Here is What I Learned After 5 Years as a Digital Nomad

Feb 26, 2017 | TRAVEL

I’ve been living, working and travelling as a digital nomad for almost five years now.

My anniversary is coming up in January.

Besides being a location-independent entrepreneur, travel blogger and YouTuber, I’m also a plant-based yogi, who likes to surf, live a holistic lifestyle and is passionate about personal development.

I live and work where and how I want. Most of my income is passive, which means I no longer trade time for cash; instead, I make money even when I’m not at my laptop:

When I’m sleeping, sitting on an aeroplane, swimming in the sea, meditating, having sex with wonderful women, taking a shower, drinking green juice and hanging out with friends.

Since becoming location-independent, I have lived and worked in many places around the world:

Bali, Thailand, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, USA, Italy, Argentina, Ecuador, Portugal, Brazil and lots more…

In a few days I am off to Colombia.

For visuals check out my Instagram feed here.

Two years ago, I compiled all my knowledge and experiences in a German-language e-book course. It’s called Digital, unabhängig, frei: Die Kunst überall zu leben und zu arbeiten (“Digital, Independent, Free: The Art of Living and Working Anywhere”) and you can get hold of a copy here (I am also working on an English version).

I’ve learned a lot during my time as a digital nomad – a period of my life which saw me begin my journey as a wandering entrepreneur creating an online business completely from scratch. I really had no clue what I was doing when I started out.

 

How I Earn My Income

Mostly through affiliate marketing through Planet Backpack with Amazon and a travel credit card and the sales of my e-book course.

My blog has grown to one of Germany’s most popular travel blogs with more than 130.000 readers a month and is my main focus these days – besides making videos and growing my YouTube channel.

I have been involved in several other business ventures with a business partner in the past, such as Blog Camp – an online course for professional blogging- and a tourism media agency called Transit Media.

I have given talks and workshops on business, marketing, blogging, being a digital nomad and healthy living all over the world and continue to do so sometimes.

 

I compiled my most important insights and tips in this post. I hope they will help you get your own career as a digital nomad off to a flying start:

 

DON’T START A BLOG – START A BUSINESS

Having a blog doesn’t make you a digital nomad. A blog in itself is not a business.

Many bloggers fail to catch onto the fact that they must treat their blog as a business if they ever want to be able to live off the profits.

Reality check: to be able to survive off affiliate income, you need a HUGE AMOUNT of traffic to your website. It can take up to two years before you’re able to do so – and most bloggers never even reach that point. Motivation fades quickly and disappointment sets in.

My blog Planet Backpack grew quickly because I worked my ass off and pursued a clear affiliate marketing strategy as well as developing alternative sources of income. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make this blog my business, not just my hobby. That’s the reason why the site has become one of Germany’s most popular travel blogs and now draws more than 130,000 readers per month – and why my affiliate income lets me live a very comfortable life.

Blog success – hell, any business success – doesn’t happen overnight.

So, don’t build a blog, build a business.

In other words: create your own products.

Financially speaking, my business really began to soar, when we launched the Blog Camp online course and I published my e-book course. At that point, I was most definitely IN BUSINESS. Looking back, everything I’d done before that had essentially been at an amateur level.

A blog is a fantastic platform and should ALWAYS be part of your business strategy.

As a general principle, however, I’d say:

Screw affiliate marketing and forget about income through advertising. Don’t let them account for the whole of your income. Diversify your income! Do your own thing, sell a product. An e-book, online workshops, an online course..

 

SLOW DOWN…

It sounds so tempting: travel the world and get paid while you do it.

I know many very successful digital nomads in all corners of the globe. What do they have in common?

They travel slow. They stay in each location for several months before moving to another.

To be really productive, you need a routine. There was a time when I fought long and hard against this idea, travelling around the world like a crazy woman on the run.

Just like many other newbie digital nomads, I overdosed on too much fast travelling. Because I felt like a kid in a candystore or Alice in Wonderland. You want it all and you think time is running out and there is too much to do and see. Classic case of FOMO – fear of missing out.

