Are Digital Nomads Running Away From Life?

Diving In Utila

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.

Climbing Adams Peak First Year As A Digital Nomad

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. 

The Dolomites In Austria

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.

Photographing Colorado As A Digital Nomad

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!

12 thoughts on “Are Digital Nomads Running Away From Life?

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  1. I totally understand and embrace your life as a digital nomad! I love new experiences, hearing and speaking other languages, tasting other foods, learning about other cultures, getting lost, and meeting new people. I get bored being at home and can’t wait until my next trip.You are living and loving the life you choose. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you! It is so inspiring to hear from other people who are following their passions as well. We will never forget meeting and talking to you as you are doing the same and helped to inspire us.

  2. For me this was the most interesting post. I loved hearing how you felt and getting to know the author of all the posts on Off We Go! A lesson for us all to look at what motivates us and what “living life” truly means to each of us. Bravo!

    1. Thank you so much. It is so easy to get caught up in expectations from society and go through each day without thinking about what is really living a full life-supporting each other and talking about it can be so helpful!

  3. Wow this is so empowering! Good for you for taking life by the reigns and steering it in the direction you want to go!

    1. Thank you Sugi. I just don’t see any other way to be happy. We have to live the lives we dream of in some way or another.

  4. I completely agree with you: I left my gosh awful library job (well, I loved the work, but the politics literally smashed my heart into pieces) to regroup and write. I love blogging, and I definitely feel like my life is 200% better for it. I have better relationships, better health, and have learned SO much. I truly ran toward life as you say. I work harder than ever on my passion projects that are slowly generating income. I don’t just sit by the pool all day working on my tan with wine…nor am I trying to be lazy or avoid the grind. I missed seeing my friends and family. I missed seeing the world. I missed making a difference. I also have a GI disease that changed my life. My 9-5 wasn’t making me happy or healthy. That mess is not what life is about…sometimes you have to take chances. This is our life to live, and we better not jack that up. Great post!

    1. You are so right, it is our life to live. I am so excited for you as your blog grows. I used to dream of being a librarian when I was young, I am such a book nerd. 🙂
      It is amazing how everything improves when we follow our dreams, it can be scary sometimes but so worth it. Bravo to you!!

  5. So well said! I love that you are able to be honest about your experience as a digital nomad in both the things you love as well as some of the struggles. More and more I consider how precious life is, we get ONE opportunity to do it right. The fact that you describe it as, “living life on my terms” really hits home. If someone can make it work and live out their passion every day – why NOT go for it?!

    1. Thank you. It isn’t always easy to follow our passions but if we want a full life I think we need to. I once read that you will only get out of life what you are willing to risk. I live my life that way and most days I do a pretty good job remembering that.

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