A nomad traveler garnered attention recently with a blog post entitled, I’m Not Living the Dream.
(I bet some folks shared his post with a comment like “See? Nomad travel is not all it’s cracked up to be!”)
It is, of course, a fact that issues arise while traveling, and lots of them can happen on long trips.
There will be undoubtedly be more issues if you travel like this guy does, though – lacking plans and strategies to avoid or manage problems, getting lonely and “exhausted” because you move too quickly from one place to another, and assuming “the dream” auto-magically comes true because you have a pack over your shoulders. This author did not even realize he would encounter big crowds in popular tourist spots in high season.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid and manage much of the downside of long term travel AND address your particular wants and needs – whatever constitutes for you “the dream.” For example, I don’t like crowds either, yet want to see some famous sites, so I make a suitable plan first. I travel to popular sites in low season, and/or visit at less busy times of the day.
The author is right that traveling to another place every few days can be tiring and lonely. I have experienced this in my eagerness to explore new places. The solutions are pretty obvious, though: slow it down, reach out more, call your friends and family back home, stay with locals, and go deeper with connecting in one place.
Here are 5 ways I have balanced out wanderlust with the need for connection over the last 10 months.
1. House/Pet Sit
Housesitting is a favorite option of mine for connecting with locals. I’m glad that opportunities exist in many wonderful places, both short and long term.
As I wrote in 10 Creative Ways to Fund your Dream Trip (free to readers of this blog), there are Housesitting sites like Nomador, on which members can not only find housesits, but also invite fellow members to stay a night when traveling through – a super way to build community.
As I write this post, I am taking care of a cat for 2 weeks while living in a stone farmhouse in a village in the south of France. (Yes, found the ad on Nomador.)
Barbara fixed up her bike for me, took me all around the local sites before she left and introduced me to her neighbors and friends. I appreciate that after only 3 days I have made sweet connections in this beautiful spot – and been invited back.
2. Eat Dinner with Locals
This month I enjoyed staff dinners in hostels in Portugal. At the Tattva Design Hostel in Porto, there was the good company of staff, as well as Camino pilgrims, for delicious 3 course meals (with wine only 10€).
On summer solstice, the communal meal was served on the rooftop terrace under the full moon.
If I like a restaurant, I will return regularly, making it easier to start a conversation.
At a nearby restaurant in Coimbra, I enjoyed four amazing dinners; on the last night I chatted for a couple of hours with the waiter and owner – while they served me more complimentary glasses of wine than I could ever drink.
3. Take a Nomad Cruise
Through locationindie.com, I heard about the off-season Nomad Cruise from Columbia to Portugal and jumped at the chance to join this about-to-form group. There were high-quality workshops throughout the cruise on topics of interest to digital nomads, spanning both work and play.
On the Monarch we had plenty of opportunities to eat, drink and play in good company, and many get-togethers happened on land before and after the cruise. What a great feeling to co-create a “good-vibes tribe”, and how handy that we have a Facebook group for continued interaction.
To register for the return cruise in December, see NomadCruise.com.
4. Get on the Co-working Co-living Circuit
Many of us nomads want to enjoy long term travel, and yet be part of a tribe. We are finding solutions, because that’s what entrepreneurs do.
A couple of weeks with fellow nomads on the Nomad Cruise inspired new friendships and business connections to form. People are finding apartments and houses where groups can co-live and co-work this summer and fall.
One member runs sun-and-co.com, a Co-working/living place that welcomes digital nomads from September to May in Javea, Spain. At this coastal venue, nomads can eat and play together if they choose, work in an attractive open office, and live with or without roommates for a very reasonable cost. It’s on my list to go here.
5. Visit Loved Ones Regularly
In last week’s post I shared about my 6 month dream trip, after which I returned for a month to visit friends and family. I realized that half a year is too long; I will visit at least every season. And when I create a new home abroad, an upcoming project, it will definitely have guest rooms!
Do you want your dream trip to be a reality – or stay a dream?
If you want to go for it, and plan the trip of a lifetime, check out my affordable new course at dreamtripgetsreal.com. This week it is early bird pricing and includes a bonus consultation. Love to have you!