At some point, two things happened:

1.   I was burnt out from constant travel.

2.   I had come to realise that I am most productive when I kept my feet on solid ground.

So in the last couple years, I spent big chunks of my time in Bali, which sort of became like a home base. Right now, I am about to set off to spend a month in Medellin, Colombia. After that, I am looking for a new home base or at least a place to spend several months.

Slower is better, healthier, more enjoyable and more fulfilling.

Of course, from time to time, there are periods when I am on the road more – but I no longer travel for the sake of travelling and “seeing the world”. I long for meaningful and unique experiences rather than checking off “things to do and see”. I don’t travel with guidebooks and I have probably become the worst tourist around avoiding sightseeing most of time. Instead, I discover places through yoga, vegan food, surfing and connecting with like-minded people.

I want to live this location-independent lifestyle sustainably. And I don’t believe this is possible by binge-travelling.

My resume: fast travel and sightseeing are for amateur digital nomads.

 

FRIENDS AND COMMUNITY ARE IMPORTANT- ESPECIALLY AS A DIGITAL NOMAD

I might be a digital nomad, but I’m not an island or a lone warrior. I need friends and deep connection like I need air to breathe – and I need a community of wandering online entrepreneurs and hippie yogis around me, people that get me and the way I think and live.

Many digital nomads and long-term travellers battle with loneliness and some of them return home, because it becomes too intense.

I too have struggled with loneliness on the road and lack of deeper connections. But now, I tend to seek out destinations where I know I’ll find my people, or where I know I’ll meet existing friends.

Thankfully, my international friends network has expanded over the years and there are an ever-increasing number of “digital nomad hotspots”:

Chiang Mai, Bali, Tarifa, Berlin, Barcelona, Medellin – just to name a few.

Also, more and more co-living communities (e.g. Outsite, Roam..), co-working spaces in paradise locations (Dojo, KoHub..) and co-workation projects (Hacker in Paradise..) are popping up all over the world.

The network of digital nomads is growing and with it the feeling of connection wherever we go.

 

DO SOMETHING NOBODY ELSE IS DOING

Another average travel blog about backpacking? Another blog about self-confidence and happiness? Another freelance business like thousands of others out there? Another copycat?

Just why was Planet Backpack able to achieve such rapid success? At the beginning of 2012, there were not many good German backpacking blogs around – at least, none that were genuinely helpful and informative. There were also no other German bloggers covering the digital nomad lifestyle.

I always wanted to be a few steps ahead of other bloggers. I wanted to surprise and wow people; to read books that others weren’t reading and do things they weren’t doing.

While everyone else was doing one thing, I was trying to do another. THAT’S what makes you special – not doing the same thing as everyone around you.

Similarly, when it came to the relaunch of my blog in 2015, I wanted to make things different and memorable. That’s how this video came about – I didn’t know a single German travel blogger (or blogger on any subject?) who had an awesome promo video of themselves. So I hired a professional filmmaker.

That’s also why I spent three days shooting photos with a professional photographer – I wanted killer visual branding, the sort that no-one else had.

That’s why I started writing about very personal stuff that wasn’t very glamorous. That’s why I did a 30 day YouTube-Challenge and made a video every day. That’s why I decided to change the image of yoga, mediation and being vegan and show people how sexy and cool this lifestyle can be.

I am constantly exposed to new blogs and online business concepts that merely rehash done-to-death ideas and serve them up in a slightly different way. But most of them lack in creativity and independent ideas. Today, there are hundreds of Planet Backpacks and only a few that stopped caring what other people thought and did their own unique thing.

Inspiration is one thing, copying another.

We’re not here to be average. We’re here to be unique. And that should be what we demand of ourselves – every damned day.

 

YOU HAVE TO HUSTLE HARD FOR AT LEAST TWO YEARS

For me, this is how long it took before business was flourishing, money was flowing in – and my earnings were sufficient for me not to have to waste another minute worrying.

