A Choice or a Necessity
Desiring and pursuing a nomadic lifestyle is not a choice for some people. Somewhere deep down it feels like a necessity, in our subconscious there is something that drives us towards becoming a nomad. A nomadic lifestyle means not conforming to the surroundings we were born into. The necessity of leaving is derived from the feeling of never fitting in to begin with.
The true nomad never reaches this phase of settling in and comfort that most people are working towards. Or, maybe does for some time but then starts experiencing this underlying restlessness that they can’t quite define. A lot of nomads will live with their restless feelings for the rest of their lives and the only way to cope with these feelings is to accept them.
Benefits of a Nomadic Lifestyle
One of the benefits of restlessness is that we are very experienced and become ‘experts’ at life because we keep trying new things. We’re never really satisfied so we keep jumping into the next adventure. A nomad to the outside world is a person with unique survival skills and immense bravery. They think it’s brave to give up your job, travel half way across the world and keep starting over and over again. People admire and are jealous of our daring courage. Except for us it doesn’t feel like bravery, for us it’s a necessity. We don’t feel like we fit it and we don’t know where we belong. It’s our restlessness that drives us to try new things, not bravery.
Restlessness consists of first of all feeling like we don’t fit in, which then results in our subconscious search for where we do fit in. We start looking for a new community or lifestyle where we can experience some sense of belonging. Some people find their new home and belonging in another city or country and then settle in. Others keep searching but never really find a home or a sense of true belonging and remain in their Nomadic lifestyle.
The benefit of our constant need for adventure to satisfy our restlessness is that it pushes us to experiment and take on many skills. We become knowledgeable in many fields, we take on various different jobs and learn from constantly starting over in a new environment. We become masters in connecting with new people because we’ve started over in new places many times without knowing a single soul there. All of this makes us insightful and multi-talented people.
Managing our Restlessness
As we get older we sometimes get frustrated with our restlessness. We wonder, wouldn’t life be so much easier if we could just settle into a ‘home’ and stick with one job. Sometimes we try and succeed for a while, but deep down those restless feelings keep popping up again. Maybe we are not meant to have a ‘normal’ life, we don’t know what we’re meant to have but certainly not our birthplace’s norm. Recognizing and accepting our restless feelings is the only way to prevent us from getting frustrated. The frustration comes from the inner battle we have, where we are asking ourselves if we should conform to our surroundings’ expectations. But deep down we know conformity is not for us.
We are ‘jacks of all trades’ but masters in none because it’s difficult to stick to one thing. It’s also difficult to work for a boss because it is not in our nature to conform to our surroundings. Now if we can turn our survival skills, all things learned from our experimentations and our numerous global connections into something profitable we could actually become very successful. This could be our own business, free-lance work or a passion project, as long we get to design our own life. Add to this a ‘location independent’ lifestyle, with the now endless digital possibilities and we never have to settle in one place, thus satisfying our never ending restless feelings.
Is this the answer? There are more and more people becoming digital nomads and pursuing a location independent lifestyle, so I would say it seems to be working.
Gaby Kamp, Global Nomad Coaching