One of the many challenges I am facing this year is loneliness while working for myself on the road. While the “digital nomad” lifestyle is usually portrayed as a glamorous non-stop adventure, the truth is working alone and away from a support network can be incredibly difficult. I am an introvert with a history of social anxiety, so working with other people has always been a great way for me to force socialization into my life. Some of my best friends in life have been first met as coworkers.
I’ve been working solo since May, and some of that time was eaten up by the chaos of preparing for our move into our trailer; other times Carrie has been around to keep me company. I also have clients and other professionals that I chat with online, and the occasional phone call or video chat. When I do find myself with a long day of being alone ahead of me, I immediately identify with the mindset remote workers and entrepreneurs often find themselves in: loneliness.
Of course, it’s not all bad – some alone time is very important for me as an introvert (and working at “home” allows me the indulgence of a fresh brewed cappuccino & lots of quality time with my pup) – but too many days in a row working solo can start to be uncomfortable. As a member of a coworking space back in Colorado, I have connected with many people who faced the same struggle before joining a coworking space. So obviously, one of the best solutions for this issue is to go to coworking, but unfortunately I am away from Cohere. I am actively looking for coworking spaces as we arrive in new locations, and I enjoyed being a “guest” member at Cowork Frederick while we were in Frederick Maryland for the month of October. I hope to find some way to cowork every few weeks, but I am truly at the mercy of where we end up.
I am also trying to push myself to do more social things when work is done – this isn’t as easy to do, but hopefully we find and embrace a few opportunities to hang out with other people as we travel. RV campgrounds are surprisingly a lot less social than I imagined – most people are either busy living their lives like we are, or on a vacation and only around for a few days. One of my worst skills is putting myself out there and making new friends, so that is certainly something I am trying to work on as well.
Lastly, I am trying to stay connected with my friends, family, and community. This is hard to do from the road, but Google Hangouts, phone calls, and text chat are helpful. I have been sharing more than I am usually comfortable with on social media, and I am now writing this blog to stay more connected. So, what else should I do? If you have any ideas or just want to say hi, leave a comment below!