7 Not-So-Deadly Sins Holding You Back From Living A Nomadic Life
I know what you’re thinking “Why the hell would you use the seven deadly sins to describe anyone’s pursuit of the nomadic life? Just how dark and twisty are you Maggie?”
Well, you see my parents let me watch the movie Seven (Se7en) with Brad Pitt when I was 13 years old. Unsurprisingly, I then didn’t sleep for the next year of my life… or at least that’s how long it felt.
Though it was terrifying at the time – the concept of the movie really stuck with me ever since.
Having also studied psychology in
Because of this, I decided to put together a list of the things that often prevent people from achieving their dream of a location independent or nomadic life (as told by the way of the 7 [not-so] deadly sins).
Here we go!
Sex. Ok no maybe not sex, but relationships definitely (so – sex). I think we’ve all met them – the couples whose hopes and dreams are very clearly heading in two completely different directions.
Let’s say you really want to live out of a backpack and see the world, while your partner is looking at retirement plans at the age of 25 – which one of you will compromise? Because ultimately – someone will.
The extent to which this is problematic really depends on how badly you want that freedom lifestyle. If you’re confident that you won’t wake up one day and resent your partner for preventing you from achieving your dream then you’re one of the lucky ones. Because this lifestyle (or the dream of it) is often an unshakable obsession that’s hard to give up.
So, what if you can’t shake this feeling like there’s this big bad world out there for you to see and your partner is the reason you haven’t gone out on your adventure yet… what then?
There’s a reason why so many people find love on group tours. It’s because your love of travel is not the same as your love of watching synchronised swimming in the Olympics from the comfort of your living room.
It’s not a
Nick and I are very lucky that we both feel more comfortable sleeping on airport floors in foreign countries if it’s in pursuit of adventure, rather than sleeping in the same comfortable bed as a part of a stable daily routine. Travelling with your partner is make or break for a lot of relationships.
If your partner doesn’t share this addiction – you have to consider the life you’re giving up for the one you’re gaining with them by your side. This may sound extreme, but it happens all the time. I’ve met a lot of middle-aged solo travellers whose biggest regret is letting their partner hold them back in their pursuit of adventure.
Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones, and your love of travel is something you share with your partner.
Only you can really know what’s right for you, but I felt it was only fair to put this into the list as it really can be the thing that either makes or breaks your pursuit of a nomadic life.
It’s also the reason that several of my relationships have ended in the past. Luckily, Nick is just as much of a travel-junkie as I am and I couldn’t have it any other way!
No, not in the 90-piece Chicken McNugget order kind of way. But I suppose in a way it kind of is.
The gluttony that prevents people from the lifestyle of their dreams refers to over-consumption to the point of wastefulness.
Think of the suspicious smell in your fridge, it’s probably some vegetable or meat that’s gone off because you bought more food than you needed and couldn’t eat it all. Sadly, everyone does it but not everyone sees it as a wakeup call to buy only what they need.
The fact is this – if you’re going be a digital nomad, you will have to have some initial savings in order to
So, you may have to cut down on a few luxuries. Or travel to places like Vietnam where luxury is affordable.
We all have that one friend who always complains about being broke but seems to always be out for dinner, brunch, drinks etc. Don’t be that friend.
The takeaway here (pun most definitely intended), is to start living life with a minimalistic mindset as much as
Your bank account and future adventure plans will thank you, trust me.
This could be
I understand, believe me. I only discovered what an electric blanket was when I moved to Australia but now I can no longer remember my life BEB (before electric blanket). It’s the best thing in the world, as a Canadian you’d think I would have had one earlier, but sadly I lived 25 EB-free years.
On top of this – as a vegan and a smoothie-addict, I also have an unhealthy attachment to my NutriBullet and I find it extremely hard to let go of it when we travel. But this is important to know – people who have less are often so much happier than those who have more. This is because they appreciate the fewer things that they do have.
I used to have more clothes than I could wear in several months.
The day I packed a backpack with only the items I could carry and donated everything else to charity – something shifted. I realised how much money and time I would save while travelling without any room in my backpack to fit more clothes or souvenirs.
Trust me when I say that nothing worthwhile will ever happen if you remain inside your comfort zone. As Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” Yet so many people live their lives this way.
