So…I went to Bali and I’m not coming back.
Yup, you read that right! It’s official – I didn’t get on my flight home from Bali last week and have extended my stay for another month! What can I say? I fell in love! And no, not in an Eat Pray Love kind of way with some sort of sexy Javier Bardem lookalike (although I do kind of wish that was the case…) I fell in love with Bali, and with the vision of making a new kind of life here. I fell in love with the person I could be here, and I want to get to know her way more before I go home and/or decide what to do next! So as of this week I’m officially trying out life as a Digital Nomad….I’m not going to say I’m never coming back, but I’m leaving it open with a question mark for now – who knows what could happen in a month?!
I’ll admit “Digital Nomad” is a bit of a cringe-y millennial buzzword: the latest thing for Huffpost to report on about our generation’s work ethic, the new “it-word” to add to our instagram bios, basically just the next thing in line for us to do that our parents will never understand! I mean I’ve already got blogging, working in social media, going freelance, running a start-up business…why not just add another thing to my ‘What on earth is our daughter doing with her life” resume?!
I’m totally kidding, but I understand why being a Digital Nomad might just sound like a trend that the crazy kids are trying these days rather than a legit life choice. But it turns out it’s totally possible. I’ve just spent the last month hanging out with 15 people from all over the world as part of my trip with Unsettled. They were people from all different backgrounds, all different ages and life-stages, from different continents and all in very different jobs, and yet they all left this month’s trip not only having made the remote-working life work for them but realising that it could work as part of a much bigger, more permanent digital nomad lifestyle. And I won’t be at all surprised if I hear from some of them that they’ve made that leap sometime pretty soon!
So why do it? I’m not saying that it’s easy, and I’m definitely not saying that it’s for everyone (there will be another post on that coming very soon!) but I’m not going to lie if you are one of the people who wants to and can make it work, then it’s a pretty great way to live, even if just for a little while. So here are the reasons that I’ve decided to stay and try it out this month….we’ll see how it goes!
“If we were supposed to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.”
Why the hell not?
It might sound stupid, but one of my main answers to any question of why, is ‘well why not’? Let’s be honest, if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in a position where you can work from anywhere, and if you want to travel, then really – why the hell not? That was one of the main reasons I came out here in the first place, because I suddenly wasn’t tied down to an office or anywhere I had to be and I thought ‘Well if I’m lucky enough to have the chance to do it, then I have to take it!’ There are some moments when you find yourself somewhere in life that you may never be again – like, how common is it to suddenly realise that it’s totally possible for you to pack up and live in Bali for two months? I take moments like that as a sign from the universe that it’s something I have to try – as soon as I thought I might do it, I knew in my gut it was right. So why the hell not give it a go!
Say yes to the life you want
Who says we have to only live the way that we’ve been taught? In our heads, we’ve been told over and over that the 9-5 life is the only way to live – the only way to be safe, secure and successful. We have to chose a career, work our way up and that’s what success looks like. But what if that’s not really what we care about? I’ve lived my whole life so far feeling like work is the most important thing and I have to build an amazing career in order to be a worthwhile person, to have a worthwhile life. But I feel like I’ve suddenly realised it doesn’t have to be that way. What if we don’t want the things we’ve been taught are ‘normal’? Having a secure job, climbing a career ladder, earning more money than anyone else so that we can use it to buy a house, a car, put in savings…? Will those things make you fulfilled in life, or make you feel like you lived your life the best way possible when you’re on your death bed? If the answer is yes, then of course that’s fine, but if it’s not then maybe it’s time to break out of that mindset and live in a way that fulfils you, not society or your parents’ ideas or whatever that mean, niggling voice in your head tells you you ‘should’ be doing! I’ve realised that as much as I always thought I was a “career” girl, there’s another way and I don’t have to live to work, I can work just to live – and the living part of that equation is way more important. I’ve realised that the most important things to me in life aren’t the things that we’re taught – money, work, recognition, blah. So I’m going to do my best at creating a life that doesn’t have to follow those rules, can still give me what I need in term of survival (money, food, etc) but more importantly feeds my soul. Choose a life that matters to you. Just because being a digital nomad isn’t the way everyone else lives doesn’t mean we can’t!
It’s a funny thing once you step out of your comfort zone – you never know what is going to happen or who you’re going to meet. It sometimes seems to me like once you’re brave enough to take the step into something new, things just show up. Who knows how may new opportunities you might find when you’re travelling – new clients to work with, new people to meet. As a digital nomad you end up networking with all sorts of people you’d never normally meet and getting inspiration from all sorts of places! Even with me in Bali, who knows what new kind of work opportunities I might come across or people I might find to work with? But if I stayed at home sat in my at-home office I’d never know…
See the world
The other great thing about creating a life where you can work anywhere? You can go anywhere. Once I realised that I could work from literally any place that had a wifi connection, I realised I was completely free! If you’re one of those people like me who has a serious hunger for travel, then this might be the thing that fuels you into creating a life where you can work remotely and live free. I know that travelling is something that will always be inside me as something to do, and as much as it’s scary and seems like a huge decision it’s one of those things that you just have to grab in the moments that you can. Not travelling more is always quoted as one of people’s biggest deathbed regrets, and it’s so easily one of those things that can be put off as “Oh, I’ll do it once I leave this job/earn enough money/have more time”. But chances are, that will mean you miss the moment and won’t end up doing it! For me, it means doing it at this time in my life where I don’t have responsibilities like a mortgage or a family, and making the most of being able to be free! I’m in Bali for now, but if this works out who knows where I might go next? The world really will be my oyster and I intend to see as much of it as possible!
So there you have it, just some of the reasons I’m staying in Bali and trying out the digital nomad life for the forseeable!! Please follow my adventures along on instagram @rosieglow. I’ll be posting more tips about how to be a digital nomad and work remotely soon so if you’re interested in doing it for yourself watch this space!