I’ve given many talks on “How to Become a Successful Digital Nomad.”
A question often comes up: “What does it mean to be successful?”
After all, success means different things for different people. For some it means money. For some it means fame. For some it means happiness. For me, success is none of those things.
For me, success = growth. I am successful when I grow myself, my friends, my family, and the rest of the world.
Success = Growth
I think about growth in 6 dimensions: Physical, intellectual, emotional, social, financial, and spiritual. Here’s a breakdown of what each of those dimensions include for me:
- Physical – playing soccer, rock climbing, hiking
- Intellectual – learning new knowledge (tacit + explicit)
- Emotional – experiencing new emotions, growing empathy
- Social – forming new relationships, strengthening existing ones
- Financial – acquiring wealth
- Spiritual – building personal faith in the universe
I actively and intentionally seek growth. It drives my decision-making process. Whenever I have an important decision, I ask myself: “which option would maximize my growth in as many dimensions as possible?”
I worked in an office environment for 8 years. During that time, my growth was slow. I was quickly growing my finance dimension but was slowly growing all other dimensions.
I drove the same path to work. Showed up to the same cubicle every morning. Performed the same tasks. Ate the same food. Drove the same path home.
My daily decisions followed the same script. My environment was static. My life was stagnant.
Then I had an epiphany – in order to grow, I had to change my environment. And that traveling is the easiest way to change my environment. When I travel to another country, I automatically get exposed to new people, cultures, languages, and customs. My script automatically gets rewritten. In Colombia, I learned to gently close car doors. In Argentina, I learned to eat a normal dinner at 10pm. In Chile, I learned greet someone by kissing them on the cheek.
When the environment changes, I naturally change with it.
Growth happens without much effort.
Travel = Easy Growth
After I realized travel = easy growth. I wondered: “How can I sustainably travel for long periods of time and consistently change my environment?”
The answer was to become a digital nomad.
Digital Nomad = Constant Growth
Unfortunately, travel requires a lot of planning. Research cities, book cheap flights, find housing. These chores are speed bumps in the path to growth. I wanted to skip these speed bumps and be a digital nomad who focuses on acquiring experiences.
Luckily, I found the solution last year. The solution was remoteyear.com, a program that brings 75 digital nomads together and sends them traveling for a year while working. Remote Year takes care of all the speed bumps and handles housing, workspace, and travel logistics. I realized joining this program would free me from the hassles and give me time to focus on experiences and growth. So in March 2016, I packed my life into 3 containers and started to travel the world.
I’m currently on month 6 of the 3rd group in Remote Year.
I’ve played, eaten, worked, danced, slept, climbed, and loved across 9 countries.
I’ve grown a lot.
Becoming a Digital Nomad makes me feel like I’ve discovered a secret life hack to get easy, consistent growth.
What are some of your secret life hacks for growth? Feel free to share in the comments below.