Updated: Feb 28
How many times have I worked remotely while in another country, living the life of a digital nomad? Only a zilli
on times. With remote work being more normalized, once COVID is under control and countries start opening again, you will have the chance to work remotely from another state, another country or even another continent!
But when I say things like this, people tend to gloss their eyes over with hope and then their face changes as they self-chastise themselves for even daring to dream. Why? What are some of the excuses that people use to not do something adventurous?
1. I don't have my passport yet.
Well, that's easy to take care of. You just have to stop being lazy, get on the government website of your particular country. It's usually an straightforward process and there should be nothing mentally hindering you from taking this simple step. Click for the US government's link to get your US passport.
2. Traveling sounds scary to me.
There are many more things to be scared of.
Meeting cool, new people and dancing your heart away in another country should not be one of them. There are certain stresses that go along with traveling, but they are minor and are forgotten as soon as you see all of the marvels around you.
3. It's not a good time to travel.
Maybe during a global pandemic, everyone should be taking more precautions, of course. But when I told my parents that I bought my ticket to Cairo in 2007, they told me: "now's not a good time to go to the Middle East."
That was 3 years before the Arab Spring. If I hadn't gone in 2007 when I was 100% freelancing, I probably wouldn't have gone at all and I wouldn't have made the amazing friendships (that are still some of my closest ever) and I wouldn't have seen the 2011 revolution for myself.
Conversely, I'm still regretting a missed opportunity: I'd found a ticket at half the price to Hong Kong, but I didn't go because I thought I should save up a little more money first.
Less than six months later Hong Kong was shut down with protests and I have never seen air ticket that low ever again.
The lesson: it's never the "ideal moment," to go anywhere, but when you are close and you have the time... do not hesitate. The opportunity may not come again.
4. I don't have enough money to go touristing.
I get it. Some people want to stay in a 5-star hotel, have a full work office, go see all of the big monuments and do all of the touristy things and, above all, feel comfortable in a perfect 5-star world. If comfort-zone is the only way you want to go, then, yes. You're going to have to wait a long time to save up to have the safety blanket of all of the "usual" things to do.
But that's just one style of travel and you are choosing to limit yourself.
What do you do when your heart is desiring a vacation but you still need to work and you don't have the cash?
Try it a different route: while monuments are important, they are almost always pricey. I prefer to
- stay in the city, renting a room or staying in an inexpensive boutique hotel or 5-star hostel
- cook for myself keep my expenses low
- reseraching to see if public transportation is cheaper than going through a tour (it almost always is)
Instead, I spend my money on dance classes, getting to know people and doing things that the locals do. You'll find out from the locals the cheapest way to go see the monuments!
If what you really want to do is travel, then gather your strength, find a way to do it cheaper and go for it. Every city has an inexpensive lifestyle. You just have to do a little research.