When you live a nomadic lifestyle you have to get used to the fact that everyone will assume you’re on a permanent holiday. In fact, for the first few months, it feels like you’re on a permanent holiday. Until the fatigue and burnout begins to set in. Because, its true. You don’t have to be working a regular 9-5 or in a stressful corporate job to feel the effects of life.
The luxury and the benefits of living fully nomadically far outweigh the stresses, strains and uncertainty that are so often overlooked by those who don’t know. Over the past year I’ve learnt there are a few things you should consider and be comfortable with in order to successfully maintain health and some air of sanity whilst constantly on the road being a Nomad.
Nomad Tip 1) Know that nowhere can compare to home and don’t just make peace with that but embrace it too.
It’s easy when you’re travelling short term or taking trips to not get bogged down by cultural differences. Short term it is much easier to revel in the fact you’re eating rice for breakfast, constantly covering your shoulders or mastering the technique required to use squat toilets. Long term that can become slightly more difficult. In the short term, power cuts and a lack of Wi-Fi can feel exciting, but longer term these can become frustrating. Especially if you’re trying to work.
It’s important to keep a cool head and learn how to prepare for these unforeseen circumstances so you can deal with them appropriately should they occur again. I learnt the hard way that local SIM cards are an insanely good idea, if only to tell family (and work) that you are out of a Wi-Fi zone.
Remember, you’re not at home, don’t lose sight of your passion for travel. Half the fun is that you’re a million miles from homes, submerged in a totally different way of life.
Nomad Tip 2) Remember why you love a nomadic lifestyle and wanted to be a Nomad in the first place.
Whether you’re fulfilling dreams, on the road long term for work, or even running away from something, everyone travels for different reasons. Especially long term. Don’t forget why you’re living this lifestyle. If you’re unhappy or it becomes a strain, take time to reassess. Sit back and enjoy what you have created. Live in the present but don’t lose sight of the future.
To live a fully functional nomadic lifestyle you need a balance of realistic goals, ways to work and stay afloat and, of course, things that make you happy such as exploration of new places, being at the beach or in the mountains, and having friends around, even if just occasionally. One main problem that long-term nomads frequently deal with is loneliness. It’s important to find ways to combat this. Stay in touch with home. It’s so easy to do so these days. Join Facebook groups and meet new people in your new cities doing the same things.
Which leads to my next nomadic lifestyle tip…
Nomad Tip 3) Network! Maintain connections and make new friends (that are nomads too).
One of your strongest resources will turn out to be networking. Try to meet people with a similar nomadic lifestyle to your own, and utilize social media to stay in touch with them when you inevitably go your separate ways. Learn from them and new doors will open. When you reach new countries, reconnect with people you met on the road, who are either travelling through said country, or even better, live in said country.
There is nothing more valuable than having friends and contacts in all corners of the globe. My first paid writing job came to me from an old friend working in PR in Saudi Arabia and I am eternally grateful to old friends for nursing opportunities that have come my way.
Nomad Tip 4) Take care of your health and well-being by taking time out and remaining flexible.
This may seem like a somewhat obvious suggestion but staying healthy as a nomad can be more challenging than you imagine. Strains on sleeping patterns due to jet lag, time zone differences and constant travel can make you feel run down and physically stressed. It is important to (try) and establish a decent sleeping pattern and manage time zone differences.
I’ve learnt over the past year that taking some time out and staying in one place for more than a couple of weeks can be hugely beneficial. Being in an environment where you can (kind of) unpack a case, do some washing, cook for yourself and feel generally human is super revitalising and begins to feel like a holiday in itself.
Recently whilst travelling, trekking and volunteering in Nepal after several months I became run down and unwell. I realised I needed a week to unwind, to heal and rest. I took a week out to do yoga and chill out. Pretty easy to do in Asia and a great example of finding a balance. Something I once never realised was so important.
The other thing to bear in mind is that regular changes in diet can play havoc with your body. Whilst embracing international food habits serves as one of the most important aspects of travelling for me, I have learnt that a good probiotic and the odd week of attempting to eat more familiar foods can be worth its weight in gold for your overall general health. Do not underestimate the power of beans on toast and a Yorkshire tea!5 tips by a Brit to survive (& thrive) in a fully nomadic lifestyle: 1) Don't underestimate the power of beans on toast and a Yorkshire tea! #nomad #traveltips #digitalnomad Click To Tweet
Nomad Tip 5) Afford to live your best nomad life by budgeting your money and having full control over your finances.
One question I’m asked a lot is how I afford to live a nomadic lifestyle and constantly be on the road. Let me assure you, planning your finances and learning to budget will swiftly become one of your greatest life skills (and an essential digital nomad skill). If you’re already living a nomadic lifestyle, chances are you spent years budgeting and saving in order to get this far and, therefore, already have a few tricks under your belt.
Aside from the obvious like cutting down costs, volunteering your time and working multiple jobs, mastering the art of flight and hotel pricing deals has been a godsend and over the years has probably saved me hundreds, if not thousands of pounds. Familiarise yourself with online flight hubs and compare prices on flights with Skyscanner or Kayak. Hotel booking platforms such as Booking.com and Hostelworld have revolutionised the way we book accommodation are great for price comparisons (but always check directly with the accommodations your looking at).
Learn how to set price alerts and remember that flexibility is your ultimate friend and will take you far. For example if you don’t need to commit to particular days or places you are going to get great price reductions and travel deals. Flexibility alone has recently allowed me to stay on the Riviera Maya for a couple of days at a really good price.
Booking accommodation, the day before my stay meant I saved 25% on the quote from the day before (which was already reduced). Being flexible also meant I flew from the north of the UK to Amsterdam and back for cheaper than a one-way train ticket to London. These are just a few examples of how flexibility will ALWAYS be your best friend when living a nomadic lifestyle.
Are you living a nomadic lifestyle or do you want to? Share your own experiences, tips and advice in the comments section below!