Many people I meet are always quite amazed when they are hear about my long nomadic life. And I don’t blame them. It’s been awesome. It brought me quite a few headaches, but it’s been awesome. Here is the real meaning of the nomad’s life:
Firts of all, being noman means independence and freedom. It means continuously gaining new experiences. It means full-time education. It means making connections. It means having opportunities. It means doing self-experiments. And it’s all that, all in one. Massive, isn’t it? Yes.
Vagabonding the world and living in foreign countries has opened my mind and challenged my soul. It’s part of my system, my blood, not something I can turn on and off when I want to.
But I’m not even just talking about the constant state of movement when I talk about the nomadic freedom lifestyle. Above all, being a nomad is a mindset.
But… The nomadic life also has a flipside
But being a lifelong nomad is not just fun and games. It also means giving up on the so-called certainties of this world. It means giving up on your comfort and your stability… It means not knowing ever what is going to be tomorrow, or even in a few seconds… It means prioritizing and knowing how much you want something.
Priorities or sacrifices?
For me, travelling and leading a nomadic lifestyle have been my highest priorities for a very long time. I don’t mind ‘sacrificing’ things or other possible lifestyles. It doesn’t feel like sacrifice. Why? Because I know how much my top priorities – seeing different people, different cultures, living different crazy lifestyles, and simply enjoying the way of being a tourist(unless I am in NYC, where every local hates tourists :D)
While a vagabonding life might entail those seemingly big sacrifices, these sacrifices aren’t for everyone.
However, being a traveler for me it’s like being madly in love, possibly for life. For me, travelling (and diving!) was love at first sight. I feel something comparable to love sickness when I’m too static.I get bored if I stay too long in one place… And that means troubles… A lot of troubles…
The nomad life begins the second you stop making excuses, start saving up money and make tangible plans. It means aligning your life, you plans, your attitudes, your jobs and your financial situation.
The advice I give you is not about escaping your real life, but about living your real life.
And if any doubts or demotivating questions come up, trust me when I say: Being a full-time, lifelong nomad is absolutely possible. The only catch: You really, really, really have to want it.
My life may be so different from that one of my old friends and acquaintances from my old world. Why? Well, my entire life can be packed in 2(well, 3 I guess, already :D) suitcases… I own so little because of my lifestyle, since I don’t know where I am going to be tomorrow, or even this evening… This comes with the way of living frugally, but the reason behind is quite straight forward: Travel demands simplicity. You can’t pack your whole life in a bag, it just doesn’t work. As a nomad, you will own little, because you just can’t always take everything with you to the next place. I find, the best things in life aren’t things anyway, but experiences, people and nature. Owning little enables you to move anywhere and anytime. It’s pure freedom and it feels awesome, trust me.
Also, it is not how you see it in a Hollywood movie… Or at least, for an usual guy or gal, without a few millions(at least) somewhere on a bank account… In “real life”, life as a nomad usually doesn’t take place in five star hotels. But rather in hostels, cheap guesthouses or very affordable shared accommodation. Transport doesn’t mean (rental) cars, but local transport options (trains and buses). And that’s fine… That’s the real taste of the “real life” in the “real world”. Simple travel usually takes you much closer to local people and their culture, which is a much more authentic experience anyway.
Do your own thing
I am married and I usually travel with my husband, even though I have to do it by myself, sometimes… I’ve also met some long-term nomadic couples or families, however most travel vagabonds were by themselves. It’s one of the risks that I was mentioning a little ago, however… It’s the risk of “traveling profession”, since it takes so much from the stability that humans seem to need so badly and not everyone could just throw it in the trash can and just adventure himself/herself to step into the unknown. It’s not easy, but it seems to be a characteristic of those who were really born and meant to be travelers.Honestly, I was always afraid for what the next destination/place/country/city would bring me, but I was also curious (and I still am) and excited to see this world, and that overcame the anxiety of risking everything that I had and knew. It is why I learned to be on my own, most of the time, without expecting somebody else to help me. At the end of the day, why would and should someone help me or someone else? People can do stuff, but they don’t have to… I learned that I can’t afford to depend on someone else for orientation and making decisions, because I could get stuck, procrastinate and not live the real freedom a nomadic lifestyle usually entails. It is not easy, but at the end of the day, life is not easy… It’s a way of getting stronger and being independent, and that’s the outcome(one of them) of being a forever vagabond around the world…
I learned that I have to take my own life in my hands, by taking control of my circumstances. Nothing will happen if you wait around passively for fate to come around to do it for you. Fate won’t come. So if you want to live, study or work abroad, go and start organising your plan. Executing it might be a lot of work, but no one is going to do it for you. Becoming and being a nomad takes effort.
And I actually enjoy moving. This one might sound obvious, but I think the nomadic lifestyle is romanticized a lot without thinking about the implications. Being a nomad really actually means moving regularly. It can be anywhere from a few weeks to several months or a year, but the move is always in sight and on the radar. So if packing up and leaving to go and start in a new place is not your thing, don’t bother. I love moving. I love leaving a place and I love arriving in a new place. Butterflies are flying in my stomach(and that can be because I am so nervous, sometimes, but also, because of the excitement of seeing another part of the world).It may sound weird, but I love spending time in airports, flying, riding buses or trains, looking through the window and discovering the other worlds piece by piece. At the end, I would just drop dead for a week,, because of exhaustment, but it’s worth it.The adventure and its adrenaline overrides the physical tiredness. It’s worth every single second of it. I simply love changes and making new starts.
And yeah, I don’t have, at least, for now, a great, prestigious job. But I am ok with shit-kicking jobs. Unless you’re a rich kid, you have to make a living as a nomad. There are countless ways to work and travel around the world. Most of them, however, aren’t are fancy or glamorous. But when the purpose is the goal, they suffice, because they provide travel cash. I went to university and all, but I’ve worked in factories and shitty places, and that’s ok. I cleaned hotel rooms or wash dishes. I had shifts of 16 hours of work, everyday, without a single day off. But it’s ok, it was worthing it. I don’t regret a single thing or decision that I have made… I worked for very little or for free, sometimes. Chances of vagabonds ever becoming millionaires are pretty slim. Many travel jobs, especially in the non-western world, won’t pay you big bucks. But that’s not what you should be in for anyway. Some jobs might not even pay you in money but only in exchange for room and board – but hey, that’s something (including an experience!). But a nomad keeps moving. So you’re not going to keep a ‘nomadic job’ for long, that would be a against the point of being a nomad! In all honesty, I have never maintained a steady job. The sole intention for the jobs I ever took was to fund my nomadic life, another trip, another flight. Before taking on a job, I always knew it was going to be a short-term solution for a limited period of time and quitting day loomed from day one. No extras. It means that job hunts become a rather frequent hobby. Not saving money for your pension or whatever life investment could be an issue for some folks. It’s a risk you take as a nomad. Or you’re responsible enough and make arrangements for that. Maybe one day, I will settle down and I will start coping money for my old years. But for now, I am still young enough to just see the world… Yes, I go to college here, and yes, I am thinking about a future on a long shot, but this is not a way to stop the nomadic way of life. People usually find different reasons to stay in one place, because of being afraid to take any risks. The truth, is, however, that if one really wants something, it can find a way to get it, without losing other important stuff. It asks for sacrifices, though, but it’s a way of prioritizing. And of really wanting something… It’s just necessary to really want it… And there is always a way to find a solution… Always…