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FINDING (2)As of today, I have been a digital nomad for 6 months!

These past 6 months have been a wonderful learning experience. I’ve been challenged. I’ve spent a lot of time alone with my thoughts. I’d like to think I’m becoming a different better person.

To give you a bit of perspective of what I was thinking and feeling, here is a passage from my journal just a few days after I left DC and arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand:

I can’t believe I’ve been here 4.5 days. I only quit my job 16 days ago. That’s crazy to think. Man, it’s been a busy 16 days. I’m so glad the stress of getting out of DC is behind me. My life doesn’t have much stress now. Other than the temperature in my apartment. But, why am I complaining? I couldn’t control the temperature in my last apartment either. Hmm. Maybe it’s a sign. Or the universe playing a trick on me. I don’t know which. Dang you, universe.

I kind of wish I would have gone to Italy. There would be less culture shock. I know Italy wouldn’t have been an adventure. I know that I know the city too well. I know that I’ve already been there and it would have been old-hat. I know; I know. But, it feels so comforting and familiar right now. I’m sure anything in Europe would.

I am feeling so overwhelmed by all of this. Thailand is nice and interesting, but man, it’s a lot to take in. It’s loud and very busy and chaotic. And HOT. It’s so hot. Again, I know I’ll get used it, but I haven’t yet. I am really ready for the time when I can sleep through the night and not wake up hot and sweaty.

Nothing seems familiar. Was that the point though? I don’t know. Maybe it was. I am still so overwhelmed. The only place I feel at home is at Punspace, my coworking space. I probably shouldn’t come here everyday, but I kind of don’t know what to do with myself. I walk around, but I don’t know what anything means or the history behind it. I am lost.

Quitting my job, selling everything I owned, and moving to SE Asia (sight unseen) was the bravest thing I’ve ever done. It took courage that I had to find in the deepest depths of my soul.

My time in Asia has given me the space and time to grow, personally, professionally, emotionally, and spiritually. I have seen abject poverty in Cambodia and fantastic mansions in Bali. I’ve laid on multiple beaches. I’ve worked 12-hour days. I started journaling again. I’ve tried things I’ve never done before, like meditation and unconventional healing techniques.

My life today is quite different than those first few days in Thailand. First, I am much happier in Bali than I was in my prior locations. Second, Bali is the beautiful intersection to meet people, to spend my time working on my business, and to work on personal development.

For context and to compare Thailand’s and Bali’s journal entries, here is a short piece about living in Bali:

Since arriving in Bali, I have felt peace and ease and happiness. There is just this feeling of serenity and finding. I know it sounds weird and a little woo-woo, but it’s the truth. I don’t know if it’s the geography or the volcanoes or the positioning of the tectonic plates.

It’s like heaven. Eden. Magical. 

There is an obvious difference in my attitude and tone. My mindset is in a different place. Now, to be fair, I was massively jetlagged and starving for the first few days in Thailand, which was not the case in Bali. When I first arrived in Bali, I was acclimated to the heat and felt more comfortable traveling.

Still though. The difference I feel within myself in the last 6 months is more than I could have imagined. I am working hard on Climb Out of The Cubicle. Since I’ve been traveling, I have started a podcast (which was featured on iTunes’ New and Noteworthy), started a monthly workshop series, and have had many “ah-ha” moments that have led me to more clarity in my business. These achievements make me feel good about the work I’m doing.

On a personal level, I have accomplished more than I thought I would:

  • I faced my fear and learned to ride a scooter,
  • I have visited 7 new countries (+ Australia, but I had already been there),
  • I earned my SCUBA certification on my 32nd birthday,
  • I have made countless new friends,
  • My carryon bag has gotten lighter by sending two loads of stuff back to my sister,
  • My weekly massages have gone from 60 minutes to 90 minutes,
  • I conquered my 4th volcano on 4 continents, and (potentially most importantly)
  • I still haven’t gotten dengue fever.

I could not be happier with my decision to quit my job and focus on my business full time. Of course I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I am proud of myself for taking advantage of this gift I’ve given myself.

While I technically carry around a blue passport, I officially feel like a citizen of the world.

6 Months as a Digital Nomad

by Amber time to read: 4 min
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