Remotely Interesting

Remote Work Settlers: The Unexplored Alternative to Nomad Life

published10 months ago
7 min read

Hey there, quick note:

I launched the pre-orders for my Avoiding Burnout from Remote Work mini video course! Overwork is far too common for remote workers and puts you in an endless burnout loop. But it doesn't have to be that way.

I'm sharing all my top tips to help you stop:

  • Overworking yourself
  • Feeling constantly exhausted
  • Never turning 'off' from work

Check it out and share it with anyone struggling with remote work burnout. Hurry, the pre-order discount ends today!

Before remote work, we commonly followed our jobs even if it led to living in places we hated. When remote work started gaining popularity, all anyone would talk about was how it opened the door to being a digital nomad. The nomad lifestyle is new and exciting; however, the reality is that nomad life is only generally accessible to young people with limited responsibilities.

There's also the matter that things that seem shiny on paper aren't always what we want in real life. I'm someone who falls within that limited accessibility range but is also a homebody, so the nomad lifestyle honestly sounds like a nightmare to me.

But what other options are available now for the majority who no longer need to follow the job but also have zero desire for the nomad life?

TLDR below πŸ‘‡ | Read this on the web | Subscribe​

Two people searching a map

The Alternative

While everyone talked about how remote work gives you the freedom to travel and be a nomad, for me, it was the opposite. It gave me the freedom to settle down.

I no longer had to keep moving for the best job opportunity. Instead, I could finally settle where I was happiest.

The remote work settler option is the less-talked-about alternative that is more broadly desired. It involves centering the decision around where you live on where you love to be, and forming deep roots.

You don't have to live in a tiny, expensive place just because that's where the jobs are. Miss small-town life? Want to travel more? Be close to (or far from) family? Choose a place that will make you happiest instead of a place you "have" to be

Previously, you may have chased the best company or role, which would require you to move on nearly a yearly basis. Moving is always a nightmare, and restarting sucks. Plus, those costs rack up fast.

Financially, it's expensive to live where the jobs are due to demand. Moving expenses, security deposits, and furnishing adjustments only add to this. The mental and emotional costs are even more taxing from building a new support system to figuring out your "places" (doctors, services, stores, restaurants, etc). Not to mention the stress of the entire experience.

Honestly, I didn't realize the heavy burden of all this on my life until I became a settler myself. If this sounds familiar to you, the remote work settler option might be just what you've been looking for. Here are the three stages of getting started on this route:


In the first stage, we're exploring our options. Deciding to settle somewhere long-term isn't a light decision. It's rare that people immediately know where they want to go. In more cases, they get overwhelmed by all their new options now that they remove the constraint of following their job. This is why replacing the job constraint with new individualized constraints is so important.

The way I did this was by writing out every place I'd lived in the past and listing what I liked and hated about each one. Next, add places you've visited or imagined living.

Some details you might want to list out include:

  • Yearround weather
  • Likelihood of natural disaster
  • Type of dwelling preference (apartment, townhome, house, etc)
  • Walkability
  • Transportation options
  • Citizenship requirements
  • Culture
  • Political leanings
  • Proximity to airport/schools/stores
  • Time zone
  • Being close or far from family
  • Requirements from your spouse and/or children

Keep listing your personal constraints until it limits you to a handful of places.

Now, go visit them. While you're there, live like a resident instead of a tourist. Rent an Airbnb in the neighborhood you're considering, try out the local food options, and document your thoughts on everything.

Originally, Seattle was in a top spot on my list of places I'd imagined I'd like to live, but after visiting, I found the weather to be a complete no-go for me and added it to my list of constraints.

In the end, when we did this process in 2015, we ultimately chose to relocate from Florida to Colorado - a place that was the complete opposite in terms of weather, culture, and altitude. We had to hop around a couple of different cities before we finally found the right place. But once we did, we jumped all-in to step 2.


