Travel couples start your digital nomad journey right: begin with peace of mind
Starting a digital nomad journey can be a scary step to take. Even more so when you decide to take that leap of faith with your partner and are unsure how this might turn out:
Will both of you like this lifestyle? Could you deal with being together 24/7? What will happen if only one of you is miserable? Could you support yourselves working from afar while still living the lives of your dreams?
Instead of being excited for a new chapter in your lives, you find yourselves worried and stressed from endless worst-case scenarios. In this article, we suggest tools you can use to address the fears you might have before starting your digital nomad journey as a travel couple.
Double the trouble: Why you might be more concerned to start a digital nomad journey as a couple.
Becoming a digital nomad is a decision that changes your life. It means leaving the safety net of what is safe and known and creating a new life away from your friends and family. Understandably, worries and fears will accompany a change like this.
If you’re starting your digital nomad journey as a couple, some of your fears may be connected to the fact that you are traveling with another person. Fears like how your relationship will look like in your new lifestyle or how you will support two people financially when one or both partners are transitioning jobs.
Addressing those concerns and questions can reassure you about starting your digital nomad journey.
The problem is that communicating all of these is not as easy as you might think.
Orr and I had quite a few conversations before starting our digital nomad journey where we tried to share our concerns, but it felt like the other person didn’t understand them. We left each of those conversations feeling even more uncertain and worried about this new lifestyle.
In hindsight, we can say those conversations didn’t work because each of us had some assumptions we didn’t think to share, thus making the other worried after seeing only one piece of the puzzle.
I told Orr I was unsure how my workday would look and how filled it would be starting an online business, and instead of getting some console, it only made his financial worries worse. He told me about his financial concerns, and I told him we would be fine without sharing my thoughts on how we could make it work.
After a few failed attempts to get our message across, we tried a different more methodical tactic: We shared our reasons for becoming digital nomads, what we would like to accomplish during this period, what we are afraid of, and we created a safety net to feel more secure starting this journey.
After that conversation, all our concerns became excitement about starting our digital nomad journey! If you would like to do the same with your partner, here is how we did it.
Step 1: Why do you want to go on this journey?
This is something you probably already discussed, but it can be very useful to get it more precise and share it with your partner. What is the core reason you want to become a digital nomad? Are you longing for the freedom to do whatever you want at your own pace? Do you look forward to leaving the 9 to 5 grind and having some serenity? Are you excited by the security of saving more money while working less hours?
No matter the reason, remembering why you are starting this journey can help you understand your priorities and concerns as a couple. For example, if you are searching for freedom, you might prioritize having more free time and working fewer hours. But if your partner needs to have security to enjoy the digital nomad lifestyle, you’ll need to create a way to make them feel secure even if you’ll be working fewer hours.
The practical solution to this hypothetical situation can be many things. You can follow your income and expenses to make sure you are saving money, or you might choose to travel to cheap destinations until your income increases. Or both. Or none of these.
As long as you are both aware of the reasons you’re starting this journey, you can make
adjustments to your plans to ensure you will have all your core needs met. It is important to mention that even if you talked about your reasons for becoming digital nomads, you might have different interpretations of what they mean. Because of that, we suggest taking the next step.
Step 2: What would you like to accomplish?
What do you imagine yourself doing while being a digital nomad? What are the things you would like to do during this time? Think about those questions and share your answers with your partner. Besides the added value of getting you both excited for things you will do when you start your couple’s nomad journey, sharing the things you would like to accomplish can eliminate some concerns about the change you’re embarking on that were connected to your partner.
When Orr and I got to this part, I shared my wish to make my yoga online business a stable income. Hearing that, Orr became much less worried about financial problems because he understood that I would give the yoga business my all and not laze off for half a day. He then became much more able to provide me with the console on how to make my dream come true and imagine what a workday can look like to me.
Step 3: What are you afraid of?
One of the most important parts to discuss before starting your couple’s digital nomad journey is your fears. Remember the concerns and worries you had before starting this conversation? Now it’s time to deal with them head on.
Usually, our fears will either reflect an opposite scenario to the reason we would like
to become digital nomads, or it will be something complementary to that reason. For example, Orr’s reason for becoming a digital nomad was to be free to live the life he wanted, but his greatest concern was to find out he was losing all of his savings. For him, losing his savings meant he couldn’t do as he pleases because he wouldn’t feel safe. Understanding his fear from this point of view allowed me to realize how important this issue is and to find a solution for it with him.
The key point in sharing your concerns is to show empathy towards your partner’s fears. Even if their fears do not worry you at all, remember that you are starting this journey as a couple, so it’s crucial that both of you can feel reassured in becoming digital nomads. Expressing empathy toward your partner’s fears will make them feel heard and allow you to think together on safety nets to start this journey with peace of mind.
Step 4: Create a safety net
Now it is time to find practical solutions for dealing with your concerns and ensuring all of your core needs are met. I like to look at safety nets as composed of three parts:
- Practices or actions you can take to make you feel at ease (like setting a regular date night to look at your balance).
- Red flags to help you avoid worst-case scenarios (like deciding that if we reach an overdraft of 20,000 $, it is time to fly back home).
- Things that are always good to remember (like the option to stop being digital nomads at any point and instead do a fantastic two weeks of backpacking).
There are endless possibilities on what can be your safety net and what actions you can take to start your couple’s journey with peace of mind. The only rule you have to follow is to make sure the solution you reached works for both of you.
Starting your digital nomad as a couple can be exciting and worries free. If you and your partner are going in circles of concern, give the tips we shared in this article a try.
Remember that human beings are complex, and we do not mind readers – you cannot know what goes on in your partner’s mind until they tell you. If you share your thoughts and concerns with your partner in a way they can truly hear them and you can genuinely listen to theirs, you are sure to begin your digital nomad journey with peace of mind.
So, do you feel ready to start your journey?