It’s never too late to realize that you want to shift careers. Our modern world has a lot more to offer than we think. Whoever said work and leisure couldn’t be combined has probably never considered being a digital nomad.
Digital nomads have been growing in numbers lately, with more individuals – and even couples – packing up their bags and diving into their startup businesses head on, equipped with just their resources (and savings), willpower and their laptops. They’re the folks who prefer working remotely (from home or office), rather than working traditional 8-5 jobs behind a desk. If you decide to adapt to this lifestyle, the internet will be your best friend with travel as the best perk.
Whether you’re working with the Peace Corps, doing volunteer work, managing your own company or blog, sometime in the middle of your journey, your body will remind you that it needs a break from all the jet lag, hunger spans, and exhaustion. Just as long as you know how to take care of yourself no matter your location, you will be just fine.
Here are some health benefits for being a digital nomad:
1. Less stress, because you control your own time.
One of the most evident reasons individuals prefer this type of work and lifestyle is the total control of their own time. This includes precious sleep and rest, hence the decrease in their stress levels.
Whether you want to wake up past noon, or be an early bird and get typing by sunrise, it is entirely up to you. Choose to work when you feel the most comfortable, not when you’re unstable. Plus, you’ll have more time for other activities that don’t include facing your laptop such as sightseeing and exercise.
2. More than one way to squeeze in a workout.
There’s no doubt that you’ll be walking mostly everywhere. Before you know it, you’d have trekked more than ten blocks while you were on a hunt to work at the perfect coffee shop. To make your morning runs interesting, you can choose the more “scenic” routes.
Even cruise ships have tracks and gyms for passengers to use. There’s no excuse to completely pig out while you’re off sailing through the Caribbean.
Bonus points – and calories burned – for all the times you’ve lugged around your backpack or luggage. For this kind of lifestyle, it’s more convenient if you pack minimally.
3. You learn to live with less.
The more you relocate, the less you want to carry around. You start to realize you need less than what you own. You learn to compartmentalize, prioritize, and travel light. This means more space for souvenirs on the way back home, right?
Instill that value into other “everyday” matters and you’ll find yourself wanting to declutter and live like a minimalist when your journey is over.
Some even manage to pack a year’s worth of necessities in one backpack, including complete hygiene and health essentials, by using packing cubes.
4. You can try all-natural remedies.
Healthcare may be either expensive or more complicated, especially since you aren’t a local. Make sure you’ve invested in some type of travel health insurance should you catch a serious disease.
Try out some native remedies. A few examples include ginger, citrus fruits, herbs, and coconut oil. Sometimes all-natural therapy is more effective and healthier than over-the-counter drugs. You may also visit apothecaries or drugstores for recommendations from the town pharmacist.
5. A positive shift in your diet.
Grab every opportunity you can to try as many exotic dishes as possible. A trip to Europe isn’t the same without a meal at a pizzeria and a gelato cone. Keeping an eye on your calorie intake becomes a daily struggle.
Local foreign markets offer so many opportunities to cook dishes you’ve seen on television and dreamed of cooking. Chances are, those ingredients are almost half-price cheaper downtown compared to having to buy them imported.
Eating fast food to help you through hunger spans gets tiring and monotonous after awhile. You didn’t go all the way to Brazil just to binge-eat McDonald’s for breakfast because you’re “too lazy.”
Stock up on small non-perishable food like fruits, healthy snacks like nuts, and some fresh bread.
6. Continuous brain work.
All those healthy snacks are not only great for your diet; they're also good for your brain. While working remotely, you'll need to do challenging activities, such as reading maps and road signs. A healthier you means that you'll be able to do more brain work effortlessly than if you stuck with a sedentary lifestyle.
Because of the language barriers, you’d have to constantly translate between your mother-tongue and the language of the locals. Every so often you will also find yourself converting currencies automatically.
Cringing at the price difference is totally optional.
We’ve all read articles and listicles that emphasize how travel “changes” someone as a person, but rarely do they notice and share the positive physical changes their bodies undergo. Health is part of personal growth, too.
May our Wi-Fi’s signal always remain strong and our immune systems stronger.
Ayah Danica V. Granada is currently a content writer and editor for Scoopfed. Formerly a student journalist. A full-time writer, part time bibliophile and a TV series hoarder-slash-enthusiast.