As a sister post to our recap of 2019, we thought up a list of all the things we learned as nomads in our first year of travel.
2019 was surely an exhilarating year for us.
We went from Michigan to Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, Phoenix, then Hawaii, Seattle to Michigan, and finally we ended up in rural Pennsylvania for the time being.
These 10 lessons came as a result of traveling for one full year.
They are the start of living with authenticity and sincerity, and the inspiration for continuing to travel for many years to come.
1. Spur of the moment decisions often create the best memories
When deciding where to go or what to do, it’s best to stay light with your available options.
Over-planning often leads to feeling like you’ve got a schedule to fulfill. Instead, we advocate finding that fine line of spontaneity that keeps you safe, but lets things happen on a whim.
The ability to dream big, along with a confident sense of trust in your gut instincts can lead to some amazing adventures.
2. Let go of nay-sayers and find like-minded people
When it comes to traveling, so much of the added benefit is the people you meet along the way. This was probably one of the most eye-opening things for us as we started traveling.
Make friends who tour the seasonal job circuit, locals who can teach you about the culture, and experienced global nomads who have years of experience.
And don’t let anyone talk you down from what you truly want to be doing.
After all, it is your life to be lived.
3. Learn to cook with what you have available
We’re all about utilizing local resources in meal preparation.
Back in our hometown, it was easy to buy fast food, go out to restaurants, or splurge on prepared frozen foods. But traveling teaches you to make the most out of the ingredients you have available.
Learn to take pleasure in casually preparing meals, and how artistic the act of combining flavors can be. Your taste buds will thank you.
4. Specify what’s important in daily living
Choosing to live a lifestyle of travel is all about cutting back excess.
You don’t need that extra pair of shoes, those trinkets you’ve had collecting dust on your dresser, or that hibachi grill your great aunt gifted to you.
Specifing what’s important, and moreover what’s necessary, will do wonders for your life. Not only does your environment feel less cluttered, your thoughts also become clearer.
In fact, the less things you have, the easier it is to determine what’s most meaningful in your life.
5. Stay a while and connect with the places you’re living in
Getting to know a place for what it has to offer certainly has its benefits.
There’s the historical aspects of a region, the customs, the foods, the languages, the residents, the changes in weather, and the hidden wonders.
It’s true that you have to live in a region for more than 3 months before you really get to know the place.
Since constant traveling can get expensive, settling in for a while will save you money too.
6. Become conscious of where your water is from
Water is the most important natural resource our world has to offer.
Do you know where your water is coming from? What’s in it? How it may have been processed?
What you’re putting into your body has a direct relationship on your state of well-being. Unfortunately, a lot of the time we’re left dealing with polluted waterways, sometimes unsafe for consumption.
That’s why it’s incredibly important to know everything you can about your water. Not only will you feel better about drinking it, you can make smarter decisions about how to make the most of it.
7. Keep dreaming and planning to make things happen
Always strive to continue looking forward. It breeds a youthful kind of vitality when you have goals you’d like to accomplish in the future.
Start a bucket list with an actionable plan. Create a to-do list and force yourself to stick to it. Do the right research to figure out what it would take to get you from here to there.
Have goals. Set expectations for yourself. Achieve things that most find unimaginable.
You have everything that you need within yourself to succeed!
8. Learn to listen more deeply
If you pause for a moment, try to take note of all the noises that surround you.
What do you hear?
When we get caught up in the rush of our daily affairs, we often forget to do this simple, yet effective practice. However, practicing it daily can change your life.
We collect ourselves in listening to the noises surrounding us. We learn to appreciate the beauty in the sounds around us. We find greater enjoyment in the simpler things of life.
But the best part is, this sense can be accessed in any place, at any time.
9. Time moves slower while you’re traveling
When you’re stuck in a monotonous job, everything seems to move in a blur. There’s just nothing of substance that exists when you’re caught up in the cycles of routine.
When we set foot on our travels, however, life took on a new feeling. Suddenly we were immersed in enjoying our day to day happenings. We were meeting new people, going on new adventures, and teaching ourselves new things.
Choosing to immerse yourself in activities that make you feel alive is well worth the endeavor.
Life doesn’t have to fly by.
10. Winter is not something worth enduring
I’m talking about cold, dreary, and overcast winters here. They’re just not worth it!
We’ve found that poolside relaxation and t-shirt weather is infinitely more preferable than chilly outdoor temperatures. It’s no wonder that most nomadic hotspots center around balmy climates.
With that being said, one of the main beauties of the nomadic lifestyle is that you have the ability to move about with the seasons.
So if you’re still shivering with all those layers on, and feeling kind of glum that you haven’t seen the sun in a week, pack up your favorite sandals, your bathing suit, and your sunglasses and high-tail it for warmer weather!
What do you think?
Are these the types of things you’d be thinking about after one year of travel?
We tried to keep our lessons broad so that they’d be able to apply to everyone. Although, we definitely did learn more specific skills—like how to open a coconut with a rock, and how to purify rain water for drinking.
Did you learn anything from these lessons?
Let us know in the comments.
Or, if you just want to show some love, that’s cool too!
Oh, and if you haven’t already, be sure to check out our recap of 2019. That article has tons more insights into our extraordinary first year as nomads!
Thanks for reading!