There are many ways people can define themselves and two competing spectrums I often see tossed around are 1) the person who settles down OR 2) the person who travels. People often speak of these two categories as though you are one OR the other.
The Settled Person
The settled person has a house and kids, sees the traveler and thinks, "Oh, I couldn't do that, just travel around all the time." or "That would be nice but it's not me." They don't understand and can't keep up with the travellers who are so sporadic and all over the place.
The nomads, on the other hand, view the settled down person and think, "Oh god, how can they stay in the same place all the time." Or "Why on earth would they want to be tied down with a mortgage or kids?".
Either way, the image above seems depict the reaction that each has about the others life decisions...
The Digital Nomad: When Work and Travel Merge
The part I loved most when I became a digital nomad was my common struggle of picking whether to work and develop my professional career OR travel the world became, I could work and develop my professional career AND travel the world. I no longer had to pick one or the other. I could have the best of both worlds!
The Invisible Divide
When I finished my 13-country, year-long journey with Remote Year people asked, "So, what's next?". Very well knowing they expect one of two responses, keep traveling OR settle down. Given I had just globe-trotted the world for a year, people assumed I didn't want to "give up" travel to settled down.
To that, I answer, you have it ALL WRONG.
Why can't a traveler have a house and a family? Why can't someone with a house and family travel? Why do you have to "give up" one for the other? We've put these false ideas in our heads and created invisible categories that we try to fit ourselves into.
After living in the same country for the majority of my life, and also living in a new country every month for a year of my life, I've now come to understand why the settled person wants to settle and why the traveler wants to travel. When I was traveling I missed the familiar comforts of a home and when I'm home I miss the sun-kissed tans and warm beaches. I now see and understand both sides of this invisible spectrum.
The Settled Nomad: When Settling Down and Travel Merge
So, for those asking which side of this invisible spectrum I choose, I choose both. And to that, I call myself a settled nomad.
I have full intention to buy a house, get married, and have kids. What most people refer to as, "settling down".
But I also have full intention to keep exploring every inch of this beautiful world. Taking off, explore undiscovered areas, and returning to Bali non-stop, for forever. What most people refer to as, a "nomad".
I will combine both - explore the world with my family, help my future children learn and appreciate other cultures by showing them the world. I will not give up travel for a house, marriage, and kids and I will not give up having a house, marriage, and kids for travel.
If there's one thing I learned while traveling it's that the lifestyle that works best for me is a lifestyle that is balanced and that's exactly what I shall have.
What lifestyle do you choose to live and why? Let me know in the comments below.
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