Since 2019 I am living a nomad life. And I would never change it back to my old life. But before I tell you my reasons for that, let me just quickly explain what a nomad is.
Formerly, a nomad was defined to be a member of a group of people that travels from place to place to find fresh pasture for its animals and has no permanent home. Well, nowadays modern nomads do not need to find pasture anymore and they do not necessarily travel in a group. What is still applicable though, is that nomads have no permanent home. It refers to a person who does not stay long in the same place, a wanderer so to say.
As for me, in September 2019 I gave up my permanent home, job and relationship back in Berlin to start living a nomad life. I was seeking adventures. I wanted to explore the world, without the need to wait for my next vacation. Vacations are always too short anyways, aren’t they? So here I am, changing my home every six months, exploring the world in my own rhythm, doing different exciting jobs here and there. And here is why I love it so much.
I have the chance to do whatever I like to do. I decide for myself what, where, for how long and for whom I do things. Some people opt for becoming digital nomads. They work remotely with their laptops from everywhere in the world. Entrepreneurs, virtual assistants, web designers, marketing experts and so many others found their happiness as digital nomads. I myself don’t enjoy working in front of a computer too much, so I work offline most of the time. I do many different jobs. Sometimes I work as a hike guide, tour leader or fitness trainer. Other times I am a hostel manager, guest relationship manager or a team leader for a sports travels company.
Occasionally I write travel blog articles or scout new tours that I can offer the next season.
Of course, all this does not fall from the sky. You have to work for it. You must educate yourself, train hard, be eager to try new things, keep your eyes always open for new opportunities, grow a network and after all, think long-term. The end of your season is the beginning of a new one. What are you up for? What needs to be planned? Or maybe you just want to take a few months off to just travel? That is also possible. Just choose a country where you can easily live with your last season’s earnings and enjoy your extra large vacation.
So far, I did not take any large vacation, because my jobs bring me so much joy, that I rarely need a time off. And how could I ever say no to my friends in Italy asking me at the end of the season if I can imagine taking over a Surf Hostel in Sri Lanka for a friend of theirs?! This possibility to be able to say „hellya, when shall I be there?“ – that’s the freedom I am thrilled about.
2. Discover many different countries
As a nomad, you can stay as long as you want (or in some cases as long as your visa allows you to stay). Some nomads just stay a couple of weeks, but most of us stay several months in one place. That is because you still want to have a home, at least for a certain time, and not backpack your whole life through. I myself mostly stay six months in the same country and take a job for that period of time. That gives me the chance to become good at what I am doing, to get to know a country better, to learn its language, to dig deep into its culture, to connect with locals, to get a real feeling for that country and make myself a home there.
I always start from 0. Everywhere. Every 6 months. But as a pay back, I have homes and friends everywhere in the world. I have lost a little piece of my soul to each of the countries I have visited and especially to its people. So far, I have lived and worked in Chile, Portugal, Ethiopia, Sardinia, South Italy and Sri Lanka.
Except Portugal and Chile, none of the named countries was on my bucket list. I threw that list away after a while. Because once you are in, you gotta go with the flow. You just take the next opportunity and accept the challenge to do something that you have never done before. Without this mind set, I would never have visited Sri Lanka or Ethiopia. And I am so grateful for these experiences. The unexpected ones are the best!
3. No more winter!
Honestly, who likes winter? The dark season, where you barely see any daylight? Six months of waiting for better times… I am not a fan. And no, I also don’t like snow. There is no snow anyways in my hometown. And why is winter always so long and summer so short?
As a nomad you can choose to follow the sun. It‘s always summer somewhere.
During the European winter, I go to exotic, warm countries seeking big adventures, like working as a tour guide in Africa or living in the Sri Lankan jungle. I never missed the winter, I‘d rather lose tons of sweat everyday than being trapped in the dark and cold for too long.
If you are really craving winter, you can decide on your own for how long you wanna be there. I figured, one month of winter is enough for me. Which is why I try to avoid being in Europe during winter.
But, I love the European summer! Italian food, French non-chalance, island hopping in Croatia or hot Spanish summer nights? It’s up to you!
I mostly stay in European countries in summer, because they are nice and easy going, Europe is my real home after all.
It‘s also the best time to visit friends and family back home, which you shouldn’t forget if you don’t wanna be a very lonely person one day. Never forget all those lovely people back home, who support you, who think of you, who open their doors for you and offer you a bed when you come for a visit, who come to pick you up at the airport, who are loyal friends to you, even though you are most of the time not physically with them. These are the people you should be carrying around in your heart, wherever you go. Write them a postcard. Call them. Make them be part of your life but avoid telling them too much how wonderful your summer is, when they are going through a rough winter. Because, that’s your little secret 😉