of my life, it is ultimately a luxury. Yes I might have travelled more than a lot of other people, and yes I’ve been (very) fortunate with the experiences I’ve enjoyed whilst in other parts of the world, but the reality is that I cannot afford to have those experiences without the other parts of my life I don’t necessarily write about i.e. my 9-5 job, and as much as I hate to say (type) it, for the majority those other bits are, in the grand scheme of things, more important (to me) most of the time.
Travel and blogging are luxuries as I’ve said. No doubt they’re both good for me in a sense of they give me enjoyment and therefore help with my mental state, but sad to say they are decorative features of my structure rather than corner stones. That I have not bitten the bullet and attempted to go full time with this blog could ultimately be the reason behind its demise in the future, but I will always travel, and I will always chose memories over material when given the choice.
The travel blogging market is so saturated now that it is getting more and more difficult to make yourself heard, especially when you don’t have as much time to commit to it as others. I’m not saying I want to give up blogging at any point in the near future, but if the decisions I am making right now do cause that effect, then so be it. Right now, I think I’ve made the right choice, despite what other people have told in a non personalised blog post written to benefit themselves and their brand/product. I get that in effect travel bloggers are sales people, but the digital nomad lifestyle is one ‘product’ I won’t be purchasing.
Why Go Against The Grain?
I’ve still travelled in 2016, but nowhere near as much as in previous years, and that’s because in short sh*t got real for me. Real in a sense of that I set my a home with my best friend and fought to land myself a new job which will (hopefully) see me set for the foreseeable future. Despite already being into my 30’s, this year has felt like a serious step into traditional adulthood.
Now adulthood might sound boring to some people, depending upon how you define that term. But what you may class as boring, I see as secure. I like the security my current life affords me, that I know I have a regular pay cheque. That I have a annual leave/ travel allowance whereby I am effectively getting paid to travel by my employer.
I also like that my employer pays into my pension! I am in no way saying digital nomads are short sighted, power to them for living their dream, however I do wonder if freelancers think about things like pensions. I know people who work freelance in other industries and they often voice their worries around whether they will have enough saved/invested to be able to look after themselves when the work stops coming in. My anxious self certainly worries about things such as a retirement, along with earning a regular income that does not fluctuate (unless I get a bonus … chance would be a fine thing). I personally am not sure I could handle the irregular income of freelancing. The worry of a slow month would wreck my head. To have a big client one minute and then not the next, and with no ready made replacement is the stuff of my nightmares.
I know I’m going very much against the travel blogging grain, and while there is a smidge of jealousy and a wondering of ‘what might have been’ when I see other bloggers and friends make massive successes of their travels and writing, it soon passes.
What’s Right For ME/US
Tell me I’m playing it safe or playing it boring, that I’m not cool (I have known that for years!), that I’m a corporate slave. I’m over it. To my mind I’ve worked hard to set up a life for myself and with someone who is my best of everything. At times it may not be the most exciting, and while it appears a stable and secure life for the most part (that’s kinda the goal), I’m sure there will be bumps and hiccups along the way.
But even with said hiccups a likelihood at some part, I am still happy that I’m going against the grain and doing my own thing. That I’m doing what I think is right for me, I think thats the most important bit, well actually, being in a part of a 2 person team (aka in a relationship) means I need to do whats right for us, and it goes without saying that the decisions I’ve so far made this year have been made with two people in mind. Had I been on my own, maybe I would have chosen differently, maybe the digital nomad lifestyle would have been more attractive and attainable, but I’m not on my own, I’m a part of something really awesome and exciting, and which is now moving on to the next step/phase.
For all the ‘ultimate guide to … ‘ that travel bloggers churn out, and the advice that comes with those posts, you’ll notice a complete lack of ‘ultimate guide to life’ type posts, and that’s because everyone is different and living out their lives in very different ways. You can only do what you feel is right for you (and your significant other and/or family where applicable), just as I feel I am doing whats right for me and my other half i.e. living our life as is and in a way which makes us both happy, and on the side attempting to tell people that they CAN travel the world WHILST still holding down a 9-5.
It’s all in the logo.