The 4-hour work week? Forget it. At least for a couple years.

If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it – but they aren’t. Successful businesses were build on hustle, not on sipping cocktails on the beach.

If you’re picturing yourself doing little else than travelling the world on a whim and writing a blog as you go, then don’t get your hopes up: this is as far away from reality as the moon is from the sun.

The first two years as an entrepreneur are haaaard work – regardless of whether you’re in Bali or Berlin. You’ll spend more time in front of your laptop than you ever have before, and you’ll work far, far more hours than in a 9-5 job. You are now an entrepreneur. Welcome.

You will work no matter where you are, how the weather is and how gorgeous your surroundings are.

Nowadays, I can take a month off for a yoga and meditation retreat in Mexico without worrying or thinking about my income. I generally work around two to four hours per day and I often take days off during the week, when I feel like it.

But it took me a long time to get this point. And even now, I don’t think about leaning back to relax for too long. I constantly have new ideas for projects and products. I am passionate about creating and inspiring other people.

The hard work never stops. All that’s changed is that I have more chances to pause and enjoy the view. And that most of the time, it actually doesn’t feel like work and I can outsource tasks I don’t enjoy.

I recently received an email from a reader who was considering buying my e-book.

Her question was:

“What do you think – is it possible to earn money online by working only two hours a day?”

My answer?

“No. Two hours a day is not enough to build a successful business that changes people’s lives.”

But: try to figure out your passion and your calling, and you’ll never work another day in your life.

 

CHOOSE PLACES BASED ON YOUR NEEDS

I used to wander the world on impulse; now, I’m much more selective about the places I spend time in.

These are my needs:

  • yoga community
  • access to healthy vegan food
  • entrepreneurial / digital nomad community
  • good coffeeshops
  • co-working spaces
  • warm/tropical climate
  • ideally by the ocean for surfing or within easy reach of nature
  • LGBT community

The places that can satisfy the majority of these are the places at which my body and soul will be happiest.

Here’s where the wonderful advantage of being a digital nomad comes in:

I can live in places that live up to my needs. I can choose the locations that let me practise my holistic lifestyle in the way that suits me best, where I can design my days to be fulfilling, healthy and nourishing for my soul.

That’s why I feel so at home in Bali. And in San Francisco. And in Berlin. And Chiang Mai. And Southern California.

 

SCREW FREELANCING AND PROVIDING SERVICES: BUILD YOUR OWN BUSINESS AND BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR

Freelancing is great for getting started as a digital nomad; in fact, this is exactly how I did it. And of course, there are many happy freelancers out there who never feel the need to change anything about that.

But for me personally, and for many others I know, freelancing is merely a springboard to a company of your own. It’s a necessary evil you have to live with while building a location-independent business. If everything goes well, the customers will be waved goodbye one after another, making way and creating time for your own entrepreneurial venture.

When all’s said and done, there’s nothing more fantastic than building something unique and using it to change the world and other people’s lives.

Providing a service was never my end goal – and never really fulfilled me. I always craved the chance to be truly creative. Somehow, being a freelancer never felt quite different enough from being an employee. In the end, you still work for someone else and you still have deadlines.

What’s more, as a freelancer, you only make money for the hours you work. You trade in your time for $. Not my idea of true freedom.

The day I fully transitioned into living entirely off my passive income was my true independence day.

Creating my own products, running my entire business on my own schedule and being in complete control of all of my 24 hours a day was a huge HELL YEAH.

 

YOU CARRY YOURSELF EVERYWHERE

Depression. Fears. Personal crises. Anxiety. Heartbreak. Rock bottom. Loneliness. Sadness.

All this is part of life – also as a digital nomad.

Living a life in paradise around the world is not the solution to deeper problems.

The highs of travelling the world can only temporarily distract you from yourself and any issues you have not worked out internally yet.

Actually: the digital nomad life might even bring you closer to all your inner shit. Because you create space in your life. And in this space, shit will come up. As it has for me and so many other people (e.g. Pieter Levels).

