This is a guest post from one of our readers, He is a digital nomad. He has been traveling and working remotely, visited many places around the World and enjoyed his “homeless”. But traveling has also some dark side, and he decided to share it with us.
All the people that I know tell me that I am lucky.
I work remotely, I travel a lot. I can work from any place in the World, as long as I have internet. This is amazing and all my friends tell me that they envy me. Travelling made me happy, helped me to overcome huge problems in my life and made me feel like I can do something good in this World.
I spent the last year without having a “house”, just moving from Airbnb or hotels/hostels to friend’s houses. I have seen places that I always wanted to see, worked from a coffee shop in Manhattan or on a beach in the Canary Islands or snorkelling in the Caribbean sea. I took so many planes that I lost the count.
I visited all of Europe, North America, the Caribbean and other places, I met amazing people on my way, made so many friends and had the most amazing time of my life. As a male solo traveler, I met a lot of women, slept with some of them and enjoyed every second of my time abroad.
I thought that traveling while working and being a so-called digital nomad was amazing, and it is, really. But then, some months ago, when I came back from North America I decided that it was time to settle down. I am not a young guy anymore and I felt the need to have a place I could call home.
But here it is when everything started, again. Weird feelings and thought are crossing my mind and I have so much fear now …
I am confused.
I have always looked at my friends, married, with children, with their 9-5 job, like they were inmates. To me it is like being in jail, stuck in a routine that, I thought, would kill me. I did not want a long-term relationship for this reason. Loving someone is fantastic but the fear of losing my “freedom” was stronger than the most important feeling for a human being.
But, also, it scares me to travel again, I think that maybe I should start thinking seriously about finding someone, start a family buy a house etc.etc. I am very confused with what to do in my life and the fact that I am, basically, living day by day, it gives me uncertainty on the future. I really have no freaking idea what to do.
I have fear
I have fears. Fear of settling down, fear of traveling again. Fear of “losing time” traveling. I got scared when I signed the contract for the house, I am scared to look at Skyscanner and find some offer to hop on a plane again. But most importantly, I have fear to be alone.
Travelling is amazing, but I am aware that is very likely I won’t see again all the amazing people I met along the way. I realize that I lost contact and touch with friends, especially with the ones who I grew up with. I am living abroad since over 10 years and coming back home I see that everyone has now a different life, some married, some moved to another city, they are all too busy with their life. I am a foreigner in my country of adoption, but now I am also a foreigner in my hometown.
It’ s too late
I feel like it is too late to start a new life, too late to look for my soul mate. Too late for apologize to the people I hurt. It’s too late to settle down and it’s too late to keep traveling.
I missed it all
While abroad I missed many events, from happy events to tragic ones. I wasn’t there when my best friend or my family needed me. I wasn’t there when a friend of mine died. I have never been there when it was needed. I was focused too much on traveling, career, job, enjoying it and … I was thinking too much about myself.
The fact that I missed so many, important, events in my life made me realize that I have been selfish. I spent all this time thinking about myself. Job, money, travel, “which country will I visit next?”. I did not think of others and if they needed me. If they wanted to talk to me. I lost the habit of listening to people because my mind was only focussed on “how lucky I am” and what I wanted to do next.
I faced depression some years ago, and traveling helped me to partly overcome it. It was painful, I thought that I was the most useless person in the world. I am now facing hard thoughts again, I have the fear that might come back again, this fear is haunting me. I am suffering from anxiety for a long time. And this time I am afraid that traveling would not help me.
When I was in depression I did not tell to anyone, I kept it inside me. I kept smiling to people when they were telling me that I was lucky, but then I would come back home and start crying.
I am doing it again now. I cry when I am alone at home. Because I feel alone. All these years abroad made me realize that, maybe, I have just wasted my time and my life.