Traveling, seeing new places, no ties, no schedules. Being a digital nomad and being in control of my time has shown me what freedom really means. Living a minimalist lifestyle has shown me that I can happily live with less, using the bare essentials and sustain my living expenses on a mere $35 / day. I could keep on doing this forever.
Why I’m Leaving The Nomadic Lifestyle
I have never been happier. But as I approach the one year anniversary of this trip, I realize that my perception of happiness is reaching an upper limit and that leaves me with the question: can I do better?
Curiosity is ingrained in me. If there’s a small chance that I could go a little higher from here in terms of happiness, I’m going to try to reach it. Even if that could result in bouncing back to a lower level of happiness. That’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Things You Give Up When You Travel Full Time
When people think of full time travelers, they always think of all the pros (freedom, beach time, hiking, seeing awesome places, etc.), but they tend to forget the compromises that come with it. For starters:
- Family time is drastically cut to a few times a year (if you are good at traveling back home frequently).
- Good luck forming strong friendships when you can hang out only for a few days before moving somewhere else. Friendship requires time to grow. When you move from place to place so quickly, it’s difficult to give it enough time.
- Traveling takes significant effort at times. Driving for several hours only to find out that a campground is fully booked and that you need to find another place to stay and possibly drive another few hours is draining. Wherever you end up, you need to find a place for groceries, find out if there’s a laundry mat, you need to figure out your rent for the next 2-3 days, set-up your tent and other logistic tasks that will have to be repeated in just a few days.
- A good night of sleep during a thunderstorm, when it’s very windy, or when a group of people camping next to you decides to party all night long is just not possible.
- Work takes more time as a result of having to spend efforts to find reliable internet (or not having internet at all sometimes).
- Things that take time and dedication to learn are difficult to pick up while traveling so frequently. Surfing, dance lessons and climbing become a rare one occasion event.
Life Is Exploring: Keep It Interesting
How do you know when it’s time to switch gears? It’s when you start to get bored. Life should be exciting. The feeling of the unknown, of the opportunity to learn, of new experiences. It might sound crazy to hear that I was starting to “get bored of traveling so much”. It couldn’t believe it either when it happened. But it did. Traveling for me reached a point of being the usual, mundane routine. So when it happened, I knew it was time to switch it up.
Where do I go from here?
First of all, I will continue working outside as much as possible. During this year I found that the outdoors offer incredible boosts to my creative thinking, making it an ideal place for creative types of work. I have to concede however, that when I need to focus on some deep program logic for some complicated software functionality, I can concentrate better when working indoors.
I plan to continue and expand my consulting business which is reaching critical mass, as well as resuming full-time my interest in martial arts and who knows… maybe pick up another hobby or two. Without traveling, all of the sudden, I have a lot more free time. In the end, isn’t that the only valuable thing? Spend it wisely.
p.s. I will continue blogging as usual, but you should expect less travel stories and more geeky posts.