Lessons are plenty when following a nomadic lifestyle. Every day can present new horizons; stripping away the realities of yesterday and presenting you with a lovely new set of rules from which to learn from. Unlike in a standard nine to five job, intertwining your job with your lifestyle opens up whole new possibilities for personal growth, and here’s 10 things we have learned from our time as digital nomads.
1. The world isn’t as big as you think
Wherever we have lived, friends, family and the comforts of home have only ever been a click away. Through the speed in which international travel can be conducted, these days, to the variety of social apps and websites on the market today, no matter where you are you’re connected with those who matter.
2. Change is good
Too often people put off change: waiting and waiting to make a decision, until ultimately time makes it for you. Well, living nomadically has given us ample opportunities to confront change – and taught us to embrace it. After all, if you don’t like your new environment, just change it back.
3. English is broadly universal
Whatever you may think about the way the English language is permeating the rest of the world, one thing remains certain. English is the language of the traveler. Being native English speakers has helped us out innumerable times through the years, in times when (having little or no grasp of the native language) communicating has been a problem. To our benefit, there always seems to be somewhere nearby who can speak enough English to get us through.
4. Success can be measured in more ways than one
This is a big thing we have come to recognize during our travels. In our society, numbers often measure success: who has the biggest bank account, who has the most expensive house – and this is a sad way to gauge ones time on this planet. Success should be measured by experience, and those richest are always those who have traveled.
5. Home is where the heart is
The concept of ‘home’ is a frustrating one. Is it where you are born, where you spend the bulk of your life, or where you are happiest? Well, we would say it is the latter, and would confess to having several homes across the world, each with nuanced offerings.
6. Your professional and personal life don’t need to be polar opposites
They can work in unison. You can find employment that enhances your personal life, and you can indulge in a personal life that enhances your professional one. The tip is to find where they both meet, and that is often aligned with the things you would consider hobbies. For us, traveling is something we pull huge pleasure from, and now it is something that we can invest in professionally, too – making that time in the ‘office’ a great part of our day.
7. Risks do pay off
Too many people are scared of losing something. Too often people do not follow the paths they want because they worry they may lose what they already have: things which they are not all too happy to begin with. Take a chance every once a while, if you lose, pick yourself back up and try again; the eventual victory will make it all worthwhile.
8. We are all Humans
This is a concept that many people in the world today could benefit from realizing. The more you travel, the more you expose yourself to different cultures and different people. It is only through this can you truly see the absence of differences between the human races. Cultures may be different; peoples’ daily routines may vary, but people still have the same wants, desires and needs regardless of anything else, and we are all fundamentally the same.
9. People don’t hate Americans
Assuming there is some sort of worldwide xenophobia against the good people of the USA, imagine our surprise to discover that generally – simply by the grace of God of being born a citizen of the US – we have always been treated impeccably, and have never experienced even a morsel of the ill-conceived universal hatred we thought we may be faced with. If anything, it is quite the opposite, and whatever your social or political opinion, it’s good to travel on an American passport.
10. Internet is everywhere
Perhaps this may seem a tad trivial when compared to some of the more philosophical discoveries we have embraced through our time as digital nomads, but it remains one of the most important nonetheless. The existence of Internet universally, whether in the form of Wi-Fi in a hotel room, or from an Internet café down the street offers the very platform for which the life of the digital nomad can succeed in the first place. Imagine our surprise (and jubilation) when we realized this beautiful notion. The fact is, there is very few places you can visit in this day and age where there will not be some form of Internet accessibility. (Adventure holidays to isolated areas excluded!)
The lessons learned from living a nomadic lifestyle are innumerable, and this is just a short list of some of the most prominent. As we continue to travel, we will continue to learn – and will continue to share these lessons with you.