7 Challenges to Becoming a Digital Nomad
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Satisfied in your job? Happy in your career? Set for life?
If you’re honest, probably not. These days, there are quite a few of us who are not content with our current 9 to 5 and are looking at ways to make a change. Have you ever considered being your own boss, living your best life and achieving financial independence? Well, one way to achieve this dream is to become a digital nomad.
Sadly, living our dreams without working is reserved for those of us with a somehow endless supply of money or lucky lottery tickets. For the rest of us, we need to find a way to do a job we love which pays well and gives us the freedom to make our lives what we want them to be. But if being a digital nomad can give us all this, then why isn’t everyone doing it?
Life, unfortunately, has a way of throwing challenges at us to make us work for what we want. But we don’t have to work hard, but we need to work smart. So yes, there are numerous challenges you might encounter on your journey to becoming a digital nomad, but there’s no reason you can’t overcome these obstacles.
Here are seven challenges to becoming a digital nomad – and how you can overcome them.
Working for yourself
As anyone self-employed will tell you, sometimes being your own boss isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You get to decide when you want to work, how much you want to work, and how much you can charge, but there is also a fair amount of nitty-gritty that rests on your shoulders. Chasing payments, organising schedules, paying tax – that’s all on you. And, if it’s your first time living alone it’ll also mean paying rent and bills too.
How to handle it: Don’t let the big responsibilities scare you off from signing up for this lifestyle. More and more people are becoming self-employed so there’s no reason you can’t too. Besides, any headaches in paperwork can be offset by the sound of the waves crashing against the beach… (Also, speak to a tax professional if necessary.)
Now is the time to become smart with your money. When you live independently and forge a new lifestyle for yourself, every cent is precious. Living abroad and travelling can bring with it hidden and unexpected costs which can put a huge dent in your savings.
How to handle it: Keep on top of your finances. Keep track of your monthly income and expenditure, and make sure you are saving at least a small percentage of your salary every month. Try to find the most cost-effective ways of living wherever you live – that most likely means foregoing eating out every night and rather cooking for yourself.
Living a life across borders can be tricky. Some countries will welcome you with open arms while others will ask for your firstborn child before letting you out of the airport. Sadly, this all has to do with which passport you carry, which is not something you can really do anything about.
How to handle it: Again, take it as a hiccup rather than a stop street. Do your research beforehand to make sure you have all the paperwork you need to get a visa and, if it’s not possible, don’t waste your time fighting the system. There are plenty of other places you will be able to go to.
Finding the wifi
Yes, of course, we love this lifestyle because it allows you to work from wherever you want to. But you need to remember that you’re not just a traveller; you still have a job. You need to find locations with reliable and affordable (if not free) internet connectivity. A lot of countries experience power outages – often unplanned – and free wifi might not be readily available.
How to handle it: If you’re serious about doing your work while you are travelling, make sure you are aware of any limitations you might encounter when it comes to being online. If you have a regular stream of work or a big deadline, it might make sense to stay put in a good situation, until you see a break in your work or you decide to take a holiday.
Finding your people
Being a digital nomad, by its very definition, means moving around. When you move around a lot it can be hard to maintain friendships. Plus, if you are always the new person in town it’ll be up to you to make friends for those times you’re tired of your own company. Bear in mind also that you won’t have an office to meet people at. What’s more, even if you find making friends relatively easy, it will be difficult to keep that friendship when you move to another city.
How to handle it: Of course the one solution to this problem is being a digital nomad with someone but not everybody has this option. We say, don’t let the thought of some homesickness freak you out. You are bound to meet people on your roamings. Besides, technology is such today that it is super easy to keep in touch with your friends and family back home.
Read more: Top 3 Ways to Make Friends While Abroad
Lost in translation
One contributor to your loneliness could be your lack of communication skills in the local language. Living in a foreign country often means not being able to speak the local language and the locals not being able to speak English. This is all fun and games when you arrive but it can make everyday life very frustrating after a while.