I have dealt with all aspects mentioned above. I have been depressed to the point of losing faith in everything and life, I have hit rock bottom several times, I have felt loneliness to the point of desperation, I have had my heart broken into a million pieces several times, I have dealt with endless fears surrounding all areas of life, I have had panic and anxiety attacks. You name it, I’ve probably experienced it and continue to do so.

And sometimes, the most beautiful place, the most stunning beach can look ugly, when you are in a shit place and dealing with pieces of yourself that are in dire need of healing. I have been in amazing places and couldn’t appreciate them one bit because I was utterly depressed and sad.

I have been actively healing the parts of myself that have been wounded as a child, I have been dealing with my long coming out story of 10 years, I have worked with my emotional traumas and continue to do so.

Thankfully, my digital nomad life gives me the time, space and financial resources to pursue the journey that is more important than any travel adventure: travelling inwards.

There is no running, my dear loved ones. You cannot exercise/eat/sleep/buy/wish/drink/party it off.

If you find yourself drinking and partying a lot, unable to stay in places for a while, addicted to being busy and constantly seeing new places and chasing the next high in life – you might be distracting yourself from what desperately needs your attention: YOU.

My advice: Turn towards all of your shadows that scare you and embrace them. Look into your eyes. Deal with them. Take time to be with yourself.

How?

  • Therapy and coaching via Skype.
  • Meditation and Yoga.
  • Journaling.
  • Grinberg Sessions.
  • Self-care.
  • Tapping.
  • Energy work (Theta Healing, Reiki…)
  • Ayuhasca.
  • Reading books surrounding emotional healing.
  • Learning how to get in touch with my emotions and actually feel them rather than suppress them or distract myself from them.

 

KEEP IT SIMPLE: BUILD A MINIMALIST BUSINESS

It was never my aim to build a big business and have a huge team; solo entrepreneurship always seemed more appealing to me – mostly because I crave independence and freedom so much.

The bigger the business, the bigger the team and people involved, the more responsibility, the more calls and meetings and the less freedom to design my days the way I want them to.

I’m a big fan of minimalistic businesses. For me, this means keeping everything as manageable and simply organised as possible:

  • As far as possible, I do everything myself. I only outsource tasks when it’s really necessary and I just can’t be bothered doing them (e.g. accounting is managed by my VA and I have a guy who does my Facebook and Google Ads).
  • My business has very low fixed monthly costs.
  • The way I earn my money is essentially entirely automated and passive.
  • I only need my laptop and iPhone and a handful of tools and apps.
  • I keep calls and online meetings to an absolute minimum and only schedule them on one designated day a week (usually a Wednesday). I basically never schedule calls with my VA or freelance guy, email works just fine. Meetings are so damn overrated and such time wasters and freedom killers. So, no, I ain’t doing them.
  • I constantly review the complexity of my business and adjust and simplify when necessary.

 

BUILD A PERSONAL BRAND & BE AUTHENTIC AND TRANSPARENT

Planet Backpack is not just a generic blog. Planet Backpack is me, Conni Biesalski.

And who is Conni? A gypsy entrepreneur, a spiritual freedom junkie, a vegan and gay yogi, who loves surfing.

“That’s the girl who travels hand luggage only. The girl that suffers from heartbreak a lot. The girl with short hair, who says fuck a lot.” Yep, that’s exactly her.

I post photos of me all over my website, in almost every blog post and daily on social media. I write about my good days and also about the shit days. I am not afraid to talk about my challenges, worries and emotional rollercoasters. I like to make myself vulnerable in my YouTube videos and reveal personal things no one else does.

I have nothing to hide. And this, too, is a part of Planet Backpack; this is part of me and my “brand”. It doesn’t require any effort from me, because it is the only way I can be. I’m not selling my soul – I am just being myself: online, offline and everywhere else. There’s no way I could run a blog without being totally and utterly transparent and authentic.

