Changing your lifestyle in any way can be a challenging and daunting task. These tips help ease newcomers into the nomadic lifestyle. From how to be more adventurous to how to cope with loneliness on the road. These tips will help anyone that’s new to traveling.
Making a change in life is always difficult in any situation. But modern day traveling, or being a modern nomad, is a lot easier than you’d think. Traveling in this day and age is a lot more attainable and comfortable than even just a few decades ago. It does get lonely but social media and the internet connecting everyone in so many ways has changed the game. Almost anywhere in the world you are just a click or tap away from speaking with your loved ones. At times, you can even have a face to face conversation with someone while you are half way across the world!
It’s completely normal to be nervous and scared about making such a big change. But, if you need to, try to take a small trip somewhere for a few weeks and progressively make your trips longer. Do this until you can handle a long term traveling lifestyle.
I highly suggest WWOOFing (World Wide Organization of Organic Farmers) so you can go to a farm (sometimes not far away from where you live!) and get a feel for the traveling lifestyle without it barely costing anything!
Check Out Our Intruduction to WWOOFing
Travelers can put in a certain amount of hours of work on a small organic farm in trade for room and board. Each farm is different but it offers a wide variety of opportunities to learn and live from the land. Click to read more.
Don’t Follow the Guidebook
Guidebooks are a very general and tourist-y overview of an area. If you are ever to use one make sure to never use a non-digital guide, because hard copies are almost always out-dated, although, even the digital ones are at times.
If you want to get fully immersed with a place to get the true experience you need to listen to the locals! Go to a place where you can socialize like a bar or local event you find and talk, talk, talk. If you’re shy just take this as a time to work on opening up, because communication is key when traveling. Get a conversation going with someone and see if they know about any cool places to check out in the area. Or maybe about a concert or event that might be coming up soon. The locals are always your best bet when it comes to finding travel information that is super up to date. Someone local always knows about something going on nearby somewhere.
Take Your Time
Sometimes you want to cover as much ground as you can. But it’s much better, in the long run, to take it easy and enjoy as much of a place as you can. You never know when you’ll ever be there again!
Rushing through a place you’re visiting is really no different than just watching a video of someone go through a city. It’s not really an experience, it’s more of just passing through glancing at other people’s experiences. Even when you are going from one main destination to the next, all those places in between have some great hidden gems you can find if you stop in and see what you can find.
It’s part of the nomadic lifestyle to see a place that is different and experience it. Sometimes you might have some tough experience where some people are rude and intolerable. But in those instances you now know that that place on the map is a place to avoid and can help you travel smarter and safer. Some of the greatest sights I’ve seen have been somewhere off the beaten road and I’m glad I took the time to stop and see what I could find.
Don’t Hesitate to Socialize
You’re going to make a ton of friends along the way on your travels. Some will end up parts of your memories of a certain place but a lot of times those people end up becoming lifelong friends. But sometimes when you’re out having fun, you can end up having too much fun and forgetting to get any contact information. Then you can end up regretting it.
You’ll find yourself wondering what could have been if you kept in contact with that cute girl you met on the beach and never be able to find her again. Facebook and email makes it super easy to stay in touch with people from all over the world for years to come. At some point when you’re hanging out just exchange information and keep on partying!
Go With the Flow
When you plan your day out by a schedule you’re restricting yourself from having some amazing spontaneous adventure that could be the experience that changes your life! Ok.. maybe it could just be a cool little thing you end up missing out on because you haven’t allowed yourself enough freedom. But you still missed out on an experience you could never have again.
I’m not saying that you should just take your life with absolutely any way the wind blows. But just don’t keep yourself from having the full experience. Like if you know you absolutely need rest ASAP it would be a bad decision for you to go on a late night hike with this cool group you just met to watch the stars. However, if you restrict yourself to being asleep at a certain time. Then you missed out on hanging out and maybe having a really impactful experience with that group of people. Just be flexible and go with the flow, you won’t regret it.
Take (Or Make) Extra Money!
Even though traveling at this day and age isn’t really too expensive and there are many ways to keep your costs down, you never know what could happen when traveling. No matter what, on my travels there is something unexpected that comes up and, in some cases, can hit you very hard and set your plans back. It’s not always something bad that can come up unexpected, financially.
Sometimes you could hear about a concert that you’d love to check out but you didn’t plan out enough to afford it and now you can’t go without taking away some other plans you might have had. Basically, you should just always have a cushion in your savings before you set out on your adventure. Depending on your traveling and budget situation you might need a bigger cushion than others, especially if you’re traveling outside your home country.
You might not like heights, or you’re scared of swimming in the ocean, or maybe you have a phobia of snakes. What ever your weakness is, it doesn’t have to hold you back from having a good time! Work around your phobias if you need to but if you can, try and work on them and improve yourself.
I am afraid of heights but whenever I can in a hike I like to challenge myself. I’ll ask to the edge of a cliff or look down when I shouldn’t and I get that queasy vertigo feeling creep in and make me squirm. But, as I’ve challenged my fears I’ve become less and less fearful of heights and have found myself in some crazy situations where I’ve been free-form rock climbing on the side of a cliff 20+ feet over the pacific ocean. And it was great! Be adventurous and put yourself in some fun situations that you can come out of with a great story.
You Are NOT Stuck
If you aren’t having a good time and just truly hate traveling then make a change! It’s just like putting yourself into the nomadic life, you’re doing it to get away from a life you don’t enjoy. If you end up not enjoying life as a traveler, then that’s absolutely fine. Not everyone is meant to live this lifestyle but if you are just having a rough patch and think you can make it through, then I’d suggest you just wait and time could heal your problems and you can keep on trekking! It’s human nature to have an ebb and flow to your emotions. All people are different and you should be doing whatever makes you happy in life.
You Aren’t Alone
Life on the road can be very lonely at times and it makes it way harder to enjoy yourself and the things happening around you. But no matter where you go there is a network of travelers you can find and connect with. They can give you advice and tips for traveling and help guide you in the right direction and sometimes even become great long term friends and travel partners. Just remember, you are not on any adventure alone and it’s normal for you to be feeling alone, there’s nothing wrong with you.
It’s natural to be nervous heading into the unknown, but you’ll get through it and become a more whole person through overcoming your troubles, it’s all life experience.
Barter and Trade
Many people that travel have specific skills or trades that can be a very valuable asset. Maybe you do jewelry with wire wrapping or you could even build websites. Whatever your skill set may be, you can use it to either get unique and memorable souvenirs or something else that’s valuable and useful on the road. It doesn’t have to be anything amazing either; it could be quite simple. Like when I traded a cool geode I had found for a fossil that someone else found. Or when I traded my portable speaker for someone’s solar phone charger.
When it comes to bartering you can actually use this as a travel technique. I’ve bartered my landscaping skills to have a place to park my vehicle on for a week. I would work every day for 4 hours on this old lady’s 5 acre property for a small amount of pay and a parking spot towards the back of her property. Now, staying on someone’s property is kind of a long shot when it come to people you have just met. But if you prove your self worth in your work ethic and show you’re a good person and, of course, they do the same. Then you have a very pleasing arrangement for both parties.