Do you know why most digital nomads fail? Most people pick something like, ‘they can’t get their careers off the ground’, ‘they chose the wrong enterprise’, or ‘they can’t hack it as freelancers‘. Others will say it’s because they run out of money, they didn’t budget well, or they got scammed. And yes, these can all be the straws that break the aspiring nomad’s back. The thing is, often these are only symptoms of a much bigger underlying problem.
What am I on about? I’m talking about what I like to call the digital nomad disconnect.
Most travelers eventually feel the need to go home because they’re not socially integrated. The digital nomad’s existence of drifting from place to place might sound appealing, but it has some serious problems. In time, these lead many to pull the plug.
There are two main reasons why this lack of belongingness affects us so. I’ll cover each in turn.
Continue reading Why Most Digital Nomads Fail (And How To Avoid It)
Picture by Etienne Koch.
This is the Judgment Fairy! Isn’t he pretty? Yes, he does have green hair, but don’t judge. It isn’t some statement of rebellion. He was born that way.
His whole family is a bit different. They’re all in the fairy trade. Like his sister the tooth fairy and his mom, who you might know from the Cinderella stories, he does his job at the edge of sight. But where his sis loves enamel and his mom has a thing for pumpkins, his interest lies elsewhere.
His obsession is those who judge.
Continue reading The Judgment Fairy
It’s terrifying to take the step from a sedentary existence into a digital nomad life. Even if you have enough money saved up, it’s a leap into the unknown. After several years out here, I’d kind of forgotten that. But the more I talk with those who want to take up the life, the more I’m reminded of how I too used to wake up in a cold sweat at night. I spent days worrying at the question if heading out or staying in was the bigger mistake.
Just like these people I was talking to, I’d wished I had a bit more certainty. I wondered if I knew enough about the travelancer life. I questioned if I had the right personality to be a digital nomad.
I dealt with the first question last week. So this week I’ll deal with the second one. And if you’re going to ask any questions about personality, well then you have to turn to psychology.
So, for a second time in a month, I’ve put on my psychologist’s hat. After a bit of research, I realized there’s a lot out there – far too much to cover in one article (here are two more about our need to belong and about mental mistakes).
Continue reading Do You Have The Right Personality To Be A Digital Nomad?
We travel because it makes us happy. From the cubicle, the vagabond existence seems idyllic. It is full of swaying palm trees, sandy beaches, and so many smiling people you’d think it’s a cult. The thing is unless you join a cult you can’t be happy all the time – not even then, actually.
Every existence, even the one on the road, has its shades of blue.
For example, you might feel lonely. You might tire of the hedonism and want more engagement and meaning. Or you might have been going for so long that you forget why travel is good for you and start seeing ‘normal’ life through rose-tinted glasses.
It happened to me two weeks ago. A wave of despondency hit me. I spent days questioning the vagabond existence. I shut myself away, went soul searching and wrestled with my demons.
It’s not like it is the first time. I knew it would pass. It always does. This time, though, rather than just battening down the hatches and waiting it out, I decided to do something about it. I dusted off my psychologist’s cap and took a positive psychology refresher.
Continue reading How to Find Happiness on the Road (and in ‘Normal’ Life)
Today we have Vagabond Writer’s first guest post! Our guest poster is the fabulous Gaia Mori and she talks about her fear of traveling and how she overcame it. She spent most of her adolescence moving around the world. Aside from her studies and work in Marketing, she loves practicing yoga, reading, and essentially anything that requires her to reflect abstractly.
We’ve all seen those movies that light a fire under our butts and make us dream of a life of adventure. You know the ones, where the protagonist rides on elephants in Thailand or swims with dolphins in Australia.
After I watch such movies I always imagine myself doing the same thing.
I rush home, flip open my computer, and spend the evening Googling my brains out trying to see how I could make it work. But when morning comes rolling around, I always find myself brushing those dreams aside, or burying them under a mountain of “should’s”. I should have a steady job. I should own a house. I should be there for my family.
Continue reading My Struggle to Overcome the Fear of Traveling
Anybody that’s traveled for a while knows the feeling. You arrive at some stunning location that should have you slack-jawed in wonder and you find it barely moves you. You meet yet another fascinating person with great stories to tell, but you can’t muster the interest. You feel lonely in a bar full of friendly people who are just dying for a conversation.
You get somewhere new and all you can think about is the place and the people you left behind.
Continue reading Lonely in Paradise
The lift of an eyebrow, the twitch of a lip, the wrinkling of the nose bridge. All speak volumes about a person’s intentions. For many, however, those volumes might as well be written in Latin for all the good it does them. That is a shame.
For unless you’re a hermit living alone in the woods, people are the gateway to your wants and desires.
Therefore getting a better grasp on people’s fears, needs and motivations are key to unlocking a whole host of possibilities. This, as I previously explained, goes double on the road.
After all, while at home you generally have a safety net of people you know and trust to back your play, when you’re out in the world they aren’t there, however. And so, you’ve got to rely on your own abilities and the strangers you meet.
Continue reading How to Get Better at Reading People