And I believe this is part of the success of my blog and business. My followers trust me. I don’t bullshit or sugarcoat.

For me, personal branding means making myself approachable, accessible and relatable. That’s why you see the video of me in Bali and the many photos on my website and social media. I want you to feel that you can almost reach out and touch me. I want us to be up close and personal. I want to take your hand and lay it on my heart; I want to hug you.

I had to truly get to know myself and go through a deep process of self-discovery before I could be “Conni” online. That lasted a while and is still an ongoing challenge.

I simply told myself to be myself in everything that I do. No excuses.

That’s why I write like I speak and I use the word FUCK, when I need to: this is how I’d talk if you met me in real life. I write about my values, my views and my life philosophy – over and over. Why? Because I want you to see who I am. Because I want to draw the right readers; those who see life and the world in the same way as me. Because I want to create a “tribe”: an online community that thinks positively and can do good for each other. I want to build a meaningful connection with you, just as I do with all my other readers and followers.

And of course, I have haters and critics. Not everyone agrees with me. Nowadays, I delete comments and ban Facebook fans without batting an eyelid. I don’t have space for heavy and negative energies. I only invite positive people into my living room.

But, on the flipside: likers gonna like. My connection to my readers is the most important thing, and deeper than it has ever been – and for me, that’s something magical. Building meaningful connections with and inspiring hundreds of thousands of people out there is incredibly fulfilling.

And for every critic that has an issue with what I say or do, there are a thousand others that identify with me and what I do.

 

KEEP REALIGNING YOUR COMPASS

Standing still is not an option. Ever.

As an online entrepreneur, you must consistently realign your compass and be prepared and open for new challenges.

Life, the world and business are too exciting to simply keep doing the same things over and over.

On multiple occasions, I’ve had to pause and breathe and re-evaluate everything I do:

  • How fulfilled am I by what I’m doing?
  • How happy is my soul with the way my life is?
  • Am I living and working in harmony with myself, or have I strayed from my ideal path?

These days, I’m working on realigning my own compass. Something new is coming, sometime in 2017, but I’m not sure yet exactly what it will be.

Right now, I’m trying to figure out what the universe is telling me about using my knowledge and skills beyond Planet Backpack (though still, of course, with the aim of changing the world). My intuition senses that a Big Bang is coming. This blog (and the business I’ve built around it) is just the start of something much, much bigger – and I feel like I am slowly sensing what it is.

 

LIVE A HOLISTIC LIFESTYLE

What does it mean to live an unconventional life? Yes, to work from anywhere and to say FUCK to a 9-5 – but to live the same shit lifestyle as everyone else? To eat unhealthy food, to neglect your body, to ignore your soul and its cries for help, to have mediocre sex and uninspiring relationships?

Unconventional means to question things and then do them differently; do them better.

As digital nomads with so much freedom, we’re in an amazing position to live the healthiest, most fulfilled and most awesome lives possible. Unfortunately, however, I know very few people who actually do – yet holistic living is the key to a truly awakened and passionately lived life.

5 areas of life that can make it worth living:

  • Health
  • Business / career /finances
  • Relationships & sex
  • Spirituality
  • Adventure & travel

If one is out of balance, it will have an effect on the other ones too.

Conclusion: do something for your body! Do you something for your mind and soul! Treat them like the most sacred temple…

Yes, money, travel and a successful online business are awesome – but not more important than your physical, emotional and spiritual health. What’s the point of this free life if our bodies and souls are miserable?

This means: do yoga, meditate, get yourself a life coach, start following a healthy diet away from processed foods.

And always be on the lookout for people who touch you deeply and are able to recognise your full potential; people with whom you have meaningful encounters and even more meaningful relationships, the kind of relationships that bring you to completely new levels in your life. Be open. Wide open.

Being a digital nomad is cool. Taking care of yourself and really using your freedom to the fullest potential to radiate your amazing work and energy even more so in this world – that’s beyond cool.

