Digital nomad? Are you not familiar with the term? Well, a Digital Nomad is a person who works from anywhere…. essentially from any location around the world. Nowadays, there are many professions that do not require for you to be sitting in a cubicle or office to do your work. Example of such professions include: Influencer, Blogger, Vlogger, Marketer, Graphic Designer, etc. The first three apply to me.
I chose the Digital Nomad lifestyle since I love the freedom, creativity and location independency aspect of it. This is why, after almost 5 years as a blogger, influencer and freelance writer traveling all over the world (while based in NYC), I decided to take a leap of faith about a year ago and I skipped my return flight and stayed living in Berlin, Germany. Everything began after a press trip that changed my life. I realize that it was time for a change and that NYC will always be there. No matter where I go, I will always be a New Yorker (and I still have a home there). Changes are good but not always easy at the beginning. With another address in Berlin, I decided to go and discover other locations in Europe, so just like that, I left some of my belongings behind to travel light and embarked on an 10 month journey, visiting over 20 countries and 50 cities. And I’ve loved practically every minute! Below are 10 things that I learned from being a digital nomad:
1. Always have faith. When you take a leap of faith, doors will open where other doors close. You will always find new opportunities and the universe will truly conspire to help you achieve your goals and dreams, just like my favorite writer Paulo Coelho wisely wrote in his book, The Alchemist.
2. There are good people all over the world and you can always meet someone new everywhere you go. You just have to be open to experience new cultures, to listen to another’s story, to learn new words in different languages, to just basically embrace traditions and beliefs that can be different from your own. Life is too short to live in/inhabit the same space forever.
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3. You are human and regardless of sometimes working from paradise-like locations, there are always good and bad days. Days where everything goes wrong, days where you miss your family or hometown, where you miss your flight or a train, but remember it is okay. Tomorrow is another day with a new sunrise and there is always another chance of exploring a new town, eating something new or meeting someone new… just a day full of possibilities.
4. When you return to your hometown, give yourself a small adjustment period. Sometimes you might feel different, even though nothing’s changed, but honestly it is you who has changed. Traveling and living on your own terms will have a profound effect on your perspective, broaden your world and expand your horizons. Seeing the familiar through different eyes can initially feel weird at first, but that’s okay. Just a sign of personal growth.
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5. Some people will judge this lifestyle by saying that “you are not stable” or that they do not understand what you do for living. Guess what?! It is your life and you get to decide how you live it. Do not let negative people stop you from pursuing your dreams. Be yourself, be independent. Only you have that power and nobody will live life for you. If it works for you, make no excuses and have no regrets!
6. You need to find a balance. That you are on the road, visiting new cities, doesn’t mean that you don’t have responsibilities, bills, and deadlines. This is why as much as it is important to explore a new place or try that new cuisine, it is also important to schedule time for working, to read emails, to organize your calendar, edit photos, sort out content, etc. Life cannot always be lived on the go. We must sometimes stop to strategize, create, think and repeat.
7. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to try new experiences. Ask locals for their advice for the best places to visit, things to do or something unique about their city. They’re the real experts, do take advantage of their insights.
8. Expand your palette. Trying the local cuisine can teach you a lot about a culture. Other than any food allergies you might have, it’s important to develop an appreciation for different spices, food or drink. You never know what you’ll like until you try it!
9. It is important to keep a healthy lifestyle. As you travel, eating out all of the time, trying new cocktails or just letting yourself go more than usual is tempting. But it is important to also create healthy habits, such as meditating 20 minutes in the morning, keep three daily goals in mind, go for a walk, run or bike (working out is truly important) and watch your nutrition. Letting yourself go is easy but regaining your overall health is not.
10. Document your travels. Whether you keep a diary, photographs or videos, you’ll be happy that you did! Memories are wonderful things to experience and share with others. After extensive travel, it might all begin to blend. Your notes will help you to remember and appreciate your journey!
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Are you a digital nomad? What have you learned? Share your experience on the comment section below.
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