My default response whenever I get asked why I am passionate about travelling as a digital nomad is: “Cause life is short, and the world is wide!”
Having the ability to largely choose where to be whenever you want, at times feels like I have gained a new superpower. It almost doesn’t feel real. Waking up every morning to a world that is your playground waiting to be explored. For you to choose your own adventure. Being a digital nomad certainly has its drawbacks (#1: wifi will rule your life!) but for the wanderlust type once you have tasted it there is no going back.
Travelling is a humbling and character-building experience. I don’t mean the all-inclusive type where you spend your “two weeks” on vacation. I mean living in a place for a few months at a time and appreciating its beauty. Making a few local friends, going to the cultural sites, hitting the local spots, making an effort to learn the language, and developing an understanding of the culture beyond whatever stereotype the media portrays.
It is a phenomenal way to understand the toxic level of consumerism that plagues much of the world. I have been travelling for months without a Walmart in sight, no Amazon Prime with one-day delivery, and haven’t set foot in a generic copy/paste of a McDonalds or Starbucks… and it has been fucking great.
Having only a backpack to jam all my belongings in has done wonders in making me mindful of what it is that truly matters. I may lose what I have any day of the week, but the memories of watching the sunset standing on a cliff in Santorini or the overwhelming sense of happiness atop Wiñay Wayna, are mine forever to keep.
When you meet fellow travellers, you mostly connect talking about their adventures and what they want to do in their lives. Not their fancy clothing, shiny watches, branded accessories, or whatever bullshit industry jargon they throw at you. There is little hollow small talk about “the game”, “the kids’ school”, or “last weekend up north” or whatever topic is safe to speak in a corporate environment. You get to know, right from the start, the “content of their character”.
Having lived the bulk of my adult life as a suit I know what it feels like to slip into the comfortable numbness of a routine. No boundary is pushed when you are in your comfort zone. You do not learn. You do not grow. One’s character is rarely tested in the security of a familiar repetitious routine. Travelling in unfamiliar places forces you in situations where the strength of character gets tested, and that includes your own. You will be surprised. You will feel happiness, loneliness, uncertainty, and even sorrow at times. In the end, you will be a better person for it.
Now that we got deep and personal, before you go, sing with me one of my favourite tunes that sums up a key part of my life’s philosophy:
🎵 I wanna taste love and pain
Wanna feel pride and shame
I don’t wanna take my time
Don’t wanna waste one line
I wanna live better days
Never look back and say
Could have been me
It could have been me 🎵