 

FOLLOW RULE #1: PLAN A LAUNCH!

I sold 30.000 Euros worth of e-books in the 5 days following the official launch of my e-book course.

We earned the same in the week we launched our Blog Camp online course.

Even when Planet Backpack began, I didn’t just simply start to write. I “launched” the blog with the aim of attracting as many readers as possible on the very first day. Because I actually had something to say.

But a launch doesn’t just happen. A launch is perfectly planned; nothing is left to chance.

And the key is always to walk this very fine line in times of so much marketing noise:

Make people aware, but don’t annoy them.

Let this question guide you:

How can I create such excitement and curiosity that on the day of the launch, my prospective audience can’t wait to buy the product I’ve worked so hard for and that is going to change their lives?

But even the best launch can’t save a terrible product. I poured my heart and soul into both products, just as I’ve been pouring them into Planet Backpack from the beginning (as a general rule, this goes for everything in my life – nothing I do is half-hearted).

I plan the pre-launch weeks carefully and think about how I can tactfully create interest. And then, of course, I plan the day of the launch itself. Each and every Facebook post and newsletter is thought out in detail.

On the day of my e-book launch two years ago, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I had to visit the bathroom every two minutes. My heart was beating in my throat; my hands were sweating. And one question circulated in my mind: “What will people think? Will they like it”

A launch tests your nerves and drains your energy. But each and every launch is so incredibly exciting and unique. And yes, it’s also fun to earn a few euros and check the ever-increasing sales statistics on Paypal – no doubt about that.

Gotta launch, kids.

 

LEARN COPYWRITING AND ONLINE MARKETING

If there are two essential things I advise you to master in the beginning of your journey to become an entrepreneur – two things that are indispensable for starting your own online business – they would be these:

1. Learn how to write web content and create texts with the ability to get your target audience to do certain actions (e.g. sign up to your newsletter, subscribe to your YouTube channel, buy your product..)

2. Learn how to market the stuff you create

It couldn’t be simpler. Pay attention to these two areas, and you’ll rock your online business and whatever you decide to do.

 

EXPECT UPS AND DOWNS

It has been one hell of a rollercoaster ride since I began my life as a digital nomad. One hurricane after another. In comparison to these last few years, the 28 years before that were calm sailing.

I can’t say precisely why, but since I’ve been able to live the life I really want – since I’ve been able to live out my own unique truth – I’ve experienced both the most fantastic highs and the most shitty lows. What’s more, these highs and lows have occurred in every area of my life.

There are entire weeks and months in which I’m full of enthusiasm for Planet Backpack, my business, new projects and everything else. But then, as always, there are times, in which I have no desire to do anything, question everything and in which I just want to shut it all down and walk away.

That’s totally normal. I’ve now learned how to deal with these alternating phases, though it took me a good while to do so.

On average, the cycle looks a bit like this:

A couple of months in which the working fun never stops and I’m able to be super-productive, and a couple of months in which all I want to do is practise yoga, surf, read, meditate, and sit alone in a secluded spot on the beach.

I’ll probably never live at a medium-wave frequency – but that’s a good thing. I want to feel passion and ecstasy and unbelievable sadness and incomprehensible happiness. I want to feel that I’m alive, each and every day.

 

PLANS ARE USELESS, DARLING

I can’t begin to tell you how much money I’ve thrown away due to changes in my life or travel plans.

When you have plenty of freedom and a little extra cash, the world is your oyster: that’s why I now try to plan my life and travels as little in advance as possible. I often pay for the privilege of doing so, but for me, the added extra flexibility totally outweigh the costs. In the best case scenario, I book my flights only a couple of days or weeks in advance.

Though I have a pretty good or rough idea of how the next few months will look like, I rarely make travel arrangements or reservations until shortly before.

 

FOCUS ON YOURSELF AND STOP COMPARING

As a blogger, it’s easy to get distracted by what others are doing. This frequently leads to jealousy and resentment, which in turn makes you feel compelled to compare yourself or voice your criticism.

