March 13, 2020

Coronavirus: Is it safe to Travel Asia?

There is not a single person on this planet that hasn’t heard about the Coronavirus. This novel virus has infected hundreds of thousands of people all around the world and has become a global crisis. Everyone all over the world, especially digital nomads, have felt the impact of the Coronavirus financially. In their very nature, Digital Nomads chose their lifestyle because they wanted the freedom to travel and work at the same time. But has the coronavirus ruined the digital nomad lifestyle?

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is the Pandemic that has affected the world with the flu. It originally started in Wuhan during the largest migration in the world, Chinese New Year. This made it especially complicated because the virus spread rapidly to all parts of the world, killing thousands of people. The virus has people all around the world fearing for their lives and halting their travel plans. For you to understand the rest of the article, you’re probably wondering what a digital nomad is.

Related: How to Stay Safe While Traveling

What is a Digital Nomad?

A digital nomad is a person who travels frequently while sustaining their travels with work online. This can be someone who is an entrepreneur, or someone working a remote job. The digital nomad lifestyle comes with amazing benefits like the ability to work from anywhere! Although it’s not exactly a vacation, your office can be located in paradise. This lifestyle, however, has recently gotten complicated because of the Coronavirus shenanigans happening in Asia. Here’s how it’s changed.

Related: What is a Digital Nomad

How Has Coronavirus Impacted the Digital Nomad Lifestyle?

As we’ve discussed, a major appeal of the digital nomad lifestyle is its flexibility. You really do have the opportunity to travel and work anywhere in the world. With Coronavirus now present, it’s become a challenge to travel. With flight cancellations, quarantine warnings, and just general fear, people have stopped traveling altogether.

For digital nomads that like to travel at a fast pace, Coronavirus has made it a challenge to get around and stay safe. Many digital nomads are deciding to sit still until the virus slows down. Others, like us, have continued traveling but run the risk of getting sick or being put into quarantine. As far as digital nomads who have businesses in the travel industry, they’ve seen a sharp decline in their profits as travel worldwide slows down.

Did Coronavirus ruin the Digital Nomad Lifestyle?

With this Coronavirus, the digital nomad lifestyle isn’t as easy as it once was. Digital nomads whose businesses were in the travel industry likely saw a big hit to their income. However, the biggest issue we’ve had is canceled travel plans that have cost us thousands. Saying that the Coronavirus has ruined the digital nomad lifestyle is a tad dramatic, but it certainly changed it. Many digital nomads, like us, have decided to lay low for a little while until things calm down. With large events being canceled all over the world, the benefits of the digital nomad lifestyle are being stripped away from us slightly. But the coronavirus won’t last forever.

Are you afraid of catching Coronavirus as a Digital Nomad Traveling through Asia?

I think people severely underestimate how enormous Asia is. I’ve been traveling through Thailand, Philippines, South Korea, and China this year and have come out just fine. Now, I will say that I traveled to China and South Korea before the Coronavirus escalated. With that said, however, countries like Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, and other southeast Asian countries are perfectly safe to travel through. We also make sure to wear masks, and wash our hands often! In short, no, we’re not worried about catching the virus.

I will also say that that is the case at the time of this writing. Please make sure you check up to date information from the W.H.O before making any travel decisions. Things rapidly change with the coronavirus.

Related: Living in Asia during the Coronavirus Outbreak

How Coronavirus has impacted us as Digital Nomads?

This may be different depending on the line of work of each digital nomad, but coronavirus had a huge impact on us. Not only did coronavirus violently disrupt our travel plans, but it also disrupted our lives financially. When we first embarked on this digital nomad lifestyle, we could’ve never foreseen the impact that a pandemic would have on our lives.

Canceled Plans to Go Back Home

Back in November of 2019, Daniel and I booked flights back home to visit family. We were pumped because, in March of 2020, we were going to surprise our families. For Daniel’s parents, the original plans were to land on March 26th and have Daniel’s brother pick us up. We were going to arrive at Daniel’s parent’s house in the morning and reveal to his mom that she wasn’t going to work that Friday. Why? Because we had booked an over the top weekend at a hotel in Orlando, Florida using our rewards points so that we could spend the weekend together. This was special to us because we hadn’t seen each other in over a year!

Related: Is Travel Insurance Worth it?

Swiftly after the weekend in Orlando, we had booked a bus down to Miami to surprise my parents. We made a reservation at their favorite restaurant and asked the manager if we could be their servers and surprise them that way. We had been planning all of these details for over 4 months. And just two weeks before our flights were set to depart, our entire trip was canceled because of Coronavirus. Needless to say, we were (and still are) beyond disappointed that we can’t go home. And the worst part is that we have NO IDEA when we will be able to go back home. With Coronavius now in our home state of Florida, we don’t know what our life is going to look like tomorrow.

