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What Being a Digital Nomad Has Taught Me: 25 Life Lessons

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

I’ve solo travelled 10 countries with my business in my backpack. Here’s what I’ve learned about myself and life along the way

Heather Grant writer typing at her laptop

As a health and wellness copywriter, I often fear that people get the impression I have it all together. I don’t. My life strategy is ‘winging it’, and I get told I have my ‘head in the clouds’ so often I have a tattoo to symbolise it.

But amid the zigs and zags, I’ve created a business that allows me the ultimate freedom to travel the world and find my version of ‘wellness’.

I’ve made friends from around the globe, collected life-changing experiences, learnt so many things about myself, and picked up daily rituals and practices to keep me sane.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learnt as a digital nomad. This isn’t advice. The ‘you’ I’m speaking to is simply me. But who knows, maybe some of the reflections resonate with you too?

25 Things I’ve Learnt As a Digital Nomad

1. Think I’m eras. Is it working right now? Great! Enjoy it. Not sure it’s forever? That’s fine, it doesn’t have to be.

2. Don’t make decisions on a high or a low. Wait until you’re feeling more neutral before you act.

3. Not every day is a ‘big’ day. Chill. Read. Watch Netflix. Process things.

4. There’s a lot of world to explore, but it’s not going anywhere. There’s no rush. Embrace slow travel. Get to know places.

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5. A new location doesn’t fix everything. You don’t leave your anxieties at home. You take them with you and find new ways to deal with them.

6. Scared to do something? More reason to do it. Shrink your list of things to fear.

7. You don’t need to be everybody’s best friend. Focus on the effortless friendships and easy conversations.

8. Material things don’t count for sh*t. You lose things, you forget things, and you learn to live without the things you thought you couldn’t live without.

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9. Goodbyes are hard and there’s only so many people you can keep in touch with. If you’re meant to, you’ll bump into each other again.

10. There’s no such thing as the ‘right’ decision. There’s a decision, then the choice between moving with it or doubting it.

11. If you want to do something and you have no one to do it with, do it alone. You’ll regret missing it.

12. You’ll find a way. You always have, do you always will.

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13. Recreating small routines is an effective homesickness cure.

14. No one is thinking about you as much as they’re thinking about themselves.

15. The more you experience, the more you want to experience. Gratitude > greed.

16. Take ‘should’ out of your vocabulary. There’s no right way to do things. Find what works for you.

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17. Replace every worst-case scenario with ‘What if it all works out?’. Double the excitement, not the anxiety.

18. You spent years thinking you’re an introvert. You’re really not. You’re just an anxious extrovert. Find people you’re comfortable around, and you thrive.

19. Make friends with people who, on pen and paper, you have little in common with. You’ll have the best conversations.

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20. You crave external validation. Be mindful and watch that isn’t the only reason you’re doing something.

21. Whenever a doubt pops into your mind ask yourself ‘Who says?’. It makes it a lot easier to distinguish your own limits from other people’s projected ones.

22. Someone is always going to be better than you at something, and someone is always going to be someone worse than you at something. It’s guaranteed. Accept it.

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23. You’ll change. A lot. Every year you discover more things about yourself, so be kind to the past versions of you.

24. Nobody has it together. Everyone is winging it, some people are just better at faking it.

25. You’re a mix of cautious and spontaneous. Inevitably, that means you spend a lot of time planning and re-planning. Don’t stress, surrender to the reroutes.

Do any of these resonate with you? Let me know in the comments!

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