27 Dec Living the digital nomad lifestyle: getting out of your comfort zone
Are you looking for a new lifestyle? Want to live like a digital nomad? Then this post is written for you! In our three years living like digital nomads we have learnt a lot about how to create a new lifestyle for yourself and we are eager to share this with aspiring digital nomads:)
Living like a digital nomad sounds thrilling and most of the times this lifestyle really is. However, to experience the thrilling part, you first have to get out of that zone where everything is known, the answers are given and the paths are set out for you: your comfort zone. You will not find many thrills within your comfort zone, they are found somewhere outside of it. In order to reach that place you have to learn what it means to cross that border from your comfort zone to that place where the magic happens. In this blog we share some of our learnings to make it easier for you to cross that border and expand your comfort zone when you are aiming for the digital nomad lifestyle or a new lifestyle in general.
Creating your new normal is like stretching!
Breaking out your comfort zone is not so much about physically escaping it, it is about broadening it to a level where the things that felt really scary at first, become your new normal. It can be compared with stretching your muscles. Your muscles are quite stiff in their normal and relaxed state. If you start stretching them, they can go so much further! For example: leaving your parents house can feel like a really big step when you are eighteen, but after a few months it has become your new normal and you almost can’t imagine living any other way or even thinking of going back. The same goes for the digital nomad lifestyle (or any lifestyle change for that matter): you make small or big changes and those changes become your new normal. If you have made those changes once, and confronted your fears, you can do it again without the same amount of fear that you had before. So start stretching those muscles of comfort and create that new normal where you can do things you never thought you could.
Enjoy the process, embrace surprises
We have learned that trying new things, experimenting with different approaches or just simply diving headfirst and unprepared into something new can be really scary. Most of the times we were busy reaching our goal or the finish line and we were not enjoying the process that much. After a couple of times however, we found out that the process itself is much more fun when you decide upfront that you are going to enjoy everything that comes your way. Whether it is a something you expected or something unexpected we treat them the same way: we are thankful for whatever new experience or learning we can get out of it and make it part of our journey to broaden our own comfort zones. A great example is our antique Volkswagen Combi Nina. She is enriching our travel experience in so many ways but because she is forty three years old she is always good for an element of surprise: she doesn’t start when she really has to, she stops working when she really shouldn’t or she works perfectly when we are sure she would give up. The first year we found ourselves cursing her for this but since then we have had so many great experiences because of her surprises: we have met the greatest people, camped at the strangest places and learned so much about mechanics that we now embrace it when she is throwing us another element of surprise. So enjoy the process and embrace surprises, they make your journey even more worth it.
Standing on the shoulders of your own giant
You will see that getting out of your comfort zone is an addictive process. Once you have reached your goal you will find yourself looking for the next experiment. Without realising, you are standing on the shoulders of your own giant, new comfort zone. For us leaving Holland was a huge step in 2011, now we fly back and forth and we can basically live anywhere there is wifi and we are completely comfortable living like this. So to raise the bar for ourselves and keep this feeling of trying new things we have decided many new experiments since then. From trying yoga in India to living almost without money or doing triathlons while traveling, these are all ways for us to stand on the shoulder of our own giant and keep expanding our own comfort zone. A great feeling and we highly recommend it to other digital nomads: use the power and energy that comes from living this lifestyle to try new things, to make your journey more worthwhile, your life more interesting and the world a better place.
Boring or not boring
There is only one person who can keep this circle expanding and prevent your comfort zone from shrinking and your life from becoming dull again. To be clear on this: we are not saying that if you are not actively going outside of your comfort zone your life is boring, not at all. Even going outside your comfort zone can be boring at times (Columbus went far out of comfort zone but all those months at sea before reaching Amerika must have been mind numbing;)) We are just trying to inspire you to keep enriching your life and fully enjoy the process! Now go and create or continue that beautiful digital nomad lifestyle!
Travel far, enjoy fully and give back passionately!
P.S. if you like to read more about this, we give workshops and online courses about this topic on www.workingwonderfully.com