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Digital Nomad Family Life – The Hard Parts

This will be a short post. I’m having one of those unsettled days where I think far too much. I find it’s often best to put troublesome ideas down in writing and share them. That way they’re easier to acknowledge, process and move on. If I were to ask you what you thought were the hardest parts of being a digital nomad family, what would you answer? Would you think it was lack of stability and financial security? Maybe you’d crave routine and regularity? Would you think living out of a suitcase with few possessions would be an issue? Perhaps you’d find the actual logistics of travel hard? For me, as a mum, a woman with a digital nomad lifestyle, it is none of these.

For us, the difficulties of being a long term nomadic family and making a living online from wherever we find ourselves in the world are none of the above. My, our, biggest problem, is too many choices.

Problems of Being a Digital Nomad Family
When we’re travelling it’s easy, life is fun, we’re busy, we’re learning and earning. It’s in the down times, when we have to decide on next moves, that our digital nomad lifestyle becomes tricky.

That’s a luxury right? To have choices in life. It sounds like a good thing but I find it incredibly hard. I’m the one in the family that’s often the decision maker. Women are generally classed as the decision makers, so nothing unusual there, but to me it’s a burden. Chef is the facilitator, he makes things happen and drives this ship. I’m all about choices.

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Being a Digital Nomad Family

What we Love About Being a Digital Nomad Family

We already posted about the best things about travelling the world as a family, but below is the short version.

  • Freedom
  • Flexibility
  • Travel
  • Educational Opportunities – Learning Every Day
  • More Family Time
  • Flexible Working Hours and Days.
  • Career Opportunities and Building Business Skills
  • Being a Part of the Global Digital Community and Meeting Other Digital Nomad Kids.
  • Helping Other Digital Nomads with Kids Achieve Their Goals.
  • A Lower Income Funding an Amazing Lifestyle.

All of the above advantages go without saying really, but a digital nomad family life does have the disadvantages that come with making choices and decisions.

The Choices We’re Making as a Digital Nomad Family

How to chose what’s best for the kids? How to pick where to go next? How to make decisions with regard our blogs, business and income? It’s mostly down to me.

I ask the kids but they never give me a straight answer. D likes the idea of buying a little house in Wales, to use as a base while we continue to explore the world.

Boo wants to be a traveller still too but he’d like his base to be London.

Neither of them appreciates the financial considerations and neither of them thinks further ahead than 5 minutes, so much as I love to please them, we can’t rely on their choices in steering our future path.

Chef generally wants to go wherever I want to go so long as we factor in plenty of time for Ironman events. We have another race this autumn and they’re a massive time and financial commitment. They tie our hands slightly.

I don’t have all the answers and I find it hard to choose.

Here are a few of the options kicking around at the moment, mostly good options, some not so much:

  • Leave Romania forever, to return to full-time travel, backpacking with kids if you prefer. We’re still waiting for our house deposit refund, so we’re held up a little with that. We also don’t truly want to say goodbye to the village of Breb Maramures forever, a piece of our hearts will always be here.
  • Go to Mexico and live there for 6 months or so, explore more of South and Central America.
  • Go back to Australia to sell our house, this will be a big time suck, it could be a year of living in Port Douglas. We have to do it soon.
  • Living in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a while. We all love expat life there.
  • Go back to Nepal travel, do every trek we can and stay as long as possible. D and I like that idea.
  • Continue to take short travel breaks, as we have done recently, to explore new destinations more like holidaymakers than long-term travellers with slow travel periods in between.
  • Go back to London and living in Richmond Upon Thames. It’s home and offers many advantages, but it’s expensive. Chef would return to full-time work in top- level hotel kitchens and cease to be involved in our lives. He’s cooked for Joan Collins more often than he’s cooked for me.
  • Make a big push to get to “bucket list” destinations such as Myanmar, Tibet and Bhutan. We set out with the intention of seeing them 4 years ago, but somehow got sidetracked.
  • Return to living in Hoi An.  Either Hoi An or Chiang Mai are great for digital nomads with children as there are great nomadic communities there.
  • Focus less on travel and lifestyle and instead turn the websites into money generating machines. It would be pretty easy, we’re at that stage, but are we prepared to sacrifice time for money as we used to back in our pre-travel days? I know how to make money blogging, it’s finding the time for a complete site overhaul that’s hard.
  • Become the sort of professional travel bloggers that take press trips and skip from one hotel review to the next.  The kids are old enough now that I could maybe leave them with Chef to do some promotional solo travel. This is my least favourite option, it’s not my scene. I like my websites as random and unplanned as they are. You can read how World Travel Family blog works here.