Canceled our Chase Your Adventure Thailand Tour

Since August of 2019, our tour company had planned a two-week trip through Thailand. It included amazing activities like island hopping, massages, elephant sanctuaries, and cooking classes. Just 4 days before the tour was set to start, we learned that the tour participants couldn’t come because of travel restrictions due to Coronavirus in their country. Our hearts ached because we were obviously pumped to take people on a tour through our favorite country, but obviously fully understanding because people need to do the best thing for their health and well being. This meant changing our travel plans for the full two-weeks, forfeiting flights, and booked excursions.

India Banned us From Entering Their Country

After the visiting home, we were going to go back to India and explore the parts of the country we missed. Because we were in Shanghai, China when the Coronavirus Outbreak happened, India banned us from their country indefinitely. This travel restriction changed up our entire plan for the rest of the year. At the time of this writing, we still have no idea what we’re going to do.

Cancelled Daniel’s College Graduation

Another reason why we were going back home is that Daniel, my husband, graduates in May. Because of the Coronavirus outbreak in Florida, his graduation is canceled until further notice. This is disappointing not just to him, but also to his family who has been waiting for this moment for a long time. It’s crazy how much of an impact the coronavirus has had on everyone. When we were in China back in January, we had no idea it was going to turn into such a global disaster. But coronavirus didn’t just impact our plans, it’s had severe implications on our finances.

Financial Impact of the Coronavirus on the Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Cancelled Travel Plans

With all of the canceled flights that have yet to return our money and forfeited travel arrangements, we’ve lost a lot of money. To put it in perspective, we’ve had two flights canceled, and forfeited 6 flights, 2 bus journeys, and 1 hotel stay. This meant re-booking flights and rearranging travel plans coming in at an additional cost. As it stands, on canceled and shifted travel plans alone, Coronavirus has cost us approx. $3300.

Travel YouTube Channel

When we first started our YouTube channel, we never imagined a pandemic would happen, much less one affecting Asia. Coronavirus has affected our travel channel in ways I couldn’t have foreseen. Because the majority of our YouTube videos take place in Asia… a region nobody is traveling to right now… our ad revenue has tanked. This drop included reduced views on our videos and sliced our ad revenue in half.

Tours Business

Because nobody is looking to travel, much less to Asia, our tour business is at a standstill. This included cancellations of our trips to the Philippines and Vietnam for 2021 and ultimate the cancellation of our 2020 Thailand tours. Needless to say, this has had an immense impact on our revenue considering these tours account for more than half of our annual income.


Since our expertise is helping people transition into the digital nomad lifestyle; our courses and digital products have stopped selling altogether. Think about, nobody is traveling right now nor planning to for a long time. The appeal of the digital nomad lifestyle is the ability to travel and work. With the inability to travel, our products geared to helping achieve the lifestyle are not selling well.

Still Interested in Becoming a Digital Nomad? Click here to learn how!

Affiliate Income

Lastly, another one of our income streams is affiliate income. This means that whenever we write an in-depth guide somewhere, we get a small commission if you book with the places we love and recommend. Because our travel guides almost exclusively cover Asian countries, our affiliate income has tanked, too. As you can see, the Coronavirus has had a huge impact on our Digital Nomad Lifestyle.

Related: 10 Best Location Independent Jobs

Is it still worth becoming a Digital Nomad during the Coronavirus outbreak?

Honestly, Coronavirus has made the digital nomad lifestyle very difficult. Canceled flights, closed borders, and quarantine procedures are all things we’re dealing with at the moment. If you haven’t jumped into the digital nomad lifestyle yet, I would focus on growing your business or income at home first. You can actually jump on one of our coaching calls here! If you’re really determined to travel, believe it or not, I recommend you become a digital nomad in Asia.

No, I’m not saying book your tickets to Wuhan, but Asia has been dealing with the virus for much longer than the rest of the world. They know the protocol to take to prevent the spread of the virus. There are obviously some countries that you should avoid, but overall the rest of them are pretty safe. Also, there are currently some amazing travel deals for those brave enough to travel through Asia. I’ve even found flights from Thailand to Myanmar for as low as $15!

Update March 2020: Like we’ve mentioned, things with the virus have shifted drastically. Borders are closing, and travel bans are in place. Check the W.H.O for up to date information.

Click here to find cheap flights through Asia!

How can Digital Nomads Stay Safe During the Coronavirus?

Just like with any other illness, make sure you wash your hands. Implement healthy eating and hygiene habits and you will be just fine. I’ve seen people at airports implement extremely dramatic measures to not catch the coronavirus. Let me be clear, you do not need to cover yourself in a trash bag to be safe from the coronavirus. Use hand sanitizer, wash your hands frequently, and use a mask if you feel inclined to do so. If your home is being affected, stay home and limit your time outdoors.

Final thoughts on the Coronavirus and the Digital Nomad lifestyle

Coronavirus has definitely changed the way we life. Even though we like to travel at a fast pace, travel restrictions worldwide have limited our travels. Furthermore, the financial impact the coronavirus has had limits the capital we have to spend on travel. If you’re still interested in becoming a digital nomad, now is the best time to learn, but maybe do some research before you book your tickets. And don’t plan anything in advance!

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