6 Digital Nomad Mistakes
Author: Ryan Biddulph | February 10th, 2016 |
travel posts , digital nomad mistakes
I am not a total idiot.
I may be dense. But not totally dim-witted.
I recall someone saying recently how they were not a good writer.
“Me too!” I squealed.
I am not super smart BUT I spot patterns. By accident, at the very least.
One such pattern involved me being featured on both Forbes and Virgin in a 2 week stretch. After the bribe money was delivered you could see my smiling mug on both sites. Weird thing: each site/author asked me a question about being a digital nomad. So…if 2 of the most popular blogs/sites/spaces of digital real estate on earth inquired into my digital nomadism I betcha I should write about being a digital nomad more often.
The people have spoken. As has my iota of intelligence of microscopic serving of brain matter.
I know you dig my lifestyle. At least my 4 email subscribers do. I have fun writing about my travels. And I ONLY do what’s fun these days. So, why not mix my love of travel, my travel stories and a digital nomad keyword to create a delicious cocktail not unlike a Thai Pandan roll wrapped in a whipped cream and Hershey’s chocolate syrup filling? (Surprisingly, my fingers stopped shaking enough to write this.)
Digital Nomad Mistakes
I wrote this sub header because my SEO plug in says I don’t include my targeted keyword in an H2 tag frequently enough.
I nearly died in India. Because I crammed a plate of Caesar salad chicken down my gullet (my theory at least; dressing not cool enough). I evaded 2 Thai lady boy hohos in Bangkok. 2 wild men left their mark on me in Kathmandu; one by teeth, the other by fist.
I ate pot in Laos; don’t worry, I didn’t inhale. I ate pavement in Bali during a wicked motorbike accident.
My worst digital nomad mistake was: not being present for many of my travels.
I have lived by some of the world’s most breath taking beaches. Not because I was in sloth-like shape after feasting on Pandan-laced sweets. The places were beautiful. I have gazed on the Andes, I have frolicked in the South Pacific and I’ve relaxed in the mesmerizing rice fields of Bali. Damn close to where Julia Robert’s character lived in Eat Pray Love. True story.
I missed a significant portion of each experience because I wasn’t fully present. I was tied to my lap top, working like a non unionized pack mule. Or I was thinking/planning/scheming my next blog post while lazing on Pandawa Beach in Bali.
I am not a Blogging Buddha. I suffer from diarrhea of the mind sometimes. Racing Thoughts Syndrome. But I could have been more present for some of these awe-inspiring experiences, instead of mindlessly snapping pictures or worrying about my next meal.
1: Mindlessness Amid Stunning Beauty
Re-read the prior 4 paragraphs. What a dildock, right?
Lesson officially learned. I breathe in wherever I am. Being present enriches your travel experience. Being present energizes you and makes you hyper attractive to more fun, freeing experiences through the miracle of expressing appreciation.
I’m writing these words while gazing on jaw dropping mountain scenery in the Costa Rican highlands. I am here, and in the now.
Throw out cell phones. Trash ’em. I carry a 2011 cell phone. From a 7-11 in Thailand. But I rarely carry it.
OK tech obsessed digital nomads, carry your celly but shut it off for 8 to 10 hours a day. Are you a doctor? Or a digital nomad? Enjoy your travels. Next time you need directions, try asking a local. Just once. The ensuing pantomime will be entertaining enough, but the adventure you’ll go on is priceless.
2: Not Telling My Travel Stories
This mistake existed until about 2 years ago.
I meekly spun a travel tale or 2 on my old blog. I put story telling into over drive when I hatched Blogging from Paradise. A visit to my old blog was akin to watching paint dry in a humid environment. I had as much flavor as a bowl of puffed rice.
Digital nomads, you have endless travel stories to recount. Tell ’em!
Check out my friend Will Hatton. He’s a brilliant story teller whose travel experiences make my stories sound like that of a cloistered nun. Every time I turn around he seems to be ready to die…or be killed….and the way he recounts his harrowing and humorous tales on the road is entertaining, funny, heart felt and one of a kind.
Stop publishing blog posts which are as bland as a soda cracker. Fire up the Thai mixed vegetable curry. Tell YOUR stories to enchant your audience.
3: No Pictures
Believe it or not – to recent Blogging from Paradise/Ryan Biddulph adopters – my old blog and brand was consistent with that of an old skool Native American. You’d a thunk that I believed taking photos of myself meant I’d be stealing my soul, one selfie at a time.
Now I’m some type of bizarre Richard Branson/Kardashian hybrid: one part swashbuckling, self-promoting entrepreneur showman mixed with stuck on selfie…self-promoting show-woman (Don’t kid yourself; Dirty Dick Branson and the Kashie Klan are more similar than ya think).
