On social media, nomadic lifestyles are portrayed in the best light. Every workday is spent by the pool or beach with a fantastic view and an ice-cold beverage. Weekends are dedicated to exploring exciting destinations full of history, culture, and natural beauty. Influencers never show the challenging or difficult parts of uprooting their lives to head out on the open road.
Adopting a nomadic lifestyle is a great way to see the world while saving money, but there are some downsides to traveling full-time. Here are five hard truths no one tells you about the nomad life to help you decide if it’s right for you.
You May Get Tired of Minimalism
To live as a nomad, you’ll have to drastically downsize your belongings and get rid of anything nonessential. Whether you decide to backpack through Europe or travel in a van, you won’t have room for sentimental belongings that serve no purpose.
After all, you can’t fit your favorite knick-knacks in a carry-on suitcase! If you’re a maximalist who doesn’t feel at home without your plants and trinkets, the nomad lifestyle may not be right for you.
You’ll Probably Feel Homesick
Even if you’re desperate to hit the road, you’ll probably still miss your friends and family and long for home. Every nomad deals with homesickness and loneliness at one point or another.
Living in unfamiliar places where you may not speak the language or understand the customs can feel isolating. It’s also hard to arrange regular phone calls with your friends and family when there’s a 12-hour time difference between you.
You might start to grow apart from your friends and family while you’re away and miss important milestones in their lives. So before you start jet-setting around the world, make sure you consider how it will impact your relationships.
You Might Miss Your Routines
When you live in the same place for years, you develop routines. You find your favorite grocery store, farmer’s market, gym, and restaurants. You meet with the same group of friends for brunch on Sundays and work at your preferred coffee shop during the week.
Although you’re longing for change now, you may start to miss your routines and even find it harder to function without them. It’s difficult for some people to adjust to a new place while maintaining their productivity and work performance. Moving around constantly may throw you off-kilter and make you miss the consistent, predictable routines you developed at home.
You May Not Like Your Accommodations
Another hard reality of traveling full-time is that you may not like your accommodations. If you’re planning to rent Airbnbs, you won’t have much control over your space. You can’t choose the furnishings, so you may end up with an uncomfortable mattress or a desk chair that hurts your back.
Since you’re staying in an unfamiliar city, you might accidentally choose a rental that isn’t in the best location. It’s possible that the Airbnb may be unsanitary or have appliances that don’t work. Although carefully reading reviews can help you avoid these issues, there’s always a chance that you won’t enjoy the vacation rental or hostel you choose.
If you plan to travel in a van, you’ll be able to customize the space to better suit your needs. However, vans are still small and lack the amenities you’re used to, such as big closets and full-size fridges. No matter which type of accommodation you choose, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices to travel full-time. Sadly, you can’t take your house and all of its creature comforts with you!
There Are Ups And Downs
The final truth no one tells you about nomadic life is that there are ups and downs. Traveling around the globe doesn’t magically solve all your problems. Bad things may still happen, such as losing your job or a loved one.
You’ll still have to deal with the same inconveniences you faced at home, like paying taxes, sitting in traffic, and catching a cold. Sadly, not every moment will be picture-perfect — there will be some lows to balance out the highs.
Although becoming a nomad has its downsides, there are still many reasons to pursue this lifestyle. There’s nothing more exciting than getting to explore new places, meet new people, and learn about different cultures. Plus, hitting the road may enable you to save money if you travel frugally.
Why do you want to become a nomad? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.