Throwing away my life is not always well accepted by people I shared my story way back in 2015 when I prepared to leave the Netherlands for good. Because that’s how they see it: I’m throwing away my life.
I’m ungrateful and I’m on a lifetime escape from my social and economic responsibilities.
The Netherlands is the best place to live in.
Their opinion is more about them than it is about me
No matter how often I told them that the digital nomad lifestyle I prefer is all about living my dreams and follow my heart. They did not want to hear that, they wanted to convince me that my move is a stupid move, in spite of me preparing for it for a year or so.
Behind the worries about my safety and the opinion about my behavior, I hear emotions: fear and maybe even a bit of envy.
Most people live predictable lives: their alarm clock or the next-door neighbor’s rooster wakes you up and then the treadmill starts. Every day the same, over and over again. And most of us walk around with a hidden secret, with unfulfilled dreams, with the desire to change the mundane everyday life into something exciting. And most of us have compromised these dreams for economical and social obligations and even the opinion of others.
Let’s cross some boundaries and rediscover the soul-nourishing joy of following your dreams
Well, that’s a scary phrase! Because you do realize I’m not talking about getting up in the morning and breaking a habit of brushing your teeth after breakfast and do it before breakfast instead.
What I mean is that you have a dream that you are concealing for everyone around you and most of all for yourself. Tell me about your dream? What would you like to do to nourish your soul and get back in touch with the life you really want to live?
And most of all, tell me how you can accomplish that and when!? Have you ever thought about that? To give your dream some space? And even a chance to grow on you?
Now it’s getting scary, isn’t it?
suppose you want to be a digital nomad like me, giving up your secure life and live the life of a vagabond. For that’s what being a digital nomad is all about: break boundaries, skip the daily routine and wander about the world, travel to every corner of the earth, no 9-5 jobs, no traffic jam, no boss telling you what to do.
What would people say if you told them your life will change drastically?
Well, they probably tell you the same stuff they told me.
that you are crazy,
that you should act normal,
that you should be realistic,
that you will fail,
that you will return within a year,
that the whole plan will backfire.
If you already figured that there’s much more to life than waking up each day to do the job you dislike and that drains the happiness out of you, then you are on the threshold of accepting the next step. What is the next step? overcoming the opinion of others. Remember that their advice, how well-meant, is not going to add anything to the decision involving your deepest heart’s desire.
Everyone has a different idea of happiness and security and also of success.
Most of the human beings are genetically inspired by the idea that living by standard social norms is the best way to success,
happiness and they seek security in the available economic system. If that works for you that’s fine. But those of us longing to seek the horizon, there is more to life and we are always living on the urge to break free from this system. Asking friends what is best for you, is like asking for doubt. Your world and theirs do not match anymore, your dreams and theirs may match, but they are not ready to vocalize their dreams and act on it. So how can they advise you what to do?
And although we all do need a bit of constructive criticism when making life decisions, there is no good advice in negativity. Have you run into a person like that: don’t even bother to argue with them, just nod, smile, thank them for their valuable opinion (or not) and walk away.
Seek those people who want you to flourish and live your life to max no matter what.
My best friend while preparing to leave was, in spite of her own loss once I’d left, my best criticaster. She loved me so much she wanted me to go, yet she hated to see me go. But she was able to go beyond her own feelings and advise me, give me feedback on the moves I doubt about and in the middle of her own sadness about losing the ability to see me in real life whenever we feel that need, she is cheering and applauding my decision to become a digital nomad. Those people add value to you making plans and following your dreams. And if you do not have anyone around you? Seek someone.
You can always talk to a digital nomad (like me) and ask questions, discuss your doubt, fear and the next step to make. Or ask information to make proper planning on leaving and fulfilling your dreams.
Don’t let anyone hold you back from doing what you long to do most, whether it is visiting the north pole or skydiving, or simply taking a course or following classes again. Like Nike says: just do it!
You only live once. And you better be sorry for those things you’ve tried, successful or not, than of those things you only dreamt about.
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.