Everyday Ordinary Things You Miss as a Digital Nomad

Life before becoming a digital nomad was pretty typical. I had a one-bedroom apartment filled with all my things (besides the stuff that’s still at my parent’s house). Over the years after college, I began collecting all the ordinary items you’d need to live on you own, and then finally when I was 28, I moved into a place all on my own, so I had to had everything you’d need versus sharing with roommates.

Though I only lived in my own place for one year, I had pretty much everything you’d need to live. Now that it’s all packed away in my storage unit, and I’ve been traveling for over a year living in somewhere new every month or so, I’ve started to realize that there are parts of living a typical life that you miss as a full-time traveler.

Here are everyday ordinary things I miss as a digital nomad

Making coffee at home the way I like it

As a coffee addict, I can’t go without my morning cup of coffee. It’s one of the very first things I do in the morning. I prefer to make my coffee at home using a drip coffee maker (call me old fashioned), and I really only treat myself to an iced coffee out of the house every now and then. Something I don’t really have control over is what my coffee maker will be in all the places I’m staying. While traveling in Europe, my short-term rentals really only had espresso makers, except for one which had a drip coffee machine. Some places haven’t had anything, so I’ve had to improvise or just buy coffee out of the house.

Having all the kitchen essentials

Since I’m staying in short-term rentals, they aren’t always necessarily the best option for long-term stays. I try to do my diligence and make sure that there’s at least a way to cook, but it’s not always the best situation. There have been times where places haven’t even had the basics like silverware, which I’ve purchased twice, so now I pack two spoons and two forks with me wherever I go, whether driving or flying. In addition, I find that places don’t always have the best kitchen knives, if they have any. I’ve even been in places without scissors. You’d be surprised by how often it is that a short-term rental doesn’t have things that every kitchen should have.

On a more nice-to-have note, most short-term rentals don’t really have cooking equipment beyond the basics. One kitchen gadget I really miss is my air fryer. I haven’t found a single short-term rental that’s had one. When I’ve driven to destinations, which has really only been twice so far, I packed mine and took it with me. 

Being able to decorate your space the way you want to

Living in hostels, short-term rentals, or hotels, you don’t really have the ability (or freedom) to decorate the space you’re living in how you want it to be. You can take items with you that make you feel more at home, but you can’t choose the wall color, the bedding, the pillows, or really anything. Your only option is to pay attention to the pictures of the place you’re looking at and see if that’s something you want to live in. I like to try and find less cookie-cutter decor and something more ecentric or lively if I can. Sometimes there’s not really anything eye-catching, but occassionally you can find themed short-term rental units.

The shower

I’m leaving this one a little more open-ended because there’s a couple reasons here. Firstly, you can’t choose whether or not the shower has a lot of space or not. You can typically tell from the pictures what it will be like, but sometimes your housing options in your budget are limited, so you just get what you get. Secondly, you have no idea, unless you can find it in a review, what the water pressure will be like. That’s usually something people like to complain about in reviews, but it’s not necessarily going to be something you can read up on. And sometimes you get to a short-term rental unit and are sadly disappointed by the lack of water pressure.

Your favorite cozy blanket to curl up into

There’s just some days where all you want to do is curl up on the couch, wrap up in your favorite blanket, and binge watch Netflix all day long. Unfortunately a cozy blanket is often an item I haven’t found in short-term rentals. And nothing beats your favorite one!


Don’t get me wrong, traveling full-time has been such a blessing and I’m beyond grateful that this is something I get to do, because not everyone can. The longer time goes on and the more places I go to, I do begin to realize there are some things I miss about life before this.

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