Last year someone told me they thought I was running away from my life by traveling full time-living as a digital nomad. At first I questioned what they said. Could there be any truth in their words? I have never thought of myself as someone who runs away from problems. So how could I have been running away from them for years and not known it.
Then, I had this realization that in fact I wasn’t running away from my life, I was running towards it. For me living as a digital nomad isn’t an escape from life, it is an opportunity to live it to the fullest. Everyday I travel I feel more alive than I do when I am not traveling.
There is a perception that as full time digital nomads we have no problems. Life is easy and everything is wonderful. But in fact this isn’t the case. I still have bills to pay- I still have to earn money, and find jobs. Dealing with social issues (like having no one but J. to socialize with for months on end sometimes). We get up early in the morning to catch flights/boats/trains/cars/buses, we cook meals, keep up with family, etc. It is more glamorous to do all of this from beautiful beaches, or amazing mountaintops. I am completely grateful for the ability to live my life from these places. But even as full time travelers we all have responsibilities.
I still worry about things (I am working on that for 2019!). I miss my friends and family while I am away. We choose to dive into my life head first, take the risks and live my dreams. For me running away from life would be working in a job I hate and watching the days of my life slip away. For some people this is security, this is happiness but not for me. I thrive in the unknown, in the adventure and the possibility. In my soul there is a burning need to see the world, experience new cultures and landscapes, hear the sounds of foreign languages and figure out currency exchanges.
There have been points during our travel where I wished I could be a woman who was happy in the same house for 20 years, with the same job, the same routine- but I am not. I tried and it doesn’t fit. I am happy with 19 currencies in 9 months, with 10 languages and religions in the same amount of time. Many full time travelers tell me the same thing, they couldn’t do anything but this, it is their life. While we go to exotic places and see exotic things we are not free from worry. Our lives still have stress and issues. We are choosing to live our lives on our terms, in the places we feel at home, doing what makes us feel whole.
As a nomad I am choosing to risk security for a life I am proud to live. For one that excites me, invigorates me, challenges me and makes me proud.
If your life is better lived in the security of a home and stuff and an office job I applaud you for living it. But mine isn’t.
So, let’s make a promise. I will be happy and supportive of you and all you do, and you do the same for me. By doing so we are being the best people we can be, supporting each other, and enjoying the happiness we see in others.
If you aren’t living your life on your terms, and make comments like this out of envy or frustration-I understand. I truly do. I have made them at one time in my life too. But now I have decided to take a different turn, and do what makes me happy and fulfilled. I wish the same for you.
Try it. Do one thing that moves you towards whatever the life is you want, and I promise you I will be here cheering you on!