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Time Well Spent Abroad: How Nomads Enrich Their Travels

Time Well Spent Abroad: How Nomads Enrich Their Travels

“Things you own, end up owning you.”

Who can forget this epic Fight Club quote for keeping possessions to a minimum? According to CurrencyFair, increasingly more people are drawn to this “rise of the digital nomad”. If you are a nomad yourself or plan on becoming one, check out these ways to enrich your travels and make the best out of life and time.

Why Do People Become Nomads?

There are three reasons why people become nomads:

1. Boredom, Desire to Change

Some just get fed up with their current lifestyle and need a makeover. Independent of reason, many nomads believe giving up on possessions and packing your life in a backpack is the answer they seek. “Less is more” suddenly has a new meaning. So ask yourself: Am I happy with what I currently have? Is this lifestyle that I built for myself aligned with my inner needs? Am I lacking or missing something?

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2. Burning Wish to Make More of Your Time

The watchmakers from Watchismo Xeric, in regards to the importance of this limited resource, have the most beautiful definition of time:

[watch indicating time] “interacts with the natural conditions of our universe, just like our muscles and bones. It ticks with a beating heart, just like us.”

Time is probably the biggest investment we make over the course of a lifetime.

Even Steve Jobs said that time is the most precious resource we have. Many people struggle with feeling like they aren’t making the best of this limited offer. Nomads have a burning desire to get the most out of a day’s worth, and a remote lifestyle is what feeds the hunger.

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3. Freedom and Disconnection

The ability to disconnect is also the ability to live in a free world. Sure, being a digital nomad means ensuring you’re connected in some way to the outside world, but for nomads, time spent away from Wi-Fi and connectivity signals is also important. When you’re exploring the world and not just isolating yourself inside a screen, disconnection is the key.

But how can you be prepared to disconnect and enter a jungle outside your notebook, yet still be connected to the outside world? A compass, a mechanical wrist watch and a good conversation partner who shares the silence (or a pet) are some of the basics you need to ensure you won’t get lost, ever again.

So we’ve nailed down the reason(s) why people become nomads. But life of solitary is scary. So how can you connect to others like you?

How to Connect and Meet People during Your Travels

As a nomad, it’s quite common to “be” the outsider. If you’re traveling alone, you can’t just sulk in work and solo explorations. We are all social beings, and truth to be told, it’s always fun to meet new people or have locals show you around. Here’s how you can connect to more people:

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Make Use of Targeted Nomad Communities

Communities such as Digital Nomad Community, Nomad Forum, Hashtag Nomads, NomadList are the best way to start. These communities cover areas such as accommodation, things to do, co-working spaces, meetups with other travelers and more. Another option is to use services available worldwide (i.e. Uber, BlaBlaCar) which gives you access to locals and people who “know stuff”.

Social Media – Facebook Groups

Another way is just to look for Facebook groups that encourage the trend. Recommendations: Digital Nomad Entrepreneurs Meetup, Expat groups (city-specific), WebWorkTravel, Free Nomads, Location Independent Singles and more.

Make Use of Events Platforms

You can use Meetup or Eventbrite and see what events (free & paid) you can attend. Or directly connect with local co-working spaces – most of them organize networking events for their own communities.

Connecting Through Music and Cultural Events

There are several ways to do it:

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  1. Attend concerts [big or small] and cultural events.
  2. Learn how to play an instrument and do street gigs. Easy songs to jam on your guitar include: Zombie (The Cranberries), Proud Mary (CCR), Knockin’ on Heaven’s Doors (Bob Dylan), Hand in My Pocket (Alanis Morissette), Runaway Train (Soul Asylum), What’s Up (Four non Blondes), Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol), In My Place; Clocks (Coldplay), Otherside (RHCP).

Accommodation and Rental Platforms (Free & Paid)

CouchSurfing or AirBnB are great ways to meet more people. While CS is mostly free (and is more suited for city breaks and leisure time), AirBnB offers the option of renting one room in a shared apartment if you don’t like the idea of renting an entire place all by yourself. There are regular meetups going on in major cities where you can meet locals or other travelers.

Takeaways: How Does All This Impact Our World Today?

To sum it up, the world is changing. People are changing. Opportunities are increasing for a more remote lifestyle. If you’re wondering how the remote lifestyle impacts the world, check out this infographic from SelfStorage.com about the gig economy, with interesting stats and facts.

gig economy nomad

    Featured photo credit: Maher El Aridi via unsplash.com

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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