Being a nomad is not the romantic thing I thought it would be; whatever my Instagram feed implies or what other nomads might say, this is nothing like vacation. For every anxiety-trigger I gave up when I left office-life, I inherited two more. Still, the change of routine taught me–or has rather shown me–insights that I wasn’t wise to before.
1. patience is everything
After going through airports, arguing with taxi drivers, stomaching small talk with someone who feels as uncomfortable as I do, I developed a patience for which I didn’t know I had the capacity. The last three years have forced me to accept things as they are. Accepting delays, complications and human error in others has translated into patience for myself. More and more, I allow myself to make mistakes (which amazingly has resulted in making fewer mistakes), and I allow myself to just exist without a to do list and deadlines in the forefront of my head.
2. be present
It’s always been very easy for me to become disabled by my anxiety and workload. In an effort to overcome these anxieties, I become consumed by planning and reviewing and preparing. Since becoming a nomad, nothing about my life feels routine anymore. I have been forced to stop planning every detail of day simply because it’s impossible to do. And I considered why I was letting my anxiety dictate my day. As I stood in amazing places around the world, I decided to leave tomorrow’s problems for tomorrow and be present where and when I am.
3. the value of kindness
This is a very Sunday school inclusion to my list and perhaps I should have learned this lesson when I was in Sunday school as a child, but the value I now hold for strangers is something I’ve only recently obtained. It is strangers who have become my best friends, my protectors, my source of laughter and my confidence. If you allow it, people will show you an immeasurable amount of kindness. And instead of words I was taught to believe as a child, I truly know the impact.
It’s rather difficult to explain, but I’ve seen an internal transformation in the last few months. The more patient and kind I am to others, the better my day is. It’s as if the good energy I am pushing out to the world acts as a shield against anxiety and annoyances.
4. be amazed (by yourself)
You are braver, kinder and more clever than you will ever know. What feels like small, insignificant things will add up and build until one day, you look back in amazement of what you’ve achieved. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a life.
When I think back to where I was a year ago, 6 months ago, last week, I realized I never would have imagined myself where I am today. It’s frightening, but also satisfying as hell.
5. be humble
I can’t tell you how to achieve this or when you’ll achieve this (this being humility). One day, you will simply stop and feel the world move around you while you’re stuck in a chilling moment of awareness. You’ll take a breath so long and deep that you can feel the cool oxygen reach your brain before slipping down your spine like a crescendo. In that moment, you will feel small and inferior and perhaps on the brink of tears. The earth is so big and the universe is so vast, and yet there you stand. Life is a miracle, and you will be feel humbled in the small space you occupy