As this is being written, I am sitting at a beach club in Bali, enjoying good food, sun, sand, and water… What can be so hard about working abroad?
The truth is, there are so many things that can go right when you are working abroad, but there are also tons of things that can go wrong. Plus, some things are just plain difficult to do when working somewhere other than your regular office space.
We can’t lie, as more and more people start working abroad, things are getting a bit easier, but there will always be issues that cannot be solved by going somewhere with better wifi. It’s a tough decision to move abroad or start working abroad, so let’s dive into some of the joys and difficulties of working abroad.
The Joys of Working Abroad
If you’ve ever done any sort of traveling, you know that experiencing a brand new culture and community can make you have a whole other appreciation for your life back at home. Seeing other people’s outlook and mentality towards life helps expand and enrich your view of the world. The more you travel, the more you learn, the more you gain an appreciation for everything you may have taken advantage of in the past.
Increased Self Esteem
There’s tons of steps in moving your life and work abroad. Not only are you coordinating your flights and accommodations, you’re also learning to pay your bills, learning how to get around, and sorting out different administrative matters such as visas. As you get more used to learning these things, as you travel more, you’ll become more and more confident in your ability to do so. It will often give you the confidence to tackle other things in your life as well.
There are many different languages in this world, the English language is very universal, but there will still be issues when communicating with the locals. It’s common in more touristy locations that you will be able to use English, but if you’re in an area that isn’t as popular, you will need to learn some words in a new language.
Additionally, being so far away from your friends and family, you’ll need to start talking to them on an intentional basis, no more random conversations in the middle of the day since they will probably be asleep.
And lastly, if you’re alone, or even if you are with a travel group, you’ll be making new friends and communities, you’ll need to start being more social and confident in it. We know this can be hard, especially if you are shy, but it is always worth it.
Being in a whole new country, possibly a whole new continent, gives you so many different activities and adventures to try out. While in Bali, we were able to go on a jeep ride up Mount Batur, take a traditional cooking class, visit numerous temples, swing over a rice field, and much more… in one single month. You have so many different things you can do every single day, you should be taking advantage of it when you’re traveling.
At Wifi Artists, we truly believe that one of the best ways to develop yourself personally is to travel. You are often caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life when you are at home. However, when you travel, there is usually a new pace of life that allows you to slow down and really take things in.
Not only that, but it gives you time to work on your mindset, your routines, and mastering your energy. Finally, if you’re in an environment where you feel happy, that increases your motivation to improve personally.
The Time Difference
This belongs in both the joys and the difficulties of working abroad, but let’s talk about it in a positive way first. When you’re on the other side of the world, you are often enjoying your day while your friends, family, and employer are sleeping. This gives you two options for working, both that are beneficial.
First, you can work during the day, without interruptions, getting tons of work done without people emailing you, calling you, or messaging you. Or you can adventure and enjoy your day, and work during the evening when your employer is up. Whatever works best for you.
It’s no secret that many countries are cheaper to live in than the USA, Canada, and other more developed countries. The average monthly living cost in the USA is $5,000+, whereas the average monthly living cost in Bali is $2,500. In Thailand it’s $1,800. Both of those are over half of the cost of living in the USA.
This allows you to spend that money in other places, or even save up the money (for more traveling of course). Or, you can work less (making less) and adventure even more than you already are. There are so many options when working abroad.
The Difficulties of Traveling Abroad
Friends and Family
Leaving behind your friends and family is arguably the hardest part of working abroad. Your friends and family are your support system, your team, and your favorite people - you are trading all that for a life where you know absolutely no one. There will be times when you miss family or friends, there will be times when you can’t talk to them because your wifi isn’t great, and there will be less communication than ever since you’ll be in a whole new time zone.
We think it’s important to talk with your friends and family before you leave to make a plan of how and when you will communicate with them. This allows them know when they can expect to hear from you to know you are safe, and it also gives you the ability to talk to them when you are missing them.
We need wifi to do our job as digital nomads - there’s no question about it. But sometimes you’re somewhere that doesn’t have wifi and you don’t have a signal on your phone… and it sucks. You can’t communicate with your clients or your employer, plus you can’t get any work done. It’s important to have a plan for wifi wherever you plan on going.
Different Routines and Habits
You may not be able to find a gym where you’re staying. There might not be the healthiest food to buy. Fruits and vegetables may be hard to come across. Depending on where you are, you may or may not be able to keep up with the routines and habits you had at home. It’s all about adapting and overcoming obstacles. Bring some resistance bands with you so you can work out wherever, cook food instead of eating out, and make it easy on yourself.
Work Life Balance
When you are traveling, you are often working every minute you can get - especially if you are doing day and weekend trips. There is usually no separation between weekdays and weekends, everything starts to blur together. Not to mention that you are sometimes working wherever you can, so you might not have a separation between your workspace and sleeping space.
As you adjust your work hours and change around your habits, make sure that you are setting up office hours, letting your team know when you’re working and setting daily breaks for yourself - you’re going to need them.
As you travel to different locations, healthcare differs. If you’re in the USA, you are probably used to easy access to healthcare that is safe and you know you are being taken care of. If you’re in Canada, you are used to free healthcare. Sometimes, neither safe nor free healthcare is available. Make sure you have travel insurance with healthcare, and that you’re making sure that you are going to clean places for healthcare.
No matter the complications when working as a digital nomad, it’s always worth it to see the world - we believe bucket lists should be lived, not dreamt about.
If you’re already working remotely, you’ll want to check out our current programs to see if we’re traveling somewhere you want to visit. Wifi Artists is here to turn you from remote worker to thriving Digital Nomad, we want to see you cross those locations off your bucket list one by one.
If you have any questions about our programs, we suggest you check out our FAQ page. If the question you have is not on our FAQ page, you can reach us via our contact form here. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Ready to travel with us? Check out our current program availability here and apply here. After applying, you will have a quick interview with one of our program leaders and you will be on your way to traveling in no time! Get ready to book your flights.
We can’t wait to meet you.