At some point, I realised that it really doesn’t matter what other people do. What’s important is my mission, what I believe in and what I hold true. I’ve stopped comparing myself with others and examining how successful they are.

If I can learn from others, great – but when I’m only following them to see how green their grass is, then nope, fuck it. Focus on yourself, Conni.

I see so many people – wannabe bloggers and digital nomads – who feel the need to express their envy and endless criticism on my blog and in Facebook groups; people who want to assault me and others with their negativity. “Do they feel better afterwards?” I always wonder. I honestly can’t imagine they so.

What’s way better than all of this? Meditation. Yoga. Smiling at someone on the street. Lying in the sun and feeling grateful that you’ve been given a chance to live on this amazing Earth.

If you have time to criticise others, I have to ask why you’re not challenging yourself to do something better. Personally, I don’t want to use my valuable time in my short life to criticise people on the internet. I’d rather go and create and inspire others.

Focus on yourself, change lives and do your thing. Don’t give a damn what others are doing, writing or making. Go out, embrace the world and reflect a little before you leave a critical comment online. Planet Backpack is a beautiful place and I have no room for negative energy.

 

BEING OFFLINE MAKES YOU MORE CREATIVE

The more hours and days I spend away from my laptop, the more creative energy unleashes itself in my brain. If I stare at a screen all day, I’m constantly so full of information that there’s no room left for my own input.

Now, I enjoy regular laptop-free days. Work two days, one day off – something along those lines. It’s extraordinarily effective at mobilising my creative energy.

 

I LIKE HAVING A HOMEBASE

And I am looking for a new one right now..

There are so many ways to be a digital nomad. And over the years and after experimenting with all kinds of nomadic scenarios, I have come to realise that I long for community and a place that feels like home. Maybe not forever, definitely not in Germany and always with periods of travel in between – but a base, a place that is good for me, that grounds me, where people know me. A place I keep coming back to. That I like.

Bali was like a homebase for me for the last 1,5 years – on and off at least – but a couple months ago, I felt that I needed to move on. Why? I love Bali and will continue to return, but I need a place that is less transient, less touristy and a bit slower in its development.

So currently I am completely nomadic, but I feel the inner pull to find a new homebase soon… Suggestions? 🙂

 

THE 4-HOUR WORK WEEK IS UNFULFILLING

About a year ago, I did my yoga teacher training and spent a month mostly offline and not working. The first time in years.

I realised that my passive income kept being stable and I found it so enriching and wonderful to explore my offline life more that I floated into living the 4 hour work week. I barely spent time on my laptop and instead went surfing daily, hung out with friends, read books, went on a silent meditation retreat and travelled..

After about five or six months, I reflected on why I am here on this planet and realised that even though I live this amazing life in paradise doing what I want all day without having to work – I wasn’t fulfilled. On the contrary, it made me depressed.

I was unfulfilled because I wasn’t providing any value for anyone except me, I wasn’t creating anything, I wasn’t changing peoples’ lives, I wasn’t contributing to the greater good.

So I started creating again. I dove into a 30 day YouTube challenge and made a video every day. I started giving workshops again and making plans for new books and courses.

I noticed how happy it made me to inspire people, to get my creative juices flowing and to know that I have a reason for being here: to shine my light, to open people’s minds to new ways of living so that they can live their most amazing selves.

 

FIVE LITTLE THINGS:

  • The destination itself is not important – it’s how the destination makes you feel.
  • I like being able to book any flight anywhere and be able to fly tomorrow. This is pure freedom and flexibility.
  • Learn. Learn. Learn. Never stop learning.
  • As nomads we have a social responsibility. I am trying to figure out how to give back sustainably. So are others.
  • Travelling with hand luggage only is the ultimate way to explore the world.

I cannot imagine any other life.

And I am incredibly grateful for every single day.

 

Blessings and Love,

Conni.

 

PS: What have you learnt as a digital nomad? Have you had any of the same learnings as me?

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