From Thailand to Seattle. Another great stay in the books. Summer is over in Seattle and it’s my queue to find a new home. I sell everything in my studio apartment and pack my belongings into 2 duffel bags, 1 carry on suitcase, and a couple of ikea bags. The fun exciting part of working online, is being able to explore new cities while working. It’s always fun to tell a story about going to Austin, Texas on a whim or deciding to move to the Canary Islands.
The Biggest Downers of Nomadic Life
Work anywhere. Anytime. Freedom. No one tells you about the downers of being a digital nomad. You only hear about all the different cities you can live in and the flexibility in schedule. Over the year I have appreciated all the benefits of being a nomad, but I have yet to acclimate to the downside.
My Top 4 Annoyances in being a Wanderer
Each time I go to the mall, I resist the urge to shop. To buy something fun. Fashionable. If I pick a shirt, it has to have a specific purpose. Does it last? Will it go with multiple seasons? Can I fit it into my luggage? Is it wearable 50 + times in a year? Wouldn’t it be nice to just buy something nice for myself once in a while? The answer is: no. There is no where to place it.
Forget about cute houseware items. Bedsheets. Towels. Only essentials travel to the next location.
Falling out of a Routine
That favorite bar. A beloved restaurant. A muay thai gym. Finding my favorite ice cream shop. Each place I grow to love will eventually turn into a memory. I try to not to ache for the past when I move to a new location. My routine will change and so will all my “go to” spots around the neighborhood. I’m constantly packing and unpacking.
Once I decide to leave a city, anxiety starts to settle in. Finding a new place to live. A place to work out. Is there Wifi? Meeting new people. Will I make new friends?
As the departure date nears, I am filled with both excitement and fear. Excited to explore, but fearful that I will be lonely and without friends. Did I earn enough money monthly to keep a comfortable lifestyle? I make long checklists of all the items I need to complete before moving.
Saying Goodbye to people
Perhaps the worst feeling about being a nomad is missing people. Friends and family.
After living in Seattle for 6 months, I really had to think hard about whether or not stay. I really loved all my Seattle friends. I got into the groove. Sunday Brunches. Bar Hopping. Chilling at a Park. What if I stayed and made this my home? I tell myself not to do this, because the entire reason I left my engineering job in Santa Monica was to explore. Being a nomad means trying new things. Thinking about friends will only make it harder to move.
The Best Part of Being a Traveler?
New places. New faces. Each time I move to a new location, I am realizing how fortunate I am to have a job that allows me to move anywhere. Sure, there are days where I am lonely and anxious. But that’s a feeling I am willing to have in trade of adding a new experience in life. It’s rare to have the opportunity in my 30’s to be unattached. No Stressful Job. No kids. There’s never going to be a better time to travel.
The reality of moving
First week. New scenery, new places. I feel like I’m the luckiest person in the world. Instagram is on point.
The second week I find myself calling home and FaceTiming my close friends and family. It’s great explaining the new home, new job, new friends. In the back of my heart there is a small pain. I miss them. I miss having that camaraderie. I push the feelings away and replace it with busy work. Each day is filled to the brim with activities. I find a scuba diving shop. I find a new gym. One needs to keep moving to keep from drowning. I know if I stay at home I will miss Seattle. I realize there’s no turning back now.
I’m not going to lie… being a nomad is hard. There are days where I wonder if I made the right choice. Why would I move to a city where I don’t have family or friends?
Is it worth it?
Without inserting a cliche quote about life… I will say this. I chose to leave engineering and Santa Monica for a reason. I can either embrace it or not. Right now, I’m embracing it. What’s not to like about living on an Island with great weather, food and people?