Being a digital nomad comes with traveling and doing business all over the world. On a daily basis they face different towns, cities and countries and encounter lots of different cultures. They get firsthand experience on how other parts of the world live on a day-to-day basis.
Traveling as much as digital nomads do, they learn invaluable life lessons much more frequently than someone that is stuck in one place. So what do you think they would say is their most important life lesson they’ve learned from traveling? I recently had the pleasure to interview five of the most well known digital nomads and I asked them this exact question. Their answers might just surprise you.
1. Remind yourself to be in the moment.
Being in the moment is so important for living a fulfilled life. It’s so easy for us to get caught up in looking back at the past or looking too far ahead into the future, but it’s important to catch yourself when you do this.
Ryan Biddulph, the founder of Blogging From Paradise has a perfect example of his moment when he caught himself not being in the moment. He told me, “Being in the moment is by far the biggest life lesson I’ve learned from traveling the world. I had a light bulb moment for being in the moment in Savusavu, Fiji. As I gazed on one of the most beautiful beaches I’d ever seen, the varying, other-worldly blue shades of the South Pacific tempting my eyes, I found myself worrying about my email list. In that split second I spotted one of my biggest travel mistakes – not being in the moment. You will appreciate your travels, enjoy your trips and get the full, rich experience you most crave by being in the moment regularly.”
2. Traveling helps you become a better person.
Becoming a better human being is the goal for most people. This usually comes from, “I just want to be happy.” If your goal is to be happy, traveling can help you accomplish that goal. Matthew Kepnes is the founder of Nomadic Matt and he says that traveling has made him more social, more confident and happier than ever.
In a nutshell, Matt says, “Travel has made me a better and more well-rounded person. I’m way cooler now than I was at 25, when I first left to explore the world. Simply put, I’m a lot more awesome now than I used to be.”
Traveling forces you to get out of your comfort zone. And when you get out of your comfort zone, that’s where you will see the greatest growth.
3. Traveling is one of the best forms of education.
Natalie Sisson, the founder of The Suitcase Entrepreneur says, “Traveling is one of the best forms of free education that you could ever get. It opens your eyes to a new world. It makes you humble and gives you a greater appreciation of the other cultures and languages. Essentially, traveling teaches you two important aspects of life: humility and open-mindedness.”
I have to agree! Traveling has taught me way more about the world than any text book ever did. Firsthand experience is the best teacher.
4. We control our own lives and lifestyles.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in life is to think that you aren’t in control of your own life. You’re in control of what decisions you make, what path you take, and what your life looks like.
Johnny Ward, the founder of One Step 4 Ward had this to say about the biggest lesson he learned on the road: “The biggest life lesson I learned was that we alone are in control of our lives and lifestyles. If we’re unhappy, it’s up to us to make a change. If we feel jealous of others and where they are in life, it’s solely on us to make up the difference. To accept full responsibility, and therefore know that if we aren’t where we want to be, then it’s our fault is a scary thing. But it’s also liberating, because it means we know that we also have the power to change it, and chase our goals and dreams.”
5. Traveling won’t solve all problems.
Traveling tends to magnify a lot of our emotions. It can inspire you, make you happy, help you feel relaxed, etc. It can cause you to have a lot of different feelings. But traveling isn’t going to solve all of your problems.
Jodi Ettenberg, from Legal Nomads said, “Travel itself is not an answer to the questions life asks. It can’t save us from ourselves, or the demons that we have. We will bring them along with us as we roam. And if we travel to escape darkness, it will eventually find us. That said, travel does shed light on who we can become by forcing us outside our comfort zone in ways we might not have experienced at home.”
Jodi is right. You can’t run away from your problems. They follow you no matter where you go. You have to be self aware enough to know that there is a problem that needs to be fixed. And traveling or trying to run away from them isn’t the answer.
Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.