In a recent article, we discussed the role open-mindedness plays in life as a digital nomad. In today’s article, we share some of the key life lessons we’ve picked up on our digital nomad journey.
“What life lessons have you learned from being a digital nomad?”
It’s the question we asked our team of digital nomads before writing this article. While everyone had different answers, what we could all agree on is that there are some lessons that truly stick when you spend time away from your home country.
Some of these lessons may sound like common cliches. But there are times when we feel them so poignantly, it’s hard to believe we ever overlooked them. Perhaps you can relate.
Read on for a list of the ten life-affirming lessons that we’ve gained as digital nomads.
To get comfortable outside our comfort zone
Growth doesn’t happen where we are curled up in our living rooms watching Netflix. Growth happens when we step out of our comfort zones and challenge ourselves to try new things.
Traveling naturally provides opportunities to speak with new people, taste new flavors, and embrace new experiences.
Stepping outside our comfort zone doesn’t just challenge us to grow. It allows us to feel the exhilaration of the unfamiliar. And find joy in new places.
One of the most invaluable lessons you can learn in life is to be adaptable. Life has its up and downs and things inevitably change. If you can get comfortable with change and evolve in the process, you never have to worry about getting left behind.
Moving to a new country is a fast, intense way to learn this lesson. If you can adapt to a whole new culture with different people, languages, food, and climate… you can adapt to pretty much anything.
Listen more, judge less
For most people, conversations are less about listening to what the other person has to say, and more about waiting for their turn to talk.
One of the wonderful perks of being a digital nomad is that you get to meet people from all over the world. Having conversations with people from all walks of life quickly teaches you to get less hung up on what you have to say. And pay more attention to what you can learn from others.
Patience is a virtue
When you move around a lot, things don’t always go as planned. Flights get delayed. Coaches get stuck in traffic. And sometimes there’s no one around who speaks your language.
Without patience, traveling or living abroad can easily become a frustrating experience. Hence why digital nomads have to learn the art of patience pretty fast.
From long queues to difficult conversations, a little patience can alleviate many of life’s everyday frustrations. That’s why we believe it’s one of the best lessons you can learn.
To get comfortable being alone
Being a digital nomad can get lonely, but that doesn’t always need to be a bad thing. Spending time alone gives you an opportunity to get to know yourself on a deeper level.
It also allows you to get comfortable going to bars and eating alone. Even if it feels weird and scary at first.
Don’t leave work until the last-minute
Making plans last-minute is great. We love to be spontaneous and keep our calendars open for surprise adventures.
This can’t happen when we have resigned ourselves to working all weekend because we left our project to the very last minute.
By getting work done as it comes to us, we can avoid disappointing clients by missing deadlines. And we can enjoy the perks of having an open weekend because we wrapped up all our assignments on Thursday. #winning
To say “hello” and “thank you” in 20+ different languages
Everywhere we go, we learn to say “hello” and “thank you” in the native tongue. And we always encourage other travelers to do the same.
Making the effort to learn a bit of the language shows locals that you respect their culture. And it’s a small way of letting them know you are thankful to be there.
To trust our instincts
The first time going abroad is always a bit scary, especially when you are alone.
You know the drill:
What if I miss my flight?
What if I lose my luggage?
What if I have an accident?
A million worries cross your anxious mind.
One of the wonderful things about being a digital nomad is that you learn to stop worrying about things beyond your control. And take comfort in your own strengths instead.
One of our writers at Wooda has had ALL of the above happen… in a single trip.
But now she never fears the worst. Because she trusts her instincts and knows that she can handle any situation that comes her way.
Gratitude is the best attitude
There’s no doubt that life can be stressful as a digital nomad. But it can be wonderful too.
One of the key lessons we’ve learned is to count our blessings, no matter how stressful (or wonderful!) things get. This helps us keep sight of what’s important. And take notice of the small joys that surround us every day.
People are everything
Finally, being a digital nomad has taught us to never undervalue or underestimate the people in our lives.
There’s a lot of joy to be gained from experiencing new things, but the recipe for a truly treasured memory is sharing those experiences with other people.
When you’re traveling alone, you’ll have many opportunities to form meaningful connections with others. And this is our favorite part of any adventure.
Our “people are everything” philosophy also lies at the heart of our co-living spaces.
Now you can book a space to say in a shared complex with other digital nomads that share your thirst for adventure and desire to make meaningful connections.
Click here to explore our co-living spaces.
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