How long to be a nomad

07/10/2016

Home for a while

Having been back in my home country for almost three months (after an intense two months of travelling very quickly around Europe), my thoughts have gradually begun to settle a bit, and the inevitable big life questions such as:

“Where do I eventually want to settle”

“How long do I want to live like this”

“What do I really want to get out of this whole experience”

… etc have come to the forefront of my mind.

It has been really nice to be back for a while and to catch up with old friends and make some new ones, and I have been very fortunate to have been able to sublet the apartments of two different friends in London whilst they have been away (and also stay with my parents in Wales for a bit).

I recently realised that I haven’t spent more than about six weeks in the same place for well over a year! It is an adventurous and fun way to live, but it isn’t comfortable by any means, and sometimes moving so much can be deeply unsettling. Having spoken with a lot of other “Digital Nomads” about their experiences, many have said very similar things, it is fun, but – regarding community – the line of thought is often along the lines of:

“Do I want to give up being part of my home society/community in the longer term or be part of it, I don’t want to end up as a loner in a random country at 50”

Incidentally, for me, the time I have enjoyed remote working the most, has been when staying in one place for a longer period of time, getting to know and doing normal day to day life with local people. My next destination is Mexico City (next week) for two months, so I hope the experience will be similar there.

I am starting to think that meeting and travelling with another (or several) remote workers would be a great way to travel and ‘do life with’ others, and I was hugely envious to discover that of one of my friends has met another nomad and that they are now travelling and working together. The digital nomad community definitely isn’t just made up of individuals: these very brave parents are travelling the world with 3 children (the logistics must be nightmarish), and this group travel together on a boat, and (upon writing) have a headline which I fully agree with:

“It’s about the journey not the destination”

All that being said, I’d encourage anyone reading, who is able to travel and work, to try it out for a while, or if you can’t take your work with you, why not go live and work in a different country for a while on a short term visa (maybe a ski resort or on a cruise ship). If leaving the country is not doable, why not at least get to know some people from different countries in your local area; learning about other cultures is such an enriching experience for both parties, and at a time where several countries in the west are sadly becoming suspicious of anyone who is foreign, I think this is desperately needed.