How a Travel Lifestyle Helps Us Follow Our Passion
Many of us love to travel. But some have taken it to the next level and it’s a lifestyle we’re seeing all over the interwebs.
This is long-term, quit your job (or start a new one) and trot the globe kind of travel. This is sell your stuff, pack your bags, and don’t come back for months or years kind of travel. And it’s more popular than ever, especially among millennials.
Whether it’s Americans living in Madrid, an Aussie backpacking across South America, or a group of online entrepreneurs poring over their MacBooks in a coffee shop in Saigon, this “nomadic” lifestyle has gained a lot of followers in the past five or ten years – and the trend shows no sign of slowing down.
But why? What is drawing people down this path of constant travel?
There are plenty of “how’s” involved, like growing and expanding technology or the immense changes happening to the global economy. But as usual, we at Accidental Information are more fascinated with the “why” – and how it applies to our purpose and passions.
The Big Benefits of Nomad-Like Travel
Of course, everyone has their own very personal, very specific reason for traveling. But in exploring dozens of stories from travelers from all walks of life, we picked up on some life-changing themes.
The goal of many travelers is to connect, whether it’s chatting with new people or immersing themselves in exotic cultures. Through travel, they gain experiences and perspectives that they wouldn’t get otherwise. They learn to view the world through an entirely different lens.
The travel bloggers Two Bad Tourists really embody this approach towards travel. Rather than sticking to the tourist trail and hitting all the biggest sites for the obligatory snapshots, they prefer to put themselves in the shoes of a local, exploring the city as if it’s their home away from home. In addition, they focus on LGBT travel, sharing relevant connections and experiences with their LGBT followers.
Another group of travelers take almost the exact opposite approach. Their goal is to disconnect – from their job, society, social circles, or their mobile devices. These are the folks who love “getting off the grid” and getting lost in a new environment, whether it’s the mountains of Peru or a meditation retreat in India.
By removing themselves from the stresses and distractions of modern life, they’re able to get in touch with themselves, their goals, and their purpose.
One of our favorite examples of this type of nomad is Sergi, over at Rumbo Mediterráneo.
He and his dog, Nirvana, have been traveling by kayak along the coast of the Mediterranean for over three years and 3,000 miles, spending each night on a new beach.
Of course, that’s a little more extreme than what most people would be comfortable with, but there’s still something to be said about that ability to just get away from it all and live the way we want.
In 2008, Jodi Ettenberg (AKA Legal Nomads) quit her job as a lawyer to travel for a year – and never went back. Today, she makes her living as a full-time travel and food blogger, with a focus on “telling stories through food.”
This is an example of the transformative effect long-term travel can have and how it can start an unexpected path. And that’s exactly why many travelers are drawn to it.
It helps us evolve, whether we end up a completely different person, or just a better and more focused version of who we were before.
Believe it or not, travel isn’t just a way to find your path – it can be a way to speed yourself along the path, as well.
How so? Well, consider a place like Chiang Mai, Thailand, a current hotspot for traveling entrepreneurs, where you can rent a modern apartment for a few hundred dollars and enjoy world-class cuisine for a couple bucks.
Compare that to a place like San Francisco or Sydney or London and the advantages become obvious. Whether you’re trying to bootstrap a business or live like a king, travel “hacking” can make reaching your goals a lot easier.
And this doesn’t just apply to business or bills. Whether you want to train in martial arts in São Paolo, learn to surf in Bali, become fluent in a new language in Shenzhen, or feed the homeless in Manila, travel can take our goals and purpose to the next level.
Dan and Ian over at Tropical MBA discovered just that and have been teaching their followers how to do the same ever since, using travel to fuel their businesses and lifestyles – or their “lifestyle business”, as they like to call it.
Why Document The Experience
Each of our friends above all take the time to document their travels and experiences, whether it’s through a blog post, a photo, or even a memoir. And we got wondering why. Is it just the norm because social media is part of our DNA? Or is to make money? Or?
Everyone’s a little different, but here are a few of the explanations we found:
- Documenting their travels makes it easier to organize and reflect on their thoughts
- Writing and photography can be great methods of self-expression
- Keeping the people back home updated is a lot easier with a blog or Instagram profile
- Teaching others is not just a way of giving back, it can help us better understand our own knowledge
- Making money with a blog, book, or podcast is easier than ever, making long-term travel possible
- And some it seems, do enjoy Internet-fame that comes from getting a hundred likes on their latest selfie
Is there something you could gain from documenting your own life?
What We Can Learn From Long-Term Travelers
You may not be willing or able to pack your bags and jump on the next flight around the world. But that doesn’t mean we can’t all learn from these nomads.
- Make an intentional effort to connect with the people around you. Like someone new to a town, use your curiosity to learn about the, to help grow your own perspectives on life.
- Take the time to disconnect from the hustle of everyday life, whether it’s spending time with your headphones and favorite tunes, curled up with a good book, or alone in nature. The break allows you to be more focused when you’re in the game.
- Embrace and seek out new experiences and push your comfort zone. We can learn so much about who we are and what we value simply by trying something new. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
- Take chances in life and don’t be afraid of the unknown, the possibility of making mistakes, or feeling out of place in a situation that’s otherwise foreign to you. If you’re always afraid of acting, you’ll miss opportunities.
- Evaluate your lifestyle and think about ways you can streamline or “hack” it to create the quality life you want – whether it’s moving closer to the office/gym to cut down on commute times or downsizing your apartment.
Where Will Your Life’s Journey Take You
We’re all on a journey. The important thing is not to be afraid to buy a ticket and board that plane to the unknown, whether you’re literally on a flight to Tokyo or it’s something more metaphorical, like changing directions in life and pursuing a new purpose.
There’s a world out there to discover, experiences to be had, and a million paths to take.