Having had the chance to observe influencers, creators, and ordinary digital nomads, I realize that they are one of the strongest and bravest circles our society had ever seen. This bunch is fully-equipped physically, mentally, and emotionally. They are born ready and eager to face surprise challenges. They don’t give up.
Digital nomadism brought this effect to the new generation of individuals who willingly accepted the risks of living a mobile life. Oftentimes, the character traits that they possess are not innate but rather developed over time. So what are these characteristics that help digital nomads stay afloat? If you’re aspiring to live the nomad way, do you really have what it takes? Are you built to last? Read on to find out.
The situation: You got the shock of a lifetime when you checked into an Airbnb with an internet that fails speed tests. Your team awaits your submission of a report that is due tomorrow. What will you do?
Think about it. You’ve done your homework and made a mental checklist of non-negotiable Airbnb features. You definitely ticked off “fast internet” in your checklist before finally paying for your stay. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, today’s service is the slowest ever. This should be a cause for panic to most but a resourceful nomad acts and not blabs.
Resourcefulness is when you think of ways besides the obvious to solve a particular problem. When traveling especially to new places, anything can happen and you should have the mental, sometimes physical, strength to overcome difficulties. When living remotely, say in an RV in the middle of nowhere, what would you do when an important part malfunctions? Neighbors are not always available to help so you need to have an alternative solution to everything. In other words, you have no one to turn to except yourself so it is best to have multiple resources whenever the going gets tough.
The situation: You have picked your next destination. You are all set, bags are packed, and everything is settled. Suddenly, there was a reported COVID-19 surge and the government announced a lockdown with new restrictions. Your flight and accommodation have been paid for. How would you take this news?
Being a digital nomad requires flexibility, especially with the occurrence of the pandemic. The COVID-19 caused so much uncertainty on a grand scale to the extent that mental health becomes affected. Today you could be freely dining out with friends only to find yourself in quarantine tomorrow. Barring pandemic issues, the same goes for unpleasant incidents while in nomad mode.
Having the ability to bend as far back as needed is a gift not everyone has. Not only will you save yourself from stress but you will also be mentally healthy when you have the gift of flexibility. This trait protects you from being negatively affected by any untoward situation. Instead of going against the tide, you go with the flow, conform, and adjust accordingly in order to achieve your desired outcome.
The situation: You have recently lost one of your biggest clients and it really created a dent in your budget. You are silently panicking because you have bills to pay and your cash flow can’t go low when you’re in a foreign land. You shared your situation with some close friends and they offer to send help as long as you need it. Will you take it?
Independence goes hand-in-hand with resourcefulness. In both instances, you operate on your own. When you’re independent, you may worry momentarily as a natural reaction but you know that you can find a way out of your problems without relying on others.
There are different ways to be called independent. It can be physical, financial, emotional, or mental. Location-independence, which is closely tied to remote work, is also one of the many facets of this character trait. As a digital nomad, independence almost automatically becomes the basic requirement. In all areas of life, you should be able to fend off for yourself wherever you are in the world.
The situation: You are experiencing a slump in your business. Valuable clients left and you couldn’t seem to find new ones. You thought about packing up, going home, and leaving it all behind. After all, the security of your life back home, one with a permanent abode and a 9-5 job, is such a comforting thought. It is so easy to ditch the nomad life but would you?
With so many twists and turns, life could easily whisk you away from your original path. One minor hurdle is tolerable but what if it multiplies and becomes a series of obstacles? There is only one word that will make you remain steadfast in times like this: commitment. When you are committed, you stay on track with your eyes on the prize. You know very well that troubles are temporary and your digital nomad goal is still there when the dust settles. Committed is the anchor that will keep you intact no matter how tough life gets.
The situation: You have already spent many years on the road. You have experienced all sorts of ups and downs. You have fought many battles along the way. Work-wise, the routine is getting tedious and you are already feeling the exhaustion. You feel like you are no longer happy and effective. Would you try to find happiness elsewhere?
It is normal to feel tired after a day’s work. It is even more acceptable to feel exhaustion after doing the same thing over several years. But with passion, you take a break, rest, and bounce back even better than before. Passion is the fire that makes you love what you do and look past its mundane rewards. If you are passionate about your lifestyle, you see setbacks as temporary and happiness is just waiting to be rediscovered. Passion is what you need to keep going.
So there you have it! These five character traits are what digital nomads have in common. The challenge lies in determining whether you already possess these characteristics or not. If yes, then congratulations to you! You are one tough cookie. If not, it is not yet too late to start developing them because life isn’t always about sunshine and flying unicorns. Rather, it is about how tough you are when a heavy rain cloud blocks the sun or when your wings get clipped either accidentally or intentionally. My hope is that with the five traits listed here, you get to experience the best that the digital nomad world has to offer.
Written By: Frances De Guzman