For many aspiring entrepreneurs (especially readers of Tim Ferriss’s 4HWW), the “digital nomad” lifestyle is the holy grail. And it sounds great – globetrotting, living on a beach in Thailand, working a few hours a day from your laptop, running your business through a 4G modem. And I must admit that I spent a few years of my life trying to do the same thing. But there’s one thing I’m finding out as I mature as an entrepreneur and a human being – our digital nomad culture often focuses too much on building a lifestyle, rather than a life.
Yes, Thailand is gorgeous. It’s an incredible spot for a vacation, it’s comparatively cheap when you earn in USD, and you can post pictures on Facebook that will make all your friends ultra jealous. But for most, Thailand isn’t a permanent lifestyle – you’re going to land in Bangkok, go sit on a beach, and two weeks later you’re going to realize that you’re still you. All your challenges, your aspirations, your demons – your life is sitting right there next to you on that beach.I think as an entrepreneurial community, we are selling people a dream that’s partially hollow. “You too can create an affiliate website and then move abroad and be happy forever! Just buy my e-book…” And for sure, the digital nomad lifestyle is FUN! A lot of fun. Thailand is fun. Globetrotting is fun. But I think it’s about time for some real talk about the difference between fun and happiness. As my friend Dave Craige says, “Happiness and contentment do not come from external things like parties and beaches. They come from the inside.”