The “cultural shock” for digital nomads, is it different?

April 29, 2022 |

Choosing to move abroad and become a digital nomad can come with exciting experiences, new friends and even a change in job. But it can also be overwhelming. You might find yourself feeling stressed out as you adjust to your new surroundings.

During the honeymoon phase of the first few months, there’s the novelty of new adventures. But when the excitement wears off, this can quickly become frustration, homesickness, anxiety and feelings of being out of place.

You’ll eventually adapt but many people who choose to make the move abroad experience this phenomenon known as „culture shock”.

It’s good to get some tips on preparing yourself before you leave. Despite how it may seem, there’s a lot you can do to make the transition less painful.

Languages: Learn the basics before you go

It seems pretty self-explanatory that being able to communicate would help you to feel less lonely. But many digital nomads don’t make the effort to improve their language skills before they depart – especially when it comes to regional dialects.

It is particularly important if you are moving to a place where few people speak your native language. Those moving to Japan, for example, won’t get very far without being able to speak at least some Japanese.

Get online to connect with other foreigners before you arrive

There’s no substitute for the advice of people who have already done something successfully. Reaching out to local digital nomads or expats before you arrive also means you will already know some people on the ground in your new location. There are usually social media groups for expats of the same nationality or in the same local area, region or country.

While you are still in the planning phase, it is a good idea to check out which countries rank as the most (and least) friendly.

You can also try looking for a digital nomad community or village to join. These have sprung up all over the world in the last few years in popular destinations like Croatia and Portugal. Everyone here will be in the same boat and you’ll likely meet others with wisdom to share about living as a digital nomad.

Establish a routine in a new country as quickly as possible.

Avoid comparisons with your home country.

Don’t believe what you see on social media about digital nomads.

Keep exploring and stay curious about your new home.

Talk to people about how being a digital nomad makes you feel.

Stay fit and put your health first.

Beyond everything else, your health is the most important thing to take care of.

Look after yourself by eating healthy, staying active and going to the doctor if you need to.

Part of that means making sure that you understand the healthcare system in the country that you move to – whether you need to pay out of pocket, set up insurance or contribute to public systems.



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