Remote work is on the rise. But we already knew that. If 2021 taught us anything about office culture, it was that the digitally nomadic have figured out the true balance of life. While an ocean-front view is an office aesthetic of dreams, what about the difficult questions such as what are the realities of being a digital nomad in 2022?

How can we avoid internet blackouts or even burnout while abroad? The Career Break Coach’ and expert on digital nomad life, Roshida Dowe shares her tips, advice and lessons.

What are the realities of burnout or a need for a career break?

It’s really hard to cure burnout while working in the job that is responsible for creating that same burnout. It’s likewise really hard to cure burnout while working any job. Sometimes the best choice is to take a break and focus on your own self. While a career break can sound scary, it can be a time of reinvention and recovery. I went into my career break thinking I would go back to my old career when it was over. During my break, I decided I had no interest in working for anyone else ever again. My career break changed my life. Gifting yourself time to relax or time away is revolutionary, and you are deserving of that gift.

What would you say are the common mistakes to avoid when making the decision to move abroad?

When moving abroad, I recommend really focusing on what you want from the country you move to. A lot of times people choose their expat destination because they hear great things about it from other travelers. And it might be a great location for some, but if it doesn’t meet your own specific requirements, it’ll never be right for you. 

Also, people have to be willing to go to a place, not like it and pack-up and try someplace else. Some people consider it a failure to make the move to a particular destination and not like it at all, so they decide to move back home. Remember that not every foreign country is going to be right for you, so be ready to move around until you find the right location.

What should a digital nomad consider when moving abroad during a pandemic?

During this pandemic, healthcare is a major concern. Before moving abroad (or immediately after) you should figure out where you can get treatment if something goes wrong. Check into the levels of service available, and the costs, before you have an emergency. In some countries you can’t leave the hospital until your bill is paid in full, and in others a large deposit could be required before a hospital will admit you. That’s not a surprise you want to face when you’re ill. While healthcare abroad is often cheaper than it is for travelers from the US, you need to know how the systems work, so you know what to expect.

How did you achieve early retirement and what motivates you?

Getting to early retirement took about 20 years of casually investing for retirement, and a decade of being really focused on my finances. What motivates me now is living a life in which I never have to interact with anyone I don’t enjoy.

Best advice for newbie digital nomads?

Create a schedule that allows you to work and explore. Many newbie Digital Nomads get too caught up in one or the other while trying to do both in a new location. 

Find a couple of places in different neighborhoods that have great internet – if there are blackouts or brownouts, you may have to cross town to get some work done. 

Finally, identify a couple of expats that have been living in the area for a while – they’ll be invaluable at helping you navigate some of the issues that only arise for foreigners.

For more guidance on living life abroad, follow Roshida Dowe on Instagram, or check out From Burnout To Bliss.