I don’t know what will come next and that’s why I’m writing this today. This was a post created for our followers, not for SEO ( sign up to follow below). Maybe my mind will clear or maybe you’ll be able to help us choose. So what do you think, what comes next in the World Travel Family adventure? The Egyptians used to read the entrails of animals for guidance, I’m asking you.

Hover over the image below and use the magic button to save to Pinterest – thanks!

What's the Hardest Part of a Digital Nomad Family Travel Lifestyle

Maybe when I’ve got my head around this I can go back to writing the travel posts, but I’ve been unable to do it for days now, my mind is too busy. Back to our Egypt travel guide next time.

By the way, did you follow us on Pinterest yet? Please do, it helps us a lot, go pin some stuff! If you want to find out what path we chose and more about the realities and practicalities of a digital nomad family lifestyle, take a look at the related posts below.

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Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.

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Rebecca

Thursday 9th of November 2017

I know you wrote this post a few months ago, but I spent most of March through August in Mexico City and I can tell you that it's wonderful. That was far too long for me, even though it was split between two separate trips, but the city and the people are fabulous. My daughter and 14 year old granddaughter ended up moving there and they are absolutely thriving after their first month. My granddaughter says even the dogs always seem to be smiling in Mexico City.

The food is delicious and super cheap, city transpo also cheap and plentiful. And there are so very many interesting things to do and see in the city. Also, English language movies are easy to find and have very cheap tickets. The tourist area near the zocalo is very clean and safe, I loved staying there. But other parts of the city are probably even cheaper.

I now consider the city my home base, rather than anywhere in the States. It's where I will return to when I leave this side of the Atlantic. There are still so many parts of the rest of the country I want to see, but I definitely have to get down to Buenos Aires and Montevideo at some point. So I'll look forward to seeing what you have to say about those regions.

Alyson Long for World Travel Family

Thursday 9th of November 2017

Mexico is too expensive for us Rebecca, and we just generally prefer Asia, for food, culture and of course lower prices. The only thing that was drawing us there really was the 6 month visa.

Amy

Friday 16th of June 2017

So many exciting options, I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of the year plays out for you. I get what you mean about choice, so much of it can be paralysing and it must be tough being the key decision maker in the family. Still, compared to the daily grind I used to endure, I definitely feel fortunate to have so much more freedom these days :)

Renay

Monday 29th of May 2017

Hi Alyson, the only part of Australia with any great capital growth is Melbourne and Sydney. So Im not sure selling your house in Port Douglas would be worth selling yet you would have to check with the locals there. I am currently in Townsville and the market here is definitely depressed/ low. As per usual there are those that believe it can go lower and those who think we have hit the lowest point and already and the only way is up. Good luck with whatever you choose. Have you thought of running your own hotel/motel/restraunt. I suspect you could still travel and set up some sort of caretakers to cover when your travel bug bites.

Alyson Long for World Travel Family

Monday 29th of May 2017

The think is, the pound is so low right now it makes sense for us to sell. We plan to move most of our cash back to the UK, hopefully. Since we bought that house, maybe 10 years ago now, there has been little by way of increase. We should have kept our house in London, we'd be milionaires now! LOl

Ariana

Thursday 25th of May 2017

I find your focus on travel and lifestyle (and less sponsored reviews) both inspirational and refreshing. It makes me think that living in line with your ethics while also being a travel blogger is possible. (I worry that we will commercialise the children OR begin to get brittle and professional - that you haven't done that is AMAZING). While i can't answer some of those bigger questions, i can say, don't lose who you are - stick to your ethics. And sometimes doing the boring "chore" like things can be important lessons for the kids too.

Suzi Hansborough

Thursday 25th of May 2017

Hey Lady. Has anyone approached you about filming your travels -- maybe through your kids' eyes? I was thinking an episode per location…weekly series not a reality-type show. Just a thought.

I like the idea ^^ of rating the ideas. Also, if you were to take all of the "base" location options off the list temporarily, maybe you could each make new lists of where else you'd like to go or places of interest…and rate those.…see if that stimulates new direction.

Good luck figuring it out. As always, I'm excited to see what you choose -- living vicariously through you guys, as we do. =)

Alyson Long for World Travel Family

Thursday 25th of May 2017

Many, many times! I'm talking to a UK TV company at the moment. I'll say no, but I'm happy to talk to her about it, help her make her show.

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