First lesson learned: I am an entrepreneur
After 100 days of travel and more than 25 thousand kilometers traveled, I have learned a few lessons. I am currently in Thailand. It’s fascinating, because I’m back where I started. It was here that I made the decision to go on an adventure and become a nomad. Even though this idea has been brewing for a long time, it was in Thailand that I chose to finally follow my desires. I understood that if I wanted to get started, I had to take concrete actions.
In July 2022, when I returned from vacation, I announced to everyone that I was leaving for a long time. To be honest, I didn’t believe it myself. My mouth spoke faster than my head. After 20 hours in flight and 12 hours of time difference, my boss chose the right time to schedule a meeting with me to discuss my career plan! Asking myself where I saw myself in a year. I didn’t play the game. I told him: not here, that’s for sure!
The idea of being an entrepreneur was always there, in me. I sold chocolates and candies throughout my primary school, to pay for my sporting activities. In high school, I was part of Young Entrepreneurs, an organization promoting entrepreneurship for young people. We made decorative wooden boxes with dried flowers. Afterwards, I worked as a part-time freelancer. Afterwards, I understood that I have always had this in me and that it is the only path that I really wanted to follow.
Second lesson learned: Traveling is exhausting
The first 100 days of my journey were much more grueling than I expected. With a traveling friend, we often say it to each other while laughing,
“We won’t complain, but we have to say it, traveling is tiring!”Sam,
Living out of your suitcases, adjusting to a new bed. Realizing that everything takes a little more time, planning your transportation, settling down to work, always looking for something that ends up in the bottom of a bag. Not to mention the unexpected encounters, the evenings that we would like to last forever, the activities and visits that we would definitely not want to miss.
Second lesson, “Slow Travel,” I believe in it! Staying longer in the same place gives me the opportunity to settle down, to adapt to a new environment, to savor a moment, to organize myself, to take more periods to work and rest.
Third lesson learned: Stay focused
To travel is to meet others. It’s creating bonds intensively, knowing that these bonds will quickly break when everyone moves on. Traveling is an opportunity to observe the details of a place and to remember only the beauty. Traveling is about appreciating constant change and trying as much as possible to live in the present moment. But how can you enjoy all these fabulous moments if you are disorganized? It’s so easy to procrastinate, make excuses, and realize we’re not being productive at all.
We must make an overall plan and keep the focus on our goals, and establish a routine and develop a work schedule. Learning to say no is important and appreciating your moments of solitude too. Third lesson, if we don’t take our freelance work seriously, we won’t be able to remain a digital nomad for very long!
Fourth lesson learned: Don’t catch up on the daily news
Being informed is crucial and doing so from different sources is essential. Educating yourself and being interested in the world around us is the key to maintaining critical thinking and developing your own opinion about our society. But watching international news every moment is harmful.
Firstly for our mental health, because we are only told sad things and also for our openness towards the rest of the planet. The goal of the media remains to obtain the greatest number of ratings possible. They often show the news excessively. The same shocking images presented 24 hours a day. Images taken, sometimes out of context, to sensationalize.
Interviews without content, to hype up a banal event. I’m not saying that nothing is as serious as people say it is right now in the world. We are living in a period of great crises. Wars, climate change, poverty, pandemic, none of this is glorious and we should be worried.
But watching the same news on your phone or on TV, day after day,
- Can close us in on ourselves
- Create unnecessary fears
- Prevent us from opening up to others
When I traveled to the borders of Ukraine, I had fears and realized that people everywhere on the planet want the same thing. Create a safe family cocoon, love, be able to eat as much as you want and have the right to have fun in your own way. I met a traveler who was returning from kyiv and he told me that people continued their lives, despite the fact that the war was destroying the city and destroying everything.
Before leaving for Sri Lanka, I felt fearful, I read so much about not going there. The Sri Lankan people are some of the kindest people I have met. A taxi driver told me “We won’t fight among ourselves over food!” Here, we have everything to meet our needs, fruits and vegetables grow, we catch fish as much as we want. Of course the prices of products have tripled, but we will never lack the essentials.”
Tourism has fallen enormously and it’s dramatic, because it doesn’t help at all to improve the crisis. I have never felt safer than in Sri Lanka. Quatrième leçon, meeting others is the best way not only to learn more about their fears, desires and needs, but also to better understand our own.
And you? What lessons have you learned while traveling?