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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 January 17, 2019

    8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

    8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

    In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

    Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

    Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

    Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

    Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

    The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

    There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

    How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

    According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

    Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

    Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

    The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

    Listen carefully:

    We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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    The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

    Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

    8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

    There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

    Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

    1. Pray Daily

    You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

    When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

    Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

    Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

    2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

    A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

    By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

    Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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    If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

    This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

    How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

    3. Smile Often

    Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

    Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

    Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

    The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

    4. Organize Your Working Desk

    A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

    When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

    Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

    Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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    5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

    I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

    Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

    What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

    6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

    God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

    I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

    I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

    7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

    You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

    How do you do that? This is my formula:

    First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

    If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

    If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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    If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

    Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

    8. Go Exercise

    Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

    The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

    You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

    12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

    The Bottom Line

    It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

    It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

    Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

    More Resources About Mindfulness

    Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

    Reference

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