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The 7 Things I’ve Learned From Becoming a Digital Nomad

Kyle on the Balcony in Paris

The digital nomad lifestyle. It’s often put on a pedestal like the shiniest object in the room, but does it live up to the hype? I’ve always wanted to work remotely and on my own terms. Here’s why I finally took the leap to become a digital nomad.

I’ve spent just over 7 months living in Amsterdam from Minneapolis. My entire small family, consisting of myself, my 2-year-old toddler daughter, my wife with an amazing career, and our dog, decided to jump to a new area just because. One question I hear all the time in Amsterdam is…. “why? Why did we move here from the United States?”

Stranger: “Is it because of your work?”

Me: “Yes. Well, sort of. Actually, I just wanted to.”

Personally, I view it as a hybrid of both work and personal choice. Ultimately, it’s that I mainly wanted to explore a digital nomad lifestyle. Here’s why and what I’ve learned in the process.

What I’ve Learned from a Digital Nomad Lifestyle

I hate monotony.

Kyle on the Balcony in Paris
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Monotony is scary to me. I am always looking for a place to explore and experience something new. I felt that after several years of the same old-same old, I needed to break out of my shell and see what the world has to offer. Sure, I had already visited more than 10 countries before I made the move, but I knew that there is more to learn, explore and grow from out in the world.

If it were up to me, I’d rather have challenge and chaos than conformity and routine. Being uncomfortable is an incredible thing, it can make you grow as a person in so many different ways.

While the general thought is that digital nomads simply coast around with their laptops and live the dream life… it’s a bit of the opposite.

The digital nomad lifestyle can be isolating and frustrating. These daily challenges have helped me work smarter and not harder. Plus, working remotely is the new normal so if you aren’t adapting, you may be losing, I suppose.

Becoming a digital nomad was a life goal.

Person at the Top of Jungfraujoch in Switzerland
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Not many people know this, but the first day I visited Amsterdam I said I want to live here someday. Yeah, I was a later-year college student at the time. There was somewhere between that moment and when I was a mid-level professional working under fluorescent lights at 8 pm that made me question everything. That was one of the main reasons I became a digital nomad in the first place.

Back to that monotony thing, I guess. But I…

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