Warning: #FirstWorldProblems ahead!

Do you daydream about traveling the world and working online? Are you visited by visions of waking up in paradise with your laptop, some strong coffee & great clients waiting for you? How about the feeling of finishing work at 11AM and spending your afternoon prancing along beaches and drinking from coconuts?

#LifeGoals, am I right?

Well, that life WAS my goal not long ago… *cue cheesy flashback sequence* 

Don’t worry. I’m not going to sell you the 10 Steps to Becoming the Coconut Queen of the Digital Nomads eBook. On the contrary, I’m going to get real for a second about this whole working-in-paradise thing.

I’ve learned a thing or two about how to be productive while you’re earning your income under swaying palm trees, sans-boss, sans-office, sans-predetermined schedule.

Check out my insight below.


The truth about the digital nomad lifestyle began to sink in while I was working remotely out of Peru four years ago. It was reinforced more recently when I quit my corporate copy job and shipped off to Costa Rica and Mexico with my bestie to work on Day Job Optional and other projects.

There were recurring themes that screwed with my big-girl-plans of being a “total boss” from anywhere in the world. I had my laptop, new sunnies, a an explosive feeling of excitement, and some great remote clients on tap… but things still went wrong.

(Ha, imagine that!)

Things like shoddy WiFi, epic hangovers, beach-inspired laziness… Not knowing that high school boys commandeer WiFi cafes at 3:00PM on weekdays to play multiplayer war games in certain towns in the Andes…

The list goes on.

So I’m here to dish out a little truth this morning. It ain’t always easy working out of paradise. The grass isn’t always greener in the other time zone. There are plenty of blogs touting the Digital Nomad Lifestyle as the be-all, end-all solution to wanderlusting professionals with the capacity to travel.


I get it, I bought into it!

And obviously it’s an amazing thing to experience if you’re lucky enough to spend any amount of time working remotely while freely traveling.

Yes, it’s a blessing. It’s worth aspiring to, but it isn’t always discussed in a way that’s realistic. In the spirit of sprinkling a little realness into the mix, I agreed to share my best tips with my friend and fellow remote working advocate That Marketing Duke in this blog post: How To Stay Productive When You’re Working In Paradise

Making the choice to be location independent comes with some very real responsibilities, and they don’t get talked about as much as the potential for an instagram-worthy lifestyle.

That’s because it’s more fun to talk about the fun stuff.

I got on my soapbox and broke down my tips for being responsible with client work, taking care of your health, and staying professional when you’re working out of paradise.

The anecdotes and advice I included come from my personal experience. Nothing is based on theory… so go read it.

digital-nomad-productivity-tips-paradise-hey-mishka-1, there’s an important mini discussion to be had here, before I wrap up this post, my babes. The very idea of me complaining about working from paradise is going to make some people recoil, unsubscribe and scream “Shut up with your #FirstWorldProblems!”

I hear you.

It’s valid.

And, I’m going to share some insight: I believe, with every fiber of my being, that you have NO right wasting any privilege you might have.

I believe, with eeeevery fiber of my coconut-loving being, that the most crucial thing you can do with your privilege is acknowledge it and make the best use possible of it.

If you’re able to go remote, do it. Get out of your comfort zone and out of your pajamas. It’ll teach you more about yourself in a month than you can imagine. It’ll help you grow as a person, leaving you better equipped to deal with life than you were before.

If you’re able to travel to new places, do it. Soak up new cultures and expand your mind. Talk to people in other countries. Ask questions, learn new languages. Travel responsibly and try to be a force of positive energy wherever you go. The world is conflicted, confusing and scary sometimes. Be grateful that you get to see it, and GO! Go see it.

If you think the correct answer to privilege is guilt, you should spend some time with that thought and reconsider it.

Guilty feelings might arise, but you can’t stop there.


On the other hand…

Being privileged enough to see the world, learn, connect and grow… and then settling for a stationary routine that doesn’t make you happy?

Now that’s something to be guilty about.

So, go check out the post.

Also, if you’re interested in the digital nomad lifestyle, you might be interested in the free content I publish regularly over at Day Job Optional, as well as my free Facebook group for writers who want to become location independent.

To be clear, I don’t teach you “how to be a digital nomad”. I weave my own firsthand experiences as a location independent writer into tangible career advice, and give it away daily. 😉



I’ve done way too much preaching before my second cup of coffee this morning!

Have an epic weekend, and don’t forget to drop your own comments and tips below if you’re into travel, working remotely, and being productive.




Written by Mishka
A city girl who loves palm trees, strong coffee & late night writing. Founder of lifestyle blog Hey Mishka, co-founder & writing coach at Day Job Optional, and designer at Maison Minnaloushe. Learn more about her here.