Almost 2 years have passed since I commenced my Digital Nomadic adventure. During this time, me and my terrible sense of direction somehow managed to navigate to over 30 countries, spending a grand-total of 7 days worth of time on countless flights. Naturally, that’s allowed me plenty of time to gather some broad thoughts about this entire experience. So, here are 6 high-level lessons I’ve picked up as a result of my global expeditions
1. Things & objects— they’re not really important
There should be no guilt for owning items of value or use. Albeit, a good aphorism to follow, could be: detecting the reversal point beyond which your own belongings (say, a house, country house, car, or business) start owning you.
In a quest to reduce stress to a minimum and mobility to a maximum, my belongings never exceed a small backpack. Clothes, camera and laptop are the only essentials I need. Everything else? — Unnecessary, or dispensable.
Separating myself away from ‘stuff’ gives me more freedom and clarity. There is something powerful about knowing I can pack-up all of my belongings into a small backpack in less than 5 minutes, grab a taxi to the airport and walk onto a plane without checking in any bags
2. Perspective is a necessity
In an ever increasingly global society, perspective is a necessity. The optimum way to gain cohesive perspectives of other cultures, economies and societies is to surrender yourself to uncomfortable situations in foreign environments.
The outlook acquired from pursuing unplanned solo adventures for unspecified amounts of time, gives you a lot more context about your role within global society. It allows you to observe the impact people have on a global scale and gain a wealth of perspective of how other people operate in the context of their world. It enables you the freedom to observe, understand and advocate the life you actually want to live.
3. Routine is the enemy of time
Wind extinguishes a candle and energises fire. Likewise with randomness, uncertainty, chaos: you want to use them, not hide from them. You want to be the fire and wish for the wind. — NNT
Humans are built for randomness, mess, adventures, uncertainty, self-discovery, near-traumatic episodes — all those things that make life worth living. Within a routine, our brains fool themselves into believing that sitting in traffic each morning to reach an office cubical, where we’ll stare into a screen for 9 hours a day for 40 odd years, is rational. It’s not.
The most risky thing modern people do nowadays is eat shellfish, or get into an unlicensed taxi — this is tragic. Don’t remove volatility from life. Don’t be afraid of taking risk. Set up a business, go yak skiing in Manali, India or go vertical caving in Yogyakarta, Indonesia; turn off your phone for 6months, delete your email accounts. Take risks.
It’s difficult to explain this concept to the risk-adverse, career-ladder-driven, mortgage abiding family folk; who’s entire agenda revolves around becoming a well oiled cog in a system. A system designed to overwhelm with a series of unsatisfactory obligations in order to restrict from diverging from their routine. Evidence of this, is the backlog of statements resembling a never ending combination of the following:
- “I wish I did that”
- “I wish I had experience that”
- “I’m too old for that, now…”
4. Never explain traveling
“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, 1897
5. Planned experiences will never be worth it
When I refer to “travel”, I don’t mean going on an all-inclusive holiday to Benidorm for 2 weeks. I’m talking about really traveling; disappearing for 12 or 6 months without a plan. Going to the airport with nothing more than a backpack. Asking the lady behind the information desk to choose your destination; booking your accommodation when you land and settling for 30 days in a new place (preferably 50 miles away from all major tourist hotspots).
The best moments on my travels and more generally, in life, occurred when I did not plan. The people I’ve met, the authentic experiences I’ve had and the situations I frequently find myself in — far-outweigh any planned activity.
Planning is praised in the corporate world, but it should never be praised in life. And for christ sake, unless you’re visually or physically impaired, never hire a tour guide.
6. It’s your duty to live life to the full
Your duty of being an adult is that it’s your choice to live your life to the full. It’s your responsibility to reach aged 85 and be exhausted from all the cool stuff you did in your life. If that be skydiving, bungee jumping, living in a foreign country, travelling the world or helping the welfare of others through philanthropy. Never(ever) wait for, ‘the right time’. Your time is limited. So, get on with it…
Thank you for checking out this blog. You can see more of my work on my website, darceybeau.co.uk, or my Dribbble profile, or my Behance profile. You can email me about working together at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Unsplash. Have a great day!