This may or may not sound strange to you, but I’ve noticed a lot of health benefits from being a digital nomad. It’s been about 3 weeks now since I’ve started my journey, but I’ve become more active, less stressed, and a whole bunch of other positive things. I believe wholeheartedly that nomading can be a much healthier way of living, especially if you have been slaving away at the cube/office in the United States.
As a bay area, California resident, I was living at home in my parents’ place – extremely comfortable…comfortable to the point that it was unhealthy. My day comprised of me sitting or sleeping around 23 hours of the day. I’d go to work, then go to my couch and watch Netflix. Granted, I am sort of a lazy piece of shit. I rarely exercised. I bought a rock climbing membership pass but later canceled it due to the fact that most days I’d tell myself “maybe tomorrow”. It was just way easier to chill at home.
The Health Benefits of Being a Digital Nomad
Now that I’m a digital nomad, these are the benefits I’ve been experiencing:
1. Sitting Less, Walking More
With my corporate position, I was sitting around 9 hours of the day. I was too lazy to get up – so I was definitely perched on my chair, staring at my screen without breaks. At home, I’d go to the couch, turn on Netflix, and sit another 5-6 hours!
Now as a nomad, I’m walking to cafes, checking out attractions, hitting up the market, and overall moving around a lot more. Sometimes getting from place to place is a workout within itself.
2. Seeing the World instead of the Screen
Back home, my life was essentially wrapped around 4 screens: my desktop, my laptop, my television screen, and my phone. I felt my eyes degrading in quality as time progressed. My 20/20 vision was being compromised. Now, I’ve stopped watching television, and I look outside towards the amazing views that surround me. When I feel eye strains I take a break and walk outside my balcony or leave to a cafe. And sometimes, if I need to I’ll end the day early and go out exploring.
But if I need to go check out a screen…
Here’s the Thission Open Air Cinema in Athens, Greece 😉
3. Listening to My Boombox Instead of My Headphones
Because I couldn’t play my music out loud in the office, I would always use headphones at decibel levels that were unhealthy for my ears. Though I still use them, now I’m using headphones less and playing music out of my speakers.
4. Cooking Over Eating Out
In the past I was too lazy to cook. Now that I’ve had more time for myself, I’ve found myself attempting to cook more often.
But in all honesty, tomato beef has been the only thing I’ve come up with so far…
5. Stressing Less, Smiling More!
I used to ask myself “What am I doing with my life?” way too much. I would also attach an unhealthy portion of my self worth onto my work. I’d surround myself with questions that didn’t really matter in the larger spectrum of things.
As a nomad, these questions vanish while you’re living in different countries month-to-month. Every time you’re placed into new territory, you realize how small you are in the world and that a lot of things that you think matter, really don’t.
6. Sleeping More
Because I’ve been thinking about less BS, I’ve been sleeping easier. For someone who has constant insomnia, it’s freakin’ wonderful.
7. Exercising the Brain
Research shows that travel actually challenges the brain. With new experiences come new challenges that the brain has to tackle, whether it be a language barrier or how to get from place to place in a foreign country. Without even being conscious of it, your brain is always on its toes trying to keep up with the different places you’re traveling to!
The Possible Health Dangers of Being a Digital Nomad
1. Higher Alcohol Consumption Levels
When every day is Friday, you’re the only who can control yourself in terms of alcohol consumption…
But hey I only drank 2 drinks last week. Maybe I’ll be okay?
2. Lack of Control!
Which brings us to the next point…with so much freedom it is possible to lose yourself and lack control. You could work yourself to death or not work at all, eat crap food every day, etc. It really is up to you to find your balance!