It’s easy to romanticize the life of a digital nomad, imagining that their days are spent working in picturesque settings and exploring all the far reaches of the world. While this is certainly true some of the time, the lifestyle comes with far more baggage than that rosy picture would suggest.

Let’s take a look at five realities of the nomadic life that few people will tell you about.

1. It’s hard to be consistent

While virtual offices can give nomads and their clients a sense of stability, there’s no getting around the inconvenience of time-zone differences and travel disruptions. If a client contacts you with urgent work on the day you’re taking an international flight, you may either have to push the deadline back, pass up on the opportunity, or fork out for in-flight wifi and then work in the cramped confines of your seat.

Similarly, if you’re travelling through Europe and working with clients and colleagues in the US, collaborative projects can balloon out as you have to wait for people to wake up on the other side of the world.

2. Routine? What routine?

The issues mentioned above can also leave you working at all hours of the night and day, making it hard to establish a healthy routine. It’s essential to provide the smoothest and most convenient experience possible for your clients, so many nomads find themselves taking meetings at midnight, conducting interviews at 5 AM, and generally shifting their schedules around to accommodate client needs.

3. The world hasn’t quite caught up yet

If you travel from place to place for years on end, you’ll eventually find yourself in strange situations where your circumstances just haven’t been accounted for. Taxation is a prime example. Being away from home for an extended period may bring your tax residency into question, but if you’re not spending any more than three months at a time in any one country, then you don’t qualify for residency anywhere else. While a brilliant accountant can help you meet all your obligations, there aren’t always professionals on hand to deal with the odd situations that arise.

4. Homesickness gets weird

Most people will experience homesickness at some point in their lives, but it generally relates to their country or town of origin. When you spend months or years at a time living in different places all over the world, homesickness can expand out to encompass all of these places. You may find yourself missing the beaches of Mexico one day, the tiny mountain villages of Vietnam the next, and the cobbled streets of Paris the following week.

Of course, this isn’t a complaint! It’s beautiful to feel a sense of connection and belonging in places all over the world. However, it certainly does tug on your emotions from time to time.

5. Health issues can get tricky

Even if you have decent travel or health insurance (another area that hasn’t yet caught up to the nomadic lifestyle), health problems can be trickier to deal with when you’re on the road. If you’re moving around a lot, it’s hard to find the time for the number of tests needed to get to the bottom of complicated issues. Similarly, it’s difficult to get consistent treatment for chronic conditions if you’re always on the move.

Of course, there are many incredible benefits to living the nomadic lifestyle. However, it’s important to have a balanced view of such trends. Whether you work with digital nomads or are considering the lifestyle yourself, keeping these truths in mind will help you have a clear perspective.