Thanks to a crazy dream, the ability to believe in myself when nobody else did and eating powdered soup three times a day I am able to live a lifestyle that a lot of people (maybe you) still dream of.
I am fortunate enough to be a location independent nomad.
When my calculation is correct I am already on the road for 487 days. That’s a long time and many things happened between day one and today. I got to know a lot of interesting people, I have broken some hearts, I have shared some wonderful moments and most importantly, I made a lot of valuable experiences.
In the following lines I want to share my insights and my light-bulb moments with you. I want to paint an honest picture of what it means for your relationships and for your life when you decide to hit the road.
Love Has Nothing to Do With Race and Skin Color
I was born and raised in a small town in Germany and the only country I traveled to before my 18th birthday was France. Today I would describe myself as a courageous and adventurous traveler who loves to explore every part of a country and who loves to get to know men and especially women with all kinds of cultural backgrounds.
When I think back to the first time I traveled to another continent I remember a scared and insecure young man. Talking to strangers was not on my agenda and having amazing romantic relationships with women from other countries was outside of my reality.
Today I can proudly say that connection and love has nothing to do with race and skin color.
It has everything to do with similar values, empathy and this indescribable feeling that you feel when you meet a person who is just right for you.
In my case this person has a completely different cultural background than me, but more on that later.
You Can Feel Lonely While Being Surrounded By People
One thing that I was scared of when I embarked on my journey was to end up alone in some foreign country. The idea of just walking up to people and introducing myself to them was alien. I was haunted by the limiting belief that getting to know men as friends and women as lovers was hard work.
Well, I was wrong. Meeting new people on the road is so easy, at least when you have overcome your inhibitions and your approach anxiety. The great thing about traveling alone is that you actually force yourself to overcome those limitations in order to not end up alone. This fact alone is nutrition for your personal development.
I can confidently say that I met more people in those 487 days than in the 20 years that I spent in my home country. But even though I met all those interesting and sometimes like-minded people, I learned a hard lesson that brought me closer to old friends and family.
I learned that feeling lonely has nothing to do with being alone.
It might sound weird to you, but you can be alone while being surrounded by people.
That’s a painful discovery that I made in South East Asia. I was surrounded by dozens of backpackers, but the only thing they had in mind was partying and drinking. There was no connection, no deep conversations, no getting to know each other. I felt lonely and it taught me to value old friendships even more.
The Ability to Be Alone is Vital
Are you able to be alone?
Many people aren’t and to be honest, I wasn’t. Whenever I was sitting alone in my room I tried to distract my mind by switching on the TV, watching YouTube videos or walking through the city. The thought of being alone killed me.
What I realized in this process was that the ability to be alone is absolutely vital.
No matter if you spend all your life in one city or on six different continents, there will be times when you are alone. There will be days when everyone around you is busy and when nobody has time for you.
It is your decision if you want to feel lonely when you are alone or if you want to use this time to think, relax and regenerate.
The Language Barrier is No Real Barrier
Before I started to travel I already dreamed about all the beautiful women that I would meet on the road. I dreamed about dancing Salsa with girls in Colombia and spending romantic evenings on rooftop bars in Thailand.
Whenever I imagined these moments I immediately told myself that it’s impossible to experience those moments without knowing the local language. I thought that meeting women and connecting with them would be impossible without using the right words.
Well, sometimes it was, but most of the time it wasn’t.
Even though I met quite a few beautiful women whose English was not the best, I didn’t always need the right words. Knowing the language makes things easier, but not knowing it doesn’t make it impossible. Sometimes body language, eye contact and mimic can be all that is needed.
I discovered that the barriers in our minds are way higher than the barriers that life forces upon us.
Maintaining a Relationship Can Be Hard and Beautiful
I have already told you that similar values, empathy and this indescribable feeling that you feel when you meet a person who is just right for you are all you need to establish a strong connection.
I don’t want to reveal too much, but the truth is that I fell for a girl who I met at a time where I had no other intentions than keeping things casual. Well, that didn’t work out the way I wanted, but today I am very happy about it.
In the process of failing in love with a girl who lives on another continent, I learned that long distance relationships can be hard. Seriously, everyone who thinks about getting in such a relationship should prepare himself to suffer from time to time.
Being miles apart from each other and not knowing when you will see your loved one can be one big struggle, but it can also teach you a lot about yourself and the value of a relationship.
Yes, long distance relationships can be difficult to maintain. I learned this the hard way and depending on how much time I spend in my home country I am still learning it. However, the person you are in a relationship with can be worth the struggle.
I don’t say that every relationship is worth the struggle, but I do say that some are.
Maybe you also discover the value of a relationship after being on the road for 487 days.
It’s time to pack your bags…