I had the clarity of a glass of milk for the first 4 or 5 or like 6 years of my blogging career. The chaos/confusion manifested as hiding away from my audience. I knew not my intent. I wasn’t having fun. So I hid away from you. By not sharing my somewhat fascinating, always adventuresome digital nomad lifestyle.
I believe I *may* have turned the corner on this one. Just look at my sidebar.
4: Running a Predominantly Serviced Based Business
Thank the lucky stars I learned this lesson before things popped a bit more on my blog.
But after reading a few digital nomad round ups this mistake came to mind. Because being dependent on non passive income streams:
- creates murder on your travel schedule (which is a buzz kill, and kinda defeats the purpose of being a digital nomad)
- fills your work sked versus freeing it up (again, we wish to be NOMADS primarily and DIGITAL, like a smidgeon of the time)
- forces you to miss all the cool locations
I’ve spoken to a few well known, awesome sauce digital nomads who run a service based business that requires them to live only in areas with lightning fast internet speeds. They are totally missing out on all of the cool spots because…..
….many of the most freeing, colorful, enlightening experiences happen WAY OFF OF THE GRID….and they ain’t have none internet in these spots.
This mistake ties into digital nomad mistake number 1. Beware of it, my kiddies.
Write a bunch of eBooks. Convert to audio books. Convert to paperback. Create and sell online courses. Record live calls. Package. Sell. Go the affiliate route.
Build your digital nomad empire predominantly on passive income streams to immunize yourself from being a slave to internet connections or things called….”clocks.”
5: Not Mingling
Guilty as charged. For much of my travels. But Kelli and I became social butterflies on this trip. We hung with folks in Granada. We chilled with peeps in Puerto Viejo. We became an honorary member of the expat frat society in Rivas Costa Rica (we were beaten in by spry but senor gringos armed with paddles).
Traveling couples make this mistake sometimes. So do people hellbent on “finding themselves”. Meanwhile, the married or dating duos or the solitary, languishing loner misses out on PEOPLE, the best part of traveling the world. Colorful characters, including crotchety expats (none in Rivas thank the gods), guys who walk, who physiogically *should not* be able to walk, people who’ve founded entire universities and have built their own resorts from scratch, these are the types of folks we’ve befriended on the road.
Smile. Chat. Talk. Ask questions. Grin. Relax. The easiest way to meet folks is to meet folks halfway. Meaning, reach out a lil’ bit with a smile, a short line and allow things to go from there. I have met more folks by running through neighborhoods (not after stealing pandan rolls) and holding doors open than you’d ever believe.
6: Not Having Fun
I recall seeing a large mass of somewhat bloated travelers disembarking off a cruise ship in Savusavu Fiji.
Never mind the fact I was pissed because the cruise crew scarfed down my beloved Fijian confectionery delights in record time. I was stunned at how serious these folks seemed to be. No smiling. All business. I got the feel most of these guys and gals were in Savusavu to check it off of a South Pacific travel list.
“Savusavu? Check. Now off to the Cook Islands….Let’s hurry!!!”
Although most of these cats were not free swinging digital nomads (not that way) like me and Kelli I see the same malodorous malady afflict some full time travelers. If you’re not having fun why are you traveling? If you’re not having fun why are you breathing?
Even during my leanest days, I had fun. Much of the time. All it takes is a smile. But traveling through backpacker laden havens like Khao San Road in Bangkok makes the newbie digital nomad believe that long term travel is akin to trying to cure cancer. Many serious, “discerning” travelers don’t get it; unless you’re smiling much of the time, you missed out. Or if you’re REALLY serious and sophisticated and staid, you’re just a traveling asshole.
I am not a digital nomad because I’m sprinting from a life I hate. I travel long term because I love the life I live. It’s fun to me. Serious, strained digital nomads usually have unresolved stuff from their pre-travel days. Gotta resolve that stuff before you book your next flight ticket.
Don’t do travel lists. This is no competition. Just go, and stay for a few months.
Remember to keep the *nomad* in *digital nomad.* And create a crud load of passive income earning products and eBooks and audio books (or a few shall suffice) to take more of the *digital* out of *digital nomad.*
I spend less time online than ever these days. And I wander like a small child lost in FAO Schwartz. Life is fun.
Call to Action
OK. I built this post around the digital nomad keyword.
Now I shall direct your attention to downloading a bite-sized digital nomad eBook. Which I wrote.
How do Kelli and I pack to circle the globe? Someone asked me that question. I obliged ’em. By writing this eBook….
Note; I have self-published 122 other eBooks on Amazon. At least ½ of 1 (of the other eBooks) is helpful to digital nomads. Or all 122 are, I’d say. In case you were wondering…..
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