We live in societies where television has converted the population in a massive audience to consume other people’s stories. Movies, TV Shows, Youtube channels and even internet consumption has created this effect of being a spectator. However, when it is about our own lives, we are the main actors and it is our own story that we are building every day. To my eyes, it is not an option to live life behind a screen through others people’s adventures. So consider this: If traveling really is a dream of yours, whatever might be stopping you at the moment, you must stop traveling through other’s stories and become the main actor of your own adventures, no matter what! What is stopping you from doing so right now could be obstacles that seem too hard to overcome for the time being, but the truth is I see very few obstacles that justify not traveling at all. Money is usually a big one for most people before they understand that traveling can be made cheap. Or it could be maintaining a career, family pressure, having kids, being in debt, etc… The truth is most of the time it’s about fear of the unknown, fear of taking a drastic change in your own life and risking going off the beaten path. This is why travel is said to drastically “change a person” because it pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes you grow, learning about yourself every single day and learn what you love in life. After all, it’s your life, you only have one, so take your best shot and make it a good one!
In This Article...
- 1 Why I believe absolutely everybody qualifies as a traveler
- 2 Consider another path in life
- 3 It’s never the perfect Time
- 4 Start small, keep building future travel plans
- 5 Which kind of traveler are you? Travelers vs Nomads vs Expats vs Digital Nomads
- 6 Making it all possible, where to start
- 7 Tell me about You, your situation and introduce yourself
- 8 Pin to Pinterest
- 9 Support Ian with a TIP or Donation
Why I believe absolutely everybody qualifies as a traveler
Some people live with the belief that traveling is “just a dream”, it’s “for somebody else” and that their life is just too different or complicated for them to become a long-term traveler. Over my more than 10 years on the road as a full-time traveler and meeting literally thousands of others on my path, I heard every story imaginable. Inspiring ones and crazy ones too! Couples, Families of 6 and more, 18 y/o girl traveling solo on a bicycle in Pakistan, 80 y/o solo backpackers, a backpacker on a wheelchair or even travelers crossing the world on a skateboard! I’ve seen it all! I am now certain that anybody can be a candidate for traveling! When someone finds an obstacle that they believe justifies them to stay home, usually, it is because they have a misconception about why this obstacle is overblown. Money is a good example. I am always asked how I managed to afford traveling to every country in the world for more than a decade. Most people think I am a millionaire. Truth be told, once you understand that traveling is usually much cheaper than living in a westernized country, that there are tons of tricks to save money and that you even have many ways to fund your travels by working online, which is enough to change someone’s perspective about it all! This is actually the purpose of my thedigitalgobetrotter.com blog and what I am addressing in several articles I publish every now and then. I have helped hundreds of people over the years to become another traveler and digital nomad, and have prepared all the tools on this blog to make you the next traveler, overcome your fears and obstacles, help you plan and save money, as well as getting set on your next adventure!
Consider another path in life
Ever wondered why there is a life path that everybody seems to follow: going to school, going to college, building a career on an 8 t 5 job, getting a mortgage and a house, building a family, getting old, retire… Why do we have this pattern that has been incrusted in us in our societies and most people just don’t question themselves that there might be another way to live life. When I left in 2006 to live a non-stop life on the road as a nomad funded by online income, I had literally no examples or mentors to show me the way. It just didn’t exist! It was an experiment of mine, I had just finished college and decided not to jump in the corporate life that my engineer diploma would have brought me to. I literally left minutes after my last exam and flew out to Mexico! I imagined a perpetual life on the road, discovering other cultures, other nations, other systems, living every moment of every day to the fullest. I have ever since lived out of a suitcase, meeting new people every day, eating new foods every day, settling here and there and living from adventure to the next. That’s the lifestyle I imagined at the time and I am blown away to see the explosion in digital nomads nowadays! People like you and me who have also chosen the same lifestyle, thanks to word of mouth and people wanting something different out of their lives. The interest is so big that entire cities around the world are adapting to the inflow of digital nomads to their cities, with infrastructures such as co-working spaces popping all over the place, Airbnb apartments conversion everywhere and even e-visas and digital nomad visas that countries are set up as we speak! Now is the best time ever for anybody to hop on the train and live this incredible lifestyle. It is getting easier and easier with the tools that we now have, compared to 15 years ago!
It’s never the perfect Time
Remember, it’s never the perfect time. Your mind will always convince you that you should do this or that before, and only after you will be ready. This is another mistake as we never get things done by postponing them to tomorrow. Even worst, some people need an unfortunate event in their life such as health problems, or even the death of a close one to wake up, shake themselves and make a drastic change in their lifestyle. My die-hard advice: You MUST write down a specific date and NO MATTER WHAT you need to be out by that date. You don’t need to have everything 100% perfect and ready to leave home. You will adjust on the way. What you need as a strict minimum to leave are a little bit of research, a little bit of savings (count a minimum of 30$ a day depending on your destination, 50$ to be comfortable) and a backpack! After that, you will learn all the tips and tricks online or on this blog on how to find cheap flights, cheap accommodation (even free), cheap eating tricks, even how to fund your travels by making money online! Remember that once you jump in the cold water and adjust to the temperature, you’ll see, everything will settle in its place and you will laugh at your prior hesitation to jump in.
