Necessary Digital Nomad Skills for Long term Travel
Discussing the necessary skills a digital nomad needs in order to maintain a happy and balanced lifestyle is important since this lifestyle is probably not the best option for most of us. You should probably consider to pursue a nomadic path of long term travel if you have a critical mass of the specific skills and character outlined here:
- Good intuition and decision making. You will need to have good intuition in order to make the best decisions about situations and people while being in a new environment and not having all the information you need. Fixing bad decisions and getting in trouble is harder when on the road, so this skill is very valuable to keep you safe and happy.
- Making quick decisions. After understanding that good decision making is an essential nomad skill, we can switch to the skill of making quick calls. As a nomad, you will need to be able to make a decision fast and often without having all the information needed. If you can’t make fast calls in an uncertain situation, you will get stuck and frustrated quite often.
- Taking the time to prepare and plan. Even if can make good quick decisions, gathering information is a critical ingredient to make sure you get it right most of the times. In example, even if you are street wise and make fast calls, exchanging foreign currency without checking the official exchange rate in advance is simply wrong and can cost you. Gathering information is relevant to all aspects of nomadic life, including accommodation, orientation in the place you are at and much more. A nomad has to accept the fact that prior preparation is crucial and is worth dedicating the time to. If you are not the type of person to take the time and gain information in advance, you will deeper pockets and more time to get results.
- Non-Attachment. – We usually get attached to things and to other people. As a nomad you constantly change places leaving behind everything you “have built” in your last destination, including daily routines, places you loved and people you connected with. If you are getting attached easily and find it hard to leave things behind, this lifestyle might prove a too difficult for you.
- Enduring loneliness. – A nomadic lifestyle has loneliness engrained to it, and a nomad needs to accept and live with that. You change places and start from scratch all the time, losing the social cycle you accumulated. Acquiring new friends takes time, skill but also luck and good timing. A nomad needs to be able to be happy even when alone, and not to take loneliness so seriously. (for some of us, this is impossible)
- Positive mindset and love for people. – If you don’t have a positive general mindset, staying at home is the best way to go. Nomadic lifestyle in an ever-changing environment includes many surprises, and the ability to take even the bad ones with a smile is important. If you are not the type, this lifestyle is will only end up in a lot of frustration. Not to mention the fact that a positive attitude allows you to quickly create a social cycle that will save you from dreaded loneliness. Being positive will also bring new opportunities for fun and learning.
- Accepting failure – Making decisions in an environment that doesn’t offer information will surely bring failures, even if you are the smartest person around. Things will always go wrong. The ability to take the failures with a smile and learn from them is critical.
- Discipline – Nomads don’t travel, they live a challenging life while sustaining themselves on the move; therefore, discipline is important when the changing environment around you can get you very distracted, or even disconnected. You need self-motivation and discipline to fix your goals early and work hard (Usually adopting a daily routine) to achieve them.
- Knowing thyself – In an environment of change, things can get confusing. It is important to know in advance the “anchors” in life that keep you happy no matter where you are, and push to get them in each nomadic base you are at. In example, by now I understood I need a swimming pool, and co-working place in order to be balanced. You need to know your list of necessities and fight hard to get them as soon as possible (you don’t have much time, you are leaving soon, remember
- Curiosity and thirst of learning. – If you are generally into fun, and not that much into learning new things, then traveling is the best solution for you. A nomad lifestyle includes the ambition to understand the world yourself through change, that’s the glory of it. In addition to that, curiosity and accumulating knowledge (culture, language etc.) will allow you to make better calls, and have more friends quickly.
- Proactivity. – Since you are staying such a limited time in each base, you can’t count on things to fall into place alone and will have to peruse what you need, while being proactive. Nomads can’t afford to be shy and have to push forward in order to achieve their goals (doing so in a non-aggressive friendly way, of course)
- Low Ego and Frugality– A nomadic lifestyle is not give you an amazing ego boost. It is not financially rewarding, and people you know won’t probably understand it, or even accept it. If it is important to you that people you care about around you will view you as a success story or if you need to maintain high level of spending to keep happy, think twice about taking this path.
So, do you have what it takes to be a happy nomad?