I have enjoyed my nomadic life tremendously and it has entirely changed my perspective on everything from money to relationships. I have had criticism along the way, but it is usually from people that do not understand me and they are viewing my life through their filters and their own story. Usually, it bounced right off of me like a balloon. I accepted that I was not doing this for anyone else but me. I cannot expect everyone to share my vision of what is best for me. We all have our own paths and our own lives to fulfill.
Scotland, Mexico, and Austria:
I have enjoyed bouncing from one country to another with nothing but a couple of online contracts to bring in the income and an internet card or modem to help me get the job done. It is exciting and a privilege to be able to experience so many countries and people. The places I loved the most I simply stayed longer. The romantic and friendly connections made along the way were explored and the friendships made have created wonderful memories.
I love you all! Mexico, Ibiza, and Prague.
I have been honest with you guys that it was not always glamorous or easy. Nothing is perfect and every lifestyle has its challenges. However, change is a part of life and the person I was when I started my nomadic life is simply not the person I am today. That's the beautiful thing. We can always turn the page and make a different decision. Being nomadic has definitely helped me with the decision making process and learning how to constantly try new things. I have gotten significantly better at letting go sooner rather than later of all, that no longer serves me in a positive way. I am more resilient than ever and more willing to face my fears head on. Here are the main lessons I have learned that I will forever take with me as I start a new and non-nomadic chapter:
1) Change is a part of life and it is inevitable: As a nomad, the lifestyle pushes you to accept that change is a part of life. Even visiting a place six months later, proves to be a very different experience. Life keeps moving and people and situations keep flowing. You return to a memory only to realize it is now a very new experience. Nothing like being a traveler to see this very clearly.
Versailles, France 1995 and 2015
2) Long lasting connections are important: I have met so many beautiful people all over the world. The memories will last in my heart forever, but short-term connections can only bring you short-term satisfaction. It is important to feel like you have a community and your tribe that you see more often. Traveling consistently does not create the best soil for continuous and long lasting connections. The line between solitude for growth and loneliness is ever so thin.
Ko Samet, Thailand. This moment in time and these people will always be in my heart.
3) Mental and physical health are important: I have had frequent stomach aches since I started traveling and it is even referred to "Traveler's stomach." It is not surprising to feel stressed out when you are always on the go before reaching your next destination. The change in air pressure, types of food, water or even just the stress of fat combined with in-air turbulence and anxiety can create an upset stomach. I cannot help but notice that I have learned to live with this frequent yet subtle stomach ache. In addition, all of this anxiety and isolation can begin to chip your mental well being. Too much of a good thing is a popular saying for a reason. What was once exciting and new becomes too much exposure to isolation.
4) Money and abundance are not the same thing: In the past, I made more than most Americans supposedly. However, when you make money and use it for material belongings and endless bills, you do not feel abundant. You feel you are working solely to keep Uncle Sam happy. As a traveler, my life feels priceless because my income is used for once in a lifetime experiences. On paper I make less, but I LIVE so much more. My decisions were ego driven before. From the car I wanted to drive to the building I wanted to live in. What a waste of time! Now, my decisions support my spirit, well being, and my heart. I do not want to entertain the constant cravings of the ego.
5) Minimalism is a wonderful way to live: As a traveler, I learned that you do not need as much as you think you need to be happy. Suddenly getting that new iPhone translates to "I could have two life changing flights to new destinations" instead of the short-term satisfaction of getting a new toy. I will make sure to get only what I TRULY need.
6) You do not have to be nomadic to keep traveling: It suddenly hit me that I can have a home base and continue to travel. Being nomadic means having constant change. However, by having a home base and your consistent community of friends and activities, you can still take off and enjoy what the world has to offer while resting assured that you have a home to return to.
7) Having a home base while continuing to freelance and travel feels like the best of both worlds: Now that I can figure out a middle ground between freedom and constant grounding, I am able to merge my lessons as a nomad into a healthier balance between the constants and adventures yet to be had. There is a level of comfort that comes from sleeping in the same bed every night.
As you can see, I am not about to end this website. On the contrary, I am going to focus the content to continue to bring you valuable information. I look forward to my new home base and living the seven lessons that I took from the road and taking them with me forever. I embrace a bit less freedom and excitement for a lot more consistency in my connections, community, and overall emotional and financial stability. You do not have to travel the world to find yourself, but for me it was very effective. I had to follow that yellow brick road back to a new chapter in my own backyard. My next adventure, signing a year lease without getting a panic attack. Will I succeed? Stay tuned for the next episode of the evolution of a former nomad gone rogue.
I will continue to write. I have more than ever to share. Thank you Universe for my nomadic years. Lessons learned.