How to handle it: Overcoming this one is easy: learn the language. If you are only living in a country for a short while you might not want to spend your time learning the local language. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to communicate. Even learning a few words will make communicating easier. Of course, if you plan on being in the area for a while, it shouldn’t be too hard to immerse yourself in learning the language. Knowing a foreign language is beneficial for you in so many ways.
Read more: 3 Ways to Help You Learn the Local Language
Having a work-life balance
Working as a digital nomad often means working for clients in different time zones. Realistically it might mean working on a number of different projects simultaneously. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself juggling deadlines furiously while still trying to live your best life. For some of us, it’s not easy to compartmentalise and switch off from work. So if you don’t work a typical 9 to 5, you might end up answering emails on a Sunday or chasing a deadline late at night.
How to handle it: Find your groove. Some of us work better in the mornings, while others work best late at night. Work when it suits you so that you won’t waste time trying to be productive when you should be resting. The beauty of being a digital nomad is that you’re not stuck in endless meetings all day, so if your creative juices only flow after 6 pm, then do some sightseeing during the day and work when the sun goes down. Just remember to schedule some downtime, no matter how busy you are with work.
As with anything in life, being a digital nomad brings with it its own set of challenges. But don’t let them stand in your way of achieving the freedom of being a digital nomad.
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LAST UPDATED: 5th July 2022
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Information Governance & Risk Management Team
Everything TEFL Ltd
28 – 32 Pembroke Street,
Republic of IrelandTelephone: +1 347 434 9694
Email: [email protected]
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In some cases, such as during an investigation or appeal, we may use public data such as social media accounts or review sites in order to ensure accuracy and fairness.
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- processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or the exercise of official authority vested in the controller; and/or
- processing is necessary for the legitimate interests pursued by us or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.
We collect and use personal information to offer people information, products and services. This policy will apply in all locations where we operate to all forms of information and to all systems used to collect, store, process or transfer information.
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- performing privacy impact assessments to protect the privacy and rights of its customers and employees
- protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the information it collects, stores, transfers and processes in accordance with law and international good practice, and meeting its legal requirements and contractual obligations
- explaining why it needs personal information, only asking for the personal information it needs and only sharing personal information within the Everything TEFL Ltd and with other organisations as necessary or where the person concerned has given their consent
- allowing people to request access to the personal information it holds on them and to complain if they believe their information has been mishandled
- not keep personal information for longer than necessary
- taking measures to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals whose personal information may be transferred to countries with differing data protection laws
- ensuring that actual or suspected breaches of information security are reported and investigated
- assessing and measuring the maturity of its information security controls annually
- applying these standards to its supply chain and delivery partners.
We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this policy and will ensure it is communicated and understood.
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- Provide customer service, surveys and marketing
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We’ll use your personal information to send you direct marketing and to better identify products and services that interest you. We do that if you’re one of our customers or if you’ve been in touch with us another way (such as registering to attend an Everything TEFL Ltd event).
This means we’ll:
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We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
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Everything TEFL Ltd retains personal information in line with our corporate retention requirements. Your data will be stored within the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). However, in some circumstances, part or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the EEA and under the GDPR. Such steps may include, but not be limited to, the use of legally binding contractual terms between us and any third parties we engage with, and the use of the EU-approved Model Contractual Arrangements. If we intend at any time to transfer any of your data outside the EEA, we will always obtain your consent beforehand.
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Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
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- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
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- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
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Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by Everything TEFL Ltd but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that Everything TEFL Ltd securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to Everything TEFL Ltd collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think Everything TEFL Ltd has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the Everything TEFL Ltd processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the Everything TEFL Ltd has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, Everything TEFL Ltd is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the Everything TEFL Ltd.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to Everything TEFL Ltd, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
Everything TEFL Ltd
28 – 32 Pembroke Street,
Republic of Ireland
Telephone: +353 (1) 554 6227
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.