Traveling is like swimming. Anyone can do it, but you still have to learn not to drown.
Long term traveling is not as easy as booking a plane ticket, it’s a habit to train.
People love traveling because it’s a radical way to create change. The brain loves distractions. Too much change creates fatigue, however.
As a digital nomad, you still need to work. And work doesn’t like distractions.
Sustainable travel is thus a balance between new experiences and routine, between change and stability. If a lifestyle is a sum of habits, the surest way to fail is to try to develop all habits at once. That’s when we end up developing travel fatigue.
Finding this balance is the hard thing about becoming a nomad.
Unlike historical nomads who already developed their own sustainable culture over hundreds of years, digital nomadism is relatively new: our psyche is uncharted territory. We have to figure out things for ourselves, what works and what doesn’t.
From my own experience, flexibility and slowness are the two core habits to integrate to become a successful long-term traveler - by successful I mean the ability to live your best life, whatever it means to you.
Flexibility is how you integrate your new environment to your daily life and to your objectives. Changing places will always make it hard for you to get things done the way you used to. You can complain and fail, or you can adapt. There is always a way to find harmony.
A common excuse I read when people decide to quit digital nomadism after a mere six months on the road is how they can’t go deep in their work. It’s a lack of flexibility, find a quiet spot in town and put in the work. Stop hopping around every two to three days.
Slowness is another important part of traveling well. You are not a tourist cramming visits in your day, you play the long game. Digital nomadism is not all fun and parties, it’s just a different approach to work where the same first principles apply.
The longer you stay in a new place, the more you grow as an individual. Relationships take time, destinations are new and attractive partners. One night stands are draining you more than they create you. No local will be willing to create meaningful connections with you if you are visiting for a few days, it’s just not worth the emotional investment.
Slowness is how you acquire stability, it’s the well-deserved rest healing your congested travel muscles.
Learn to swim before diving in.