Who doesn’t dream of working from their laptop while sitting under palm trees, staring out at the ocean? The nomadic life creates a vision to be envied. At least the Instagram version of it does. In an attempt to be real here… it just wasn’t like that for me and I am so grateful that I was able to give it a TEST RUN before fully investing.
The nomadic lifestyle appealed to me. I am a travel fanatic so it is only natural that the allure of traveling full time would peak my interest. But I am also a self-described corporate career type. I love the thrill of driving results, managing a team and finding solutions to sales and process oriented problems.
A year and a half ago I hit an identity crisis. I wanted to advance in my career and travel full time. The two passions in my life seemed to be at complete odds with one another. I sought out to analysis, self-reflect, visualize, and meditate on which one was more important to me. Choosing seemed to be the only way out. I created this blog as a way to capture my thoughts, find my voice and share my dilemma with others who might have been experiencing similar identify crises. Something interesting happened along the way.
- I was able to test run working remotely during two trips I took last year
- I actively pursued short action packed long weekend getaways
- I connected with a ton of remote nomads who were living the life I dreamed of
Here is what I discovered from each….
Test Run – Remote
The test runs were interesting. My productivity was a bit faulty but improved over time. The tools I discovered along the way definitely helped but by solid office set up at home was just so much smoother. Not to mention the constant distractions were tough. It is really hard to lock yourself away and work when there is sun, sand and palm trees only a few steps away. And let’s be honest, sun and computer screens do not go well together. I decided during the test run that I really liked ACTIVE vacation time. I still check in, but I do it on my time and from my phone rather than my computer. Trying to get 8 hours of work in while I am living in a new city, country or continent is just not ideal for me. I like to immerse myself in new surroundings rather than spending 3 months in one spot and uncovering it piece by piece and a little each day. Perhaps I am a little too instant gratification for remote nomad life.
Hey Nomadic Life – It’s Me.. Not You, but I think we need to break up. Xo
My Year of Power Trippin’
Oh what a year you were. You were action packed, adrenaline filled, and cost me a decent chunk of change. If only every year could be like you… and maybe it can.
Here is the re-cap:
- 9 days in Trinidad (4 vacation days)
- 3 days in Arizona road tripping between the Grand Canyon, Page, Sedona and Phoenix (1 vacation day)
- 6 days in Croatia, road trip from Venice to Split and Ultra Europe, (4 vacation days)
- 5 days in Iceland (1 vacation day)
- 8 days in Tobago for a friend’s wedding (5 vacation days)
I never thought the short jaunts were for me. But you never know until you try. This type of travel is not for everyone and can cost more per trip. That being said, variety is the spice of life and I am now trying to balance a few short hauls with 1 larger trip each year (2 – 3 week trip) to get the sense of immersion that I need.
Transitions are Tough
Hindsight is 20/20. Flash forward 1.5 years and all of those friends I envied are starting to transition home. They are all trying to figure it out too. I thought they had solved life’s mystery but inevitably life is about the journey not the destination. If you are considering the nomad life make sure you are going to enjoy it as a journey. If living a nomad life is part of your story that is amazing, but do not expect to “find yourself” during that journey and still manage a successful remote job. There are going to be challenges. Travel can help kick start the self-reflection process and expedite your self-discovery, but the reason is because of everything it shakes up which can also shake up your career. If you are able (ie have the savings for it), I recommend a travel/ gap year over a remote year if self-discovery is your aim. I did not realize it at the time, but I was feeling a little lost and my natural reaction was to want to travel. Travel is my “flow” state and I thought it would help me, but the honest truth was I needed to dig deeper. I needed to make some career moves that I was scared to make and I had the ability to do that from home, minus the uncomfortable transition home 1.5 years later. I am so grateful that through mentorship, meditation, self-persistence and self-reflection I was able to avoid the challenges of stepping out of my career. I mention this humbly as I know traveling is what some people need to do, and what I would even encourage many to do. But it was not my journey. My gap year is still in front of me. But it is on hold for now.