Culture

Living Like A Digital Nomad: The Filter-Free Truth

Think being part of the freelance frequent flyers club is all sunrises in new cities and sipping Champagne at 10,000 feet? Noelle Faulkner says the reality of travelling for a living couldn’t be more different.

By Noelle Faulkner

Culture

Think being part of the freelance frequent flyers club is all sunrises in new cities and sipping Champagne at 10,000 feet? Noelle Faulkner says the reality of travelling for a living couldn’t be more different.

By Noelle Faulkner

I’ve been sitting here, inside an airport lounge in Dubai, for about an hour and a half now. Trying to rack my deeply fatigued brain on how to outlay this story without sounding like a complaining, ungrateful brat. What I have figured out is that I have spent close to 50 hours in this very lounge in the last five months. That’s significantly less than I’ve spent with my loved ones, and a whole lot more than I’ve slept, let alone exercised. The truth is this: When I pitched this story to my editor here at Future Women months ago, I didn’t really take into consideration the impact being part of this freelance flyers club might have on my mental health. There’s two reasons for this. Firstly, nobody warned me and secondly, who could I even talk to about it?

The unfiltered truth of living a jetset lifestyle is less than glamorous. At the time of Anthony Bourdain’s death, it was estimated that he had spent more than 250 days of the year travelling. A factor that may well have impacted his depression and exhaustion. I’m not speculating on what kind of help he could have sought, but I can relate. Frequent flyers are more likely to be at risk of mental health illnesses, including loneliness, isolation and depression – which, according to statistics, are on the rise among young professionals. Then there’s jet lag itself, which is linked to memory impairment, disorientation, a compromised immune system and even heart disease. And if that’s not enough to put you off, frequent flyers age faster and are exposed to more radiation than our grounded counterparts. 

You’ve hit the glass ceiling. And our paywall.

Help us smash it by becoming a Future Woman for as little as $4 a month.

Join the club

Already a member? Sign in