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3 Lessons You Might Learn If You Work and Travel at the Same Time

You’ve probably read all about uninspired 9-to-5ers who ditched the office to become digital nomads. The stories make leaving the corporate grind to travel and work for yourself sound like a dream come true.

But if you don’t plan on being on the move permanently, what happens when you settle down? Does it hurt your career in the long-run?

I spoke to three people who worked remotely and feel confident that their stints abroad helped them get ahead in their careers.

So, if you’ve been itching for a change and dreaming of combining work and travel, get excited! Being a digital nomad could be just the thing to help guide you through a career pivot—even if you’re unsure of your next move.

1. You Might Learn Your Dream Job Isn’t What You Think it Is

Nikki Vargas got her start in advertising, but dreamed of working in journalism. She launched her travel blog, The Pin Map Project, in 2012, and a few years later left her full-time job in advertising to try to make a career out of it (while picking up freelance gigs to support herself).

She grew the site to more than 100,000 monthly visitors, but “despite my best efforts to pour everything into my website—money, time, effort—I couldn’t monetize [it] enough to earn a living,” Vargas wrote.

During a 2016 trip to Bali, she shared her dilemma with a fellow traveler who insisted Vargas read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Vargas credits the book with helping her realize that she was putting too much pressure on her passion project to pay the bills.

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