Photo: Olesya Kuznetsova/Shutterstock

10 Signs You're a Digital Nomad

by Janny Hoedemaker Dec 7, 2015

I’m a digital nomad. A DM is a person who works online, either for themselves or a company and can make money regardless of their location. As the name implies, DMs work from their lap tops and travel all over the world or their home countries whenever they feel the urge. After this past year, I have finally joined the ranks while freelance writing, social media managing, teaching and blogging and am excited to see how far I can take my ventures.

1. The best cafés in town give you the same warm and fuzzy feeling as your living room.

Café’s are my perfect environment. They have soothing music and delicious coffee that gets my caffeine-triggered work monster moving. I feel just as comfortable in my local café as I do in my own home. I take off my shoes, sometimes put my feet up on the chairs and just hang out while trading a TV screen for my laptop.

2. You want to shed tears of joy over how great your co-working friends are.

The friends I make at co-working spaces get me. They really do! We are all ambitious and driven, and we all want to run as far away as possible from the typical 9-5 grind. They are always supportive of new projects, willing to give honest feedback, and don’t shy away from giving tips and sharing their wealth of information. It makes me a little emotional to finally have found my tribe after so many years.

3. You get a feeling of security from living in low-cost Asian cities.

I’ve been living and working in Asian cities like Saigon, Ubud and Chiang Mai for so long that I view them as home. I know where to eat, what coffee shops to work in, and how to get around. I have more friends in any of these cities than I do in my hometown, and I feel safe and productive while living and working here.

4. You experience anxiety when the Wifi isn’t working.

Wifi is ALWAYS on my mind. When I see the little yellow symbol over the white bars at the bottom of my screen, I nearly lose my mind. I start to sweat. I start to panic. I start to wonder why I have become a victim of such a horrible, atrocious event.

5. Worry sets in every time you feel a pain in your wrists or back.

Posture mindfulness is a staple of every work day, and the moments I feel a slight ache in my bones, I go off the deep end into worry. Will I develop arthritis? Is this carpal tunnel coming on? Will I develop a hunch in my back like my grandmother?

6. The parental instinct you feel over your laptop.

I’ve never had a baby, but I am pretty sure that the feeling I would have for it would come quite close to the way I feel about my laptop. I gasp if a drop of water touches it, and I have willingly sacrificed myself in an attempt to stop it from crashing to the floor on more than one occasion.

7. You have a spiritual connection to “The 4-Hour Work Week.”

It called out to me on the bookshelf of Barnes and Nobles. I re-read it whenever I am looking for answers to my life questions.

8. Your addiction to freedom feels satisfied when you don’t know where you will be next month.

I feel like I want to crawl out of my skin when I stay put for too long. But knowing I will leave next month — and not knowing where — makes me sparkle inside.

9. You love feeling light as a feather while traveling.

I only have a small backpack: I don’t have a lot of stuff and I feel light and free when I can pack everything I own into one bag and jet off to another country.

10. Sometimes you feel like you will explode with joy at how much you love your life.

Every day is filled with travel, meeting new people and working on projects I love. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to think that I made this all happen.

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