What it really takes to become a true digital nomad
Becoming a digital nomad from zero to one: the truth behind what it takes to become a true digital nomad entrepreneur.
How does one express the feeling of living a life that most people consider a dream?
"Wow, I've always wanted to do that", or...
"You're so lucky", or...
"You must have a lot of money"...
... was usually their reply. They'd express disbelief. "How can you do this?", they'd ask.
"Pick a date, and start saving!" is what we always said. Now that we've taken off and have some experience under our belt, what I've realized is that there are so many things that they don't tell you about planning a world trip like this... and those are usually the things that are 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 — traveling the world full-time as a digital nomad and balancing work and play can be absolutely terrifying. And that's something people don't talk about much. The fears you have to overcome on your path to living your wildest dreams.
Becoming a digital nomad: from zero to one
How does one prepare for a trip that is a complete 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 your 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 is that there is no concrete answer to any of these questions. The only possible answer is...
"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 their own FUD. It takes an incredible amount of trust to push through and believe in yourself enough to know you'll make it.
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 — that you're smart enough to figure out how to make 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 and comfortable, even though this new environment and freedom is so much better.
"I don't know how to survive in the wild. There's no roadmap for the wild!"
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 safety net, just praying that I'll figure it out before I crash and burn.
If you've been feeling this way my friend, never fear!
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 trust me, stepping into your fear means you're doing it exactly right.
So what do you do in a situation like this?
You step forward and leap, and you have faith.
You trust the terrifying, exhilarating feelings 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 societal pressures and 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 learned how to be a digital nomad, and surprised myself by actually making more money than I did while working the 9-5 life. I've also experienced more soul transformation in one year than I've had in the last five years combined.
So the question really becomes: are you ready to face your fears and be truly free?