They go to jobs they hate so they can afford to buy more things they don’t need to impress people they don’t
Remember, you have so much to gain by giving it all up. Keep only the things that bring you joy and give away as much as you can. De-cluttering your life will also de-clutter your mind and bring you one step closer to your nomadic life.
There is a reason why the “become a millionaire in a week” scams still exist.
It’s because as a society we want everything to require a minimal effort, while still achieving big results, and most importantly we want everything to happen as quickly as possible.
Remember the weight-loss diet that promised you that you would lose 30 pounds in 30 days by wearing a belt that’ll shake your belly fat while you watch Dance Moms and eat pizza? Much like that, chances are you won’t achieve your dream of a nomadic life without putting in the work.
I find this oddly comforting mainly because I’m a bit of a paranoid parrot. I generally follow the “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” rule, especially while working online. I actually find courses that promise to get you results quickly and effortlessly really demotivating. This is because when your results take longer than what was promised you end up feeling like crap. I’d rather know what I’m in for at the very beginning so I can prepare myself.
So, though sloths are super cute, your journey to the perfect nomadic life won’t be easy, but it will make it that much satisfying when all of your hard work pays off.
But… seriously, how great are sloths?
I actually really struggled with this one.
That’s when I realised that I was looking in the wrong place. This category may not pertain to
I had a lot of negative backlash from people in my life to my decision to live a freedom lifestyle. I had some of the most important people in my life calling me a quitter and an aimless dreamer amongst other things.
It feels like crap, but it really shouldn’t hold you back from achieving your dream life. It certainly didn’t stop me.
People will have different reactions to the events in their life; reactions that even they may not fully understand. It might even come from your own family as they aren’t going to like having a long distance relationship with you. That’s to be expected and is surprisingly completely irrelevant. What is relevant is your response to their reactions.
Using doubt as a powerful motivational tool and dedicating your efforts to proving everyone wrong is one way of handling this kind of situation. It’s not easy, trust me. It’s completely natural to go on the defensive and feel hurt when people question your decisions.
They mean well, give them the benefit of the doubt and try to move past it – because your dream of a nomadic life depends on it.
How many times have you had this conversation with your friends:
You: *scrolls through Instagram,
Friend: “What’s wrong?”
You: “How come there are people out there getting paid to travel the world and dogs in hot dog costumes that make more money than me?”
I worked at a travel agency so this may have been more common in our office than most. But on some
The beauty of the internet is that anything is possible (like millionaire dogs
Remember that everyone has the same number of hours in a day, what you do with those hours is entirely up to you.
Who else was told by their high school guidance counsellor that higher education would solve all their problems? I know I’m not alone in this.
Absolute rubbish. I have no regrets about going to university because ultimately, in a really roundabout sort of way – it brought me to exactly where I was supposed to be, right here.
I’m also not trying to bag on higher education here, not at all. However, let’s just agree that at the age of seventeen or eighteen, you are not prepared to choose one direction of study, leading to a career which you will then stick with for the rest of your life.
It’s almost like the ‘high school sweetheart’ effect. There are some amazing couples out there who have been together for sixty years since their first year of high school.
The reality for many others, however, is that from high school onwards it is unlikely that you will both grow separately and together in a way that complements each other’s likes and dislikes… for the rest of your lives.
Choosing your profession of choice at the age of seventeen is exactly like that.
Can you really expect that fifty-year-old you, will still have the same aspirations as you did thirty years earlier?
Perhaps, and for
I guess what I’m saying is please don’t let your pride take over your potential for happiness or dent your hopes at beginning a nomadic life.
Life is way too short and exciting for anyone to stay in a job they hate, with a partner who doesn’t support their passions, or even in a country which doesn’t suit their needs. The nomadic life certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you can’t shake the feeling that maybe it’s something you’re supposed to explore then maybe there’s a reason for that.
Only you know what’s right for you, but if chasing your dream of travelling the world feels right – do it and don’t let
PS. For actual budget travel tips geared towards digital nomads, freelancers and anyone else enjoying the nomadic life, check out our posts on finding the best accommodation, booking cheap flights and housesitting.
Let me know in the comments below, have you experienced any of these “sins” as obstacles in your way of achieving your dream of a nomadic life!?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Maggie is a