The life of a digital nomad caught me by surprise. I had no idea it was even a possibility until I did research during the Covid-19 pandemic on where I could escape.
Previously, I’d be a backpacker, vacationing in hostels and moving around without a plan or I would join tour groups tailored to traveling to a destination. I couldn’t begin to fathom the realm that work in play could meet in the background of harmony.
In this case, Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It was October 2020 and I was sick of just pacing back and forth trying to get a little bit of air. I was in Seattle, Washington in the States and they had pretty strict lockdown policies at the time. The beautiful summer was turning back to winter and with this, I decided to buy a flight down to Mexico to catch warmer weather and maybe a community.
The rest was the start of a beautiful journey that I still continue 3 years later. In these 3 years, I haven’t lived anywhere longer than 2 months and have picked up a lot of travel stories, growth, and most importantly 3 amazing tips I’m about to drop.
Table of Contents
Tip #1: Overcoming Loneliness
Solo-traveling can be lonely, I get it, it’s a risk. If you’ve ever read ‘Into the Wild’, the moral I got from the book was that life is meant to be lived making memories with others vs dying alone.
Little sad and scared now of trying out this lifestyle?
How in the world are you to bring your closest friends and people you care about to share in this wanderlust with you?
Give them a little teaser, book a 1 or 2 week flight to somewhere you’ve mutually dreamed about and see what traveling and working with your buddy can look like.
If it’s not for them, that’s ok, at least you had some beautiful times.
So, how to do this longer?
Digital nomad communities.
2023 has been an exceptional year to foster connections and bring nomads closer than ever.
We’ve seen an explosion of growth in the community leading to more coworking spaces, coliving spaces, nomad retreats, and even nomad festivals.
The nomad community is still small but growing and I’m currently drinking a coconut while meeting my favorite Frenchie for the 8th country since getting to know her last year!
I met her through my experience of Wifi Tribe – a 4-week coliving and coworking experience that changes locations every month. I went off to test the waters and check out other community groups for nomads.
This led me to check out the Beet Community in Palermo, Sicily. Remote 9 coworking road trips in Iceland and the Bansko Nomad Fest in Bansko, Bulgaria.
From this event, I decided to start my own retreat for the nomad community: Cloud Connections. Digital Nomad Festival Retreats.
Think of samba-ing with your fellow aspiring nomads in Rio for Carnival or lighting up your life with the Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The root of these nomadic communities is to foster connections and overcome loneliness in the nomadic lifestyle.
We are meant to live and grow together and location independence does not mean people independence. These communities create community by going deep and learning to love and grow with each other during their time together.
Wow, that’s lovely! How about when you’re not physically present?
This is all about prioritizing the people in your life that matter. Make sure to spend a day every week messaging, sending voice notes or even calling friends/family to check-in.
Voice notes are a great way to do this as they are time zone independent and you get to pick up on the beautiful nuances of their voice.
(Blue Lagoon, Iceland with a lovely community)
Tip #2: Work-Life Balance
Do you even work when you post about your day hanging with monkeys or by the pool. The answer is hells yes!
This past year I left my 9-5 role to pursue my passion in starting a digital nomad community AND I also do high-ticket affiliate marketing and blogging. You could say I have more than enough on my plate.
Don’t forget it’s important to prioritize your health with a good fitness and eating plan as well as morning habits like meditation. This all adds up, where in the world does the work part come in?
Being a full-time nomad, constantly needing to figure out housing, where to stay, where to go, what to do, that’s enough right?
It sure can be! I’d recommend it if you’re just starting out to plan a little in advance on your non-negotiables.
For example, in Playa, I wanted to see Chichen Itza (One of the world’s wonders) and check out the cenotes. There were at least 8-9 different things I wanted to do. My tip here is to write them all down and create a bucket list of fun items and a list of cafes you’d like to check out to work at and even coworking that have free day passes.
I was working a full-time job then so was very much on a 12-8 p.m. schedule, I enjoyed a few mornings diving in the beautiful ocean and then was able to get dinner with everyone during the week. The weekends consisted of checking out all the beautiful spots.
Now, as an entrepreneur, I work 24/7. Just kidding. I build routine and consistency where I can, For example, morning gym sessions followed by a 4-hour working sprint. I could then grab a matcha latte with an influencer I’m meeting to help promote my brand or simply just take a nap.
The options are limitless to work online and pursue the nomadic lifestyle!
Basically, you do you.
It’s okay if there are a couple of days where you grind out hard but make sure you balance that with a couple of days of exploring. The most important tip here is to not feel guilty in this lifestyle of not doing as much as you thought.
You’re doing so much and you’re amazing! You booked tickets to be where you are, found your accommodations, are getting over jet lag and just trying to be.
Don’t forget that we are human BEings, not human DOings and sometimes just let yourselves be for the moment. You’ll be in a much better headspace to create that goodness.
Tip #3: People are People
This was a shocker to me!
I thought I was going to meet the most badass, wildly interesting, and explorative people ever on my nomadic journey.
People who have done, seen, and experienced every corner of this world would say “Hells Yes” to everything that came their way because well they got out of their comfort zones at home right?
Nope! Rude awakening.
Sometimes people just don’t want to face winter in Canada or Germany and head South to just chill and beach life.
Do they have a curiosity to travel, sure, but do they want to go ATVing and explore the country with you?
Nah, some people are homebodies, and just because they’re not in their home country doesn’t mean the same principles don’t apply. Not all digital nomads say yes to everything.
Travel is just one aspect and while many find it adventurous, there are different levels and different scales of people. You will meet nomads from all ethnicities, backgrounds, and tastes.
I will say, that it’s easier to meet Westerners as their passport strength, unfortunately, takes precedence over travel ability. When you start on your journey, expect people to just be a bit more open-minded than your average Joe back home but to take it with a grain of salt and not be shocked if they don’t say yes to your request of going free diving in the morning.
Read more: How I Travel The World Working Online
Final Thoughts: 3 Tips I’ve Learned from My 3 Year Digital Nomad Birthday
It’s been a whirlwind 3 years of being part of the community and even building my own. To maintaining beautiful friendships, meeting all kinds of people and even transitioning from the corporate world to the limitless freedom lifestyle that I work to balance today.
Whatever your catalyst to start this lifestyle of location independence, remember you are not alone and you will find your tribe and live a truly beautiful and memorable life in the meantime.
Check out the pros and cons of this lifestyle and just give it a try.
Get out there already!
The world is waiting.
This is a guest post written by Ranika.
“Meet Ranika, the Digital Nomad Mentor
Join us as Ranika shares three years of digital nomad wisdom and adventure. From overcoming loneliness to mastering work-life balance, she offers insights that transcend borders. Get ready for a journey of business savvy and wanderlust!
Follow her for festival tips, digital nomad advice, and endless travel inspiration. Let the adventure begin!”
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