How does one express the feeling of living a life that most people consider a dream?
“We’re quitting our jobs and traveling the world – 8 months in Europe and 6 months in Asia, then over to Australia…”, we tell people – and then they look at us dumbfounded.
“Wow, I’ve always wanted to do that”, or...
“You’re so lucky”, or...
“You must have a lot of money”...
... is usually their reply. And it usually ends with a feeling of disbelief. How do you do something like this?
“Pick a date, and start saving!” is what we always say. But as we are now getting started on this trip, what I’ve realized is that there are so many more things that they don’t tell you about planning a world trip like this that are usually the things secretly holding people back.
I like to call it "The FUD": Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.
Because unlike every other vacation I’ve taken, this one doesn’t end with me going back to a 9-5 job, or feeling like I’m escaping from my real life back home for a few weeks. This IS my new real life!
And although that sounds dreamy in theory – living as a digital nomad can be absolutely terrifying. Now there's something people don't talk about much. The terrors to overcome on the path to living your dreams.
Becoming a digital nomad: from Zero to One
How does one prepare for a trip that is a completely open slate of opportunity, possibility and reality?
That’s where the fears and voices come in:
“What if you run out of money?”
“How is your life going to look?”
“How will you maintain all the friendships and relationships with people back home?”
“What if you get severely hurt?”
“What if something happens to your travel partner?”
And the scariest part of this is that the answer to all of these questions is an even bigger fear because of the uncertainty:
“I don’t know... but together, we’ll figure it out”.
Should I become a digital nomad?
Most people I’ve met are turned away by that much FUD. It takes an incredible amount of trust to push through it and believe in yourself enough to know you’ll be okay.
It also takes a tremendous amount of trust in your partner – knowing that you can lean on him or her when times are tough, and celebrate when times are incredible.
And most scary of all, it takes an incredible amount of trust in life that the money will always come – and that you're smart enough to create more money when the savings have all been enjoyed.
Sometimes I feel like a tiger who’s just been uncaged, and now the only thing it wants to do is go back into its cage because that’s what feels familiar, even though this new life surrounding is so much better.
"I don’t know how to survive in the wild. There’s no roadmap for the wild!". It screams at me.
Is being a digital nomad really worth it?
I’ve built up enough courage to break free but now that I’m here I feel like I’m free falling. Not knowing what’s going to catch me. Like I’ve jumped out of a plane and I know that the parachute will only take me so far. I know that at some point I'll have to create my own while in that free fall, just praying that I'll figure it out before I crash and burn.
This is that natural part of the journey to reaching the other side. These fears are going to do everything they can to hold you back, sabotage your thoughts, and make you feel like it can't be done. But that means you're doing it exactly right.
So what do you do in a situation like this?
You leap, and you have faith.
You trust the scary feelings of terrifying exhilaration knowing that you’re doing something that very few people will ever experience.
This is what it means to feel alive. This is what it means to feel free!
You're breaking through the chains, the society pressures, and the expectations and choosing a life that's 100% yours.
It’s going to be uncomfortable, it’s going to be scary as hell – but that’s exactly how it’s supposed to feel.
But what you'll find that ends up happening is that on the way down, you’ll realize that the parachutes are all an illusion – and you can fly without them.
They’re training wheels on your path to truly letting yourself fly free. But you've got to push through the fears and embrace taking the first leap – even if it seems like it’s one scary ride down.
But as someone who's made the jump and pushed through the fears, I can tell you it is the absolute best decision I've ever made.
Since pushing through these fears, my sweetheart and I have been successfully traveling the world since March 2018, have visited over 25 countries in that time, and have no plans of stopping anytime soon.
I've surprised myself in actually making more money after becoming a digital nomad than I had while working the 9-5 life, and I've experienced more soul transformation in one year than I had in the last 5 years combined.
So the question really becomes: are you ready to face the fears and be truly free?