The Ups and Downs
Now that I've been living a pretty solid nomadic life for the last 4 months or so, I think I've gained some credibility in sharing the ups and downs to this lifestyle. And, boy, I tell you what... they can be polarizing.
I remember learning that when you have good and bad news, you should always start with the good, so we'll start there.
Being location independent & having the freedom to travel while maintaining a regular flow of income has definitely been an incredible experience. I've never felt so free in my life. And I'm grateful for the opportunity to travel to some places I never thought I'd be able to at this time in my life. Before leaving, I had anxiety—I had never been to Europe and I didn't know what to expect. I wasn't sure how easy it would be to work, communicate, maintain sanity, etc. I jumped (again) and I'm really glad I did.
My mind has been opened to the world of different perspectives, ways of life, political views, etc. My own perspective of the world has changed—I've learned that the world is huge, sometimes tiny, awesome, and absolutely beautiful. I've found that despite what some people think, the majority of people in this world are good and often want to help others. At the end of the day, we're all in this together. And, I've realized that the world is much more accessible than you might think.
I've been lucky enough to meet people from all over the world. I've probably met someone from at least half the countries on this little blue dot. It's amazing that my network has grown internationally. Social media is great for this because you can stay connected with people all over the world, and if you happen to be in the right place at the right time you can re-connect. Boom!
When you travel, it's pretty easy to have an active social life. You can meet new people daily & basically become best friends within hours. I've had some great times with complete strangers. It's a pretty neat experience. But, with that said...
I left the States and my "normal" life for about 4 months. I started in Canada, came home for 1 week, then shipped off to Europe. I left my "normal" life which includes friends, family, and coworkers. That "normal" life doesn't go on pause when you leave, nor does it for people you meet along the way. When you return, things aren't right where you left them. The world and people around you are constantly growing and evolving. This is when things can get tough.
Establishing long-term relationships is difficult. You'll meet people who you want to have in your life, but in reality, it's hard to stay close when you're a thousand miles away. This applies to all relationships: friendly and romantic alike. But, for relationships leaning more towards the romantic side, this can be even heavier. You will probably meet people who you're interested in pursuing something more serious with but they can't wait for you, nor should they. I've heard people say, and even been told: "don't get attached" or "don't fall in love." You will develop some meaningful, memorable, yet short lived relationships. It's a tough reality that comes with the lifestyle.
You've got to trust that your life will unfold the way it's supposed to, even when it can be hard to accept. I'd still recommend the nomad life, because I think it's an amazing experience. Just know that some things will be really awesome, and some things will suck. Gotta keep moving forward.