In recent times, remote working and “Digital Nomad” movements of various sorts have become increasingly popular, with more and more people wanting to live on the road, and pursue a life of ongoing travel and adventure.
While there are all sorts of great benefits to be had from living on the road and travelling from place to place as the mood takes you, there are also undeniably certain benefits to settling down, seeking out mortgage advice, and investing in your own home.
If you are weighing up the pros and cons of each of these two approaches, and aren’t necessarily sure where you stand, here are some things to ask yourself and to keep in mind, with regards to living on the road versus settling down.
Get clear on what your primary values are in life
First things first: it’s important for you to actually realise and understand what your primary values are in life – or at least, at this point in your life – before making a decision such as whether or not to settle down, or to hit the road and go travelling.
It’s entirely possible that you really love travelling, but that a higher order value for you is family, friends, and regular interpersonal interactions with those people you cherish most.
In this case, getting out onto the open road may make you feel good initially, but may then quickly cause you to feel alienated and sad, as you see your friends and family less often.
Or, it may be that you like the idea of the stability of your own home, but that you value the freedom to be location independent much more.
Either way, it’s important for you to do a bit of soul-searching and prioritise your values upfront.
Is travel something you want to do for a while, or as a long-term aspiration?
Many people find travel to be really fun, uplifting, exciting, and appealing – but there’s a difference between wanting to travel occasionally, wanting to travel for the time being, and wanting to travel consistently over the long term.
It might be that you can realistically commit to travelling for the next couple of years while saving up, and then purchase a home if it’s something you want to do. Or, it may be that, depending on your current circumstances, committing to a digital nomad life now will have long-term repercussions that would be more difficult to manage.
There’s always a way to move forward in a direction that feels right to you, but it’s important to consider the difference between travelling short-term and long-term.
Is there a positive balance to be struck somewhere in the middle?
It may not be the case that you only have a binary choice between purchasing a home and getting away on occasional weekend breaks on the one hand, and living as a globetrotting Digital Nomad on the other hand.
Perhaps you could purchase a home, keep it as your “base of operations,” and then spend several months each year travelling and maybe working remotely?
As work culture, global infrastructure, and digital tools evolve, there’s more and more room for these kinds of nuanced lifestyles.