Start small, keep building future travel plans
People always ask me how I decided to travel all the countries of the world. Most of them think I left home one day with the objective to travel them all, and this is far from the truth. I started step by step, one trip at a time and always came back home yet with another travel idea and itinerary. AS I started as a normal seasonal traveler, I had to come back and work 2 jobs to fund my travels initially, while studying and dreaming of the next adventure. I think it is a normal process to start with short trips because you will discover with time what kind of destination you like and not like while you travel. You will also build knowledge and curiosity for new destinations once you visit new places and new cultures, meet new people and once you research more on things you never knew existed, you will have new ideas for future travels. So my first trip to France and western Europe at 17 years old quickly gave way to my first Europe trip at 18, then another trip to Europe and northern Africa at 19, then eastern Europe adventures for another summer at 20, all the way to my first round the world trip in 2006 where I never came back. Up to today, this chain continued all the way visit all the countries of the world. So my recommendation is to start small, go on an adventure trip for 2 to 3 weeks or less and test the road. Make sure this destination is different from where you’re from, it needs to be an inspiration for future travel. The goal is to come back and feel the “depression of coming back home”, a feeling similar to “going back to school after an amazing summer holiday”. That will help build up the motivation to leave again, yet on another adventure!
Which kind of traveler are you? Travelers vs Nomads vs Expats vs Digital Nomads
If you’ve kept reading all the way to this section, you definitely have a will to travel. By now you might be asking yourself which kind of traveler you are and aspire to? Maybe you only want to be a seasoned traveler like most people do, and leave whenever you have a break from work. This is pretty easy to do and you don’t need any drastic change in your life to make this possible. I have tons of travel tips and city guides available on my blog for travelers, even though this website focuses more on the long-term travelers, or “nomads”. these are people who leave for a long-term experience around the world. They include gap year travelers, Round the world ticket travelers, backpackers, travel photographers and people that have savings and desire to leave for a period that extends from about one year to indefinitely. This is what you should be aiming for at one point, and this is the life that I have chosen. Most Nomads I met are strong believers in this lifestyle, and wouldn’t give it up for anything. Many nomad travelers have different styles of travel. The most common are Backpackers like me, but there have been recently many new trends such as Van Life and Yacht Sailing travelers or Voluntary workers.
Some people prefer to become Expats, which is basically to settle in a single city and live a sedentary life, building a social network and work daily (locally or online). This type of travel is also an option for those who don’t want to be always on the road, and I too chose to settle in several cities around the world through the last 10 years, although I never stay longer than 2 to 4 months at a time.
So what about Digital Nomads? Well, this is, in my opinion, the ultimate form of travel, self-funded with online work! This is the best form of travel to my eyes because it solves many problems that can arise from other forms of travel, such as money savings and Visa issues. What is a Digital Nomad? It is simply a long-term traveler who funds his travels by online income. The income can come from a job back home, or even better by working for himself as a freelancer or an entrepreneur. With money coming in, and spending in cheaper countries, this is where the digital nomad Lifestyle takes advantage of currency leverage to live a quality but cheap lifestyle, on the road, and indefinitely! there are several different job options to consider, and this is a hot topic I am covering in other articles if you want to know more about it. Another major advantage of working online is about working visas. Countries around the world have very strict measures to make working visas hard to get, in the optic of protecting local jobs. By working online, the digital nomad overcomes these constraints by living out of a simple tourist visa while making money online, giving freedom to settle yet in another country at will.
Making it all possible, where to start
Hopefully, by now you have built motivation and consider that another model of living exists than the usual one you’ve always known. Hopefully, you consider yourself like a good candidate to be part of the ever-growing movement of world travelers, Nomads and Digital Nomads around the world who live new adventures every day of their life and push their limits to new horizons. This guide has been written with the mindset to make you realize that it is all really possible for anyone and to build motivation for you to take the next step towards becoming one yourself. Of course, this will raise tons of questions and I will address most of the usual questions in the next sections, such as how to save money for your trip, how to plan and choose your next destination and how to pack your gear and what to bring for your trip. I will also address most common questions I receive while traveling and on the road, such as how to find cheap accommodation, how to find cheap flights, how to find insurance and stay healthy on the road and how to Connect with other travelers. That should already get most people sorted, but in a further section, I am covering most common issues into becoming a self-funded traveler and a digital nomad. I cover how to become is a digital nomad, how to make money while you travel, Where to settle as a digital nomad and how to connect with other digital nomads. So stay tuned and read on.
Tell me about You, your situation and introduce yourself
I love to help people overcome their fears and ou the on the track of becoming travelers themselves. The first step is to address your concerns and let the community of travelers and nomads following this blog to help you out so go ahead and write in the comment section below your travel dreams, your travel plans, your dream destination or any question you may have.
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