This step is where you get to start putting down roots. There are a lot of options around how to do this.

For me, that meant buying my dream home, learning how to build relationships outside of work, and becoming a locally elected official for my district. It also meant building up my "places," from haircuts to restaurants to doctors. The objective is to sow seeds that make this place feel like home.

This step takes time, but it's one of those things where the value of each action grows exponentially. The beginning is difficult, though, especially for those used to finding connections and meaning solely through work. It requires trying new things, putting yourself out there, and resetting deeply ingrained habits.

But it is worth it. I've been living in the place I settled for three years at this point, and I can't imagine going anywhere anytime soon. The roots only get stronger and more fruitful with each passing year. As a homebody who values a close-knit community, this has been the most fulfilling period of my life.


Finally, we've come to the step where you redefine how you do things. For example, work travel no longer needs to be a lonely experience because your spouse or friend who also works remotely can accompany you.

Also, your vacations can now be less rushed. For my wedding, we eloped at a castle in Prague and then spent close to a month traveling around Europe at a leisurely pace.

Even if your time off doesn't cover your entire stay, you don't need to rush home because you can work from anywhere. This allows you to take in cities more like a resident than a tourist.

You can also choose to live flexibly without being a full nomad. I know people who have an established home base but also spend months traveling. I know parents who spend a couple of months abroad in the summertime to introduce their kids to different cultures.

The concept of "snowbird" is no longer just an option for retirees. A friend of mine spends the warmer half of the year in New York and the colder half in Austin, Texas. All the perks of having the community from being based in the same places while having the flexibility to never deal with the weather they hate.

This is just a taste of some of your new options. It's now your time to rethink what a home base, travel, and time off mean to you.


Being a remote settler might not be the "shiny" option, but it's a new opportunity that more people are quietly taking advantage of, and it deserves some spotlight. In a world that encourages infinite browsing mode and keeping your options open, it can be incredibly fulfilling to choose commitment. Living somewhere because you want to instead of because you have to is a priceless experience.



Everyone talks about how remote work gives you the freedom to be a nomad, but for many, it’s the opposite.

It gives them the freedom to settle down.

Instead of following the jobs, they can finally settle where they are happiest.

​(Share this on Twitter)​


In Case You Missed It

twitter profile avatar
Marissa Goldberg
Twitter Logo
January 21st 2022


In Other News

​Your work is not your god: welcome to the age of the burnout epidemic​
"Worsening labor conditions, including more emotional intensity and less security than mid-20th-century work, only tell half the story of why burnout is so prevalent in our society. Burnout is characteristic of our age because the gap between our shared ideals about work and the reality of our jobs is greater now than it was in the past."

​The Next In-Demand Job Title: Head Of The Future Of Work​
'"Organizations are finding that there’s a need to create roles that have a specific focus on these types of programs to really rethink and evolve their thinking about this new world of work," says Shannon Hardy, LinkedIn’s vice president of flex work.'

​How to make your home office a more pleasant place to work​
"A humane office for one"


Avoiding Burnout from Remote Work

Avoiding Burnout from Remote Work

Overwork doesn't have to be your default while working remotely. My new Avoiding Burnout from Remote Work mini course will help you:

  • End your workday without guilt
  • Break bad habits you picked up from office work
  • Create clear boundaries between your work and personal life

It includes actionable advice that you can start implementing TODAY.

Your past self wishes you knew all this in 2020. Your future self will thank you for learning it in 2022.

Check it out and share it with anyone struggling with remote work burnout. Hurry, the pre-order discount ends today!


What did you think of this issue? What do you hope you'll see in the next one? Feel free to reply to this message or DM me on Twitter @mar15sa.

I truly appreciate you taking the time to read this. Hope you have a lovely day!

Founder, Remote Work Prep​


If you liked this, consider supporting this free newsletter by leaving a tip or sharing this issue.

Also, don't forget to check out my free Slack Hacks guide!