Imagine moving from place to place where the world is your office and you’re in charge. The idea is glamorous, adventurous and seems liberating. While a vacation around the world can be a temporary endeavor, true open-ended globetrotting requires a more extensive and carefully laid-out plan. Traveling as a career is possible and for some, fine-tuning how to live as a nomad can really become an entire way of life.
Embracing a nomadic lifestyle in the digital age might seem easy, but there is more to living as a nomad than perfectly manicured Instagram photos and blog posts. It requires a career plan based on mobility, an open mind, and a lot of hard work. So if you’re ready to embrace the trend of global nomadism but not sure how — read on and let Cabeau show you what’s underneath this Millennial trend.
What is the Nomadic Lifestyle?
Historically, the nomadic lifestyle developed out of pure necessity. The purpose of explorers, caravans, or voyagers at sea was to reach new lands in order to boost trade or harvests. It often meant the difference between survival or death.
In contrast with the digital age, being a global nomad today symbolizes choice: embracing the idea of freedom and independence. People in the digital age move because they can, not because they have to. Striving for super-mobility where the world is your office seems easy in theory – but there is more to it than you think.
Let’s Get Down to Business
There is a vast difference between planning a temporary trip abroad and learning how to live as a nomad more permanently. Make sure you have a strategy for work that gives you a basic income, and a solid cushion if things don’t pan out as you expect – which happens more often than you may think.
Many popular professions are well-suited to the nomadic lifestyle. A career in business can offer lucrative gains and mobility but often means scheduling a bit more rigidly around the needs of your business or company. If you have a background in the tourism industry, yoga, education, or journalism, you may already be set up for success, but your travel may be a bit more long-term and structured.
Many an aspirational Millennial departs for adventure with the ambitious plan of blogging in their free time. This is a great notion, but be forewarned – it’s best to gain some experience first if you want to use this as a source of income. Have a backup in mind, such as teaching ESL, and using this as a source of more steady income. This way, your nomadic lifestyle will have a much higher chance of success.
Letting Go Of Stuff
Now that you have a plan for sustaining your new life, it’s time to pick a date and a destination as you plan for departure. Grab a comfy travel pillow and get ready to leave your life as you know it behind: learning how to live as a nomad means you need to be ready to move ahead. Whatever possessions you have will fade into the distance as you embark on this new adventure, so it’s time to prioritize what you really need on your journey and what you can leave behind.
How you let go is up to you. Some career travelers deal with their possessions by placing them in storage or keeping a home base, but after a few months or years on the road, their value may fade and storage can begin to break the bank. If you’re truly ready for an authentic nomadic lifestyle, you may be at a place where you can completely purge and let go. If not, have a plan in place for your stuff.
Put Health First
You and your family are number one, so don’t ever board a plane without taking care of your health needs first. Depending on your destination, this may mean looking into vaccinations far ahead of departure, keeping medication on hand (malarial pills, cold medication, painkillers), and having an insurance plan that covers each place you plan to visit. An appointment with a travel doctor is well worth it before you embark on your new nomadic lifestyle.
As you bounce around from place to place, be mindful of the health impact in each locale. Perhaps your ambition is to freelance write while you take in the Taj Mahal or the Great Wall of China. These places may photograph well and look like a dream in guidebooks, but they have problematic air quality that may cause issues; particularly for young children and travelers with respiratory problems such as allergies or asthma.
Learning how to live as a nomad often means staying in good shape, since you’ll be moving around so much. But don’t underestimate the energy needed to maintain this way of life. Whether you think so or not, loneliness and homesickness go along with the nomadic lifestyle.
Prepare yourself mentally to miss out on important events such as weddings, births, job promotions and day-to-day contact with your friends from back home. Have a plan in place for staying in touch when you need to: WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype, Facebook or a good old-fashioned phone call are all great options for staying connected abroad.
Find a Space for Work
First, let’s talk workspace. There are a few different options for locating your mobile office, so let Cabeau show you how. To live as a nomad means being versatile with your workspace. For many careers, being mobile means you can set up anywhere. Perhaps alternating workspaces works well for you, but you might also consider someplace a bit more consistent. This could be anything from a local coffee shop, a hotel lounge, your small home office, or the beach. Depending on your budget and line of work, this may look quite different from one nomad to the next.
No Place Like Home
Living a nomadic lifestyle means taking time to consider where you might call home and for how long. While some wanderers are happy to bounce around with absolutely no timeline, many prefer to commit to a set period of time in each place. Perhaps six to nine months is enough in one area to get a taste of local flavor and move on, but other travelers may be happy to commit to a year or more before setting off for the next destination.
One popular option for globetrotting over longer periods is to plan temporary accommodation before you go (say, planning to stay in a hotel or hostel for a couple of weeks) with the plan of moving on to something a bit more long-term when you look to see what is available locally. Another option would be to sign on for your digs ahead of time. Be warned – this method can be risky given that photos may never tell the whole story when you are planning from across the world.
So, plan before you go, or set up when you get there. Living a nomadic lifestyle is about balancing the amount of risk and uncertainty you are comfortable with on the road.
Grow Your Global Network
Now that you are well on your way to being an expert on how to live as a global nomad, it’s time to think about your circle of friends across the world. It’s not a bad idea to browse blogs, Facebook groups or email lists in the local area you plan to target ahead of time. Not only will you gain insightful tips on housing, job opportunities, and local events, but you might also establish a solid expat friend base this way and learn about safety concerns or other important issues.
Before you depart do the following: print business cards to hand out when you meet fellow travelers and include a link to your personal website or Facebook page. Don’t be afraid to accept that dinner invitation. The nomadic lifestyle is better when surrounded by a solid social network.
Living Your Own Truth: The Path to Freedom
It’s hard to tell when you’ve really ‘made it’ on the road to being a true global nomad, but with an open mind, something will tell you when you’ve arrived. With tickets in hand, you’ll be ready to embark on the next stage of adventure wherever you are in the world.
Before you go, make sure you visit Cabeau’s online shop to find comfort items or bundles that make you feel cozy at home. Nothing beats pure relaxation as you head toward that special place in your heart. Some people are meant to travel, and some are meant to settle. Which one are you? Shop Cabeau now, and make sure you follow our blog for the best travel tips as you pursue a truly nomadic lifestyle.