Life Beyond Borders: How did becoming a Digital Nomad Family change my perspective of a GREAT LIFE ?
While I write this post, we are flying back to India for a short vacation, particularly intended to be with our family. They have often been deprived of our time in the past, due to a fast-paced life that we led in Mumbai, with both of us working all the year round, running errands, ensuring we have a GREAT LIFE amidst all the chaos. After having spent the most fabulous 6 months of our lives, staying at Konstanz (in Germany) and travelling extensively within Europe, i would call this, a well deserved and a much needed break because we too miss home, our people and ghar ka khana ( home made food)😋😋. So here we are, sitting cozily grabbing 4 seats in the flight, while we paid only for 2 😃 ( Small joys of life). Thanks to the generosity of the Swiss Air staff during check-in, who assured us, that we would indeed have a much comfortable 8 hours flight to India.
While boarding this flight an hour back, i was filled with an unusual nostalgia. It felt like yesterday, when with a blink of an eye, I had decided to move in here for time indefinite, so that we could all live together as a family. Quickly wrapping up my life in Mumbai – I took a sabbatical from work, I packed my world in three bags and landed here within 2 weeks after Mayra turned one.
Little did I know that an experience worth a lifetime awaited on the other side, which in all fairness, was assumed to be a life confined to being a good wife and an awesome Mother 😍, just by the virtue of being in a position to give them both( Sandee and Mayra) all my time.
So while I was still coming to terms with my new way of life, we started to travel, and travel quite extensively. It was possible because Sandee could work remote and we didnt yet have a permanent dwelling which saved us a lot of monies( Paying huge rents living in Dadar, Mumbai dug huge holes in our pockets when we were in India).
Our first was an 8 day trip to Paris which ended at a mutual consensus that ” We gotta travel. Because that made us happy.” And since then, we managed to travel through 11 countries over the past 6 months and the complete experience has been way too rewarding and invigorating.
With an urge to share my travel stories with you all, I started travel blogging and became an active instagrammer posting my travel updates with the pictures of places I visited and writing about it drawing parallels with my experiences of life otherwise. But behind this seemingly wonderful times, that was posted on social media, there was a life that we led privately, which was full of learnings, revelations, surprises and occasional melancholy. This experience has opened up our minds and hearts and has changed us ( Esp.me) tremendously as individuals in many different ways. And as i always say – every experience has a story worth a thousand words, deserving to be shared, I have penned down my thoughts on – how becoming a DIGITAL NOMAD FAMILY has changed our perspective of a Great life, that we all aspire for. It would be a long read before you are done. Do bear with me 🙂.
1) Change is the only Constant : Accept it, Embrace it, Own it
We are all resistant to change. Though we know that nothing in the world is permanent, yet holding on to things, people, places and situations, is what we keep striving for all our lives. This functions absolutely against the rule of the Nature where Change is the only Constant. So its best, one understands the genesis of the occurrence of any change and accept it. Once we accept, our mind works accordingly to adapt us to the changing surroundings and circumstances. It may be painful to accept, but definitely won’t be as painful as staying stuck somewhere we do not belong 🙂. We are only one decision away from a totally different life. And I am happy I made that decision then. Else this post wouldn’t have ever come into existence.
It has not been an easy life that we chose for ourselves, but definitely a super enriching one. Had we not accepted and embraced this change of- place, weather, food, people and everything that you can think of, we wouldn’t ever have seen those beautiful landscapes, met those truly wonderful people who are so different from us yet seem like long-lost friends, chased those spectacular sunset moments at the cost of spending hours to get that one perfect click, relished those delicious local cuisines at every travelled destination, braved the deep winters, marvelled at the snow kissed trees , amazed ourselves staring at the snow-clad mountains, wondered looking at the stunning colors of the autumn leaves adorning the trees and slowly falling away to embrace the soil below. Change is the only way to make us feel alive and not let the cement of our bodies and minds set as yet.
Every change is beautiful at the end
2) If you are not scared a lot, you aren’t doing very much : Risk it for, all that you have
At this moment, Yes, I am scared and worried about a variety of things- My career, my daughter’s future, where would we finally settle down, staying away from aging parents etc. All that looked greener on the other side, changed into grey after reality started sinking in. It isn’t all about the happy times travelling and spending with my husband & daughter, but also a feeling of insecurity that envelopes me from within at times suddenly out of nowhere, bothering me to an extent that I start questioning everything that’s happening. I lose confidence and my morale hits an all time low. But then I simply ask myself, if I would have been happier if I hadn’t been here right now ? And the answer is a big resounding No. Choosing happiness over job, money, security and stability is not overrated. What it brings is, a new perspective of living life with the fear of losing none, rather giving something a fresh start, following the heart, living in the moment and chasing the dreams.
Give a CHANCE- a pair of wings, to your desires, which you never dared in the past because you were stuck in the rat race. It’s absolutely worth the RISK.
Take risks and conquer your fears
3) Exploit your greatest asset : Dare to be vulnerable
Being vulnerable means you are ready for wounds, but also for pleasure. When I had to make a choice, I felt torn between chosing the peace of mind that a stable and secure life would bring as opposed to the thrill and adventure of an unknown future while- Living on a foreign land, interacting with strangers, living in one room with no domestic help or family support, eating self cooked food or trying to find joy in eating something that i never savoured as much, enduring the deep winters after having lived in non wintry areas of India for more than half my life, seeing humans mostly in combination of fair skin with golden hair, lean and fit bodies which throws up some kind of complex in our heads because of our stereotyped idea of what beauty and good looks is all about.
Choosing the later meant, putting a lot at stake at the moment, for some delayed gratification. But, exposing my vulnerabilities, helped me discover myself in a new light. And there was no looking back from there. I pleasantly surprised myself with my capabilities to adapt to this new way of life quickly, to make the most out of it. And believe me, it has been an amazingly beautiful journey so far.
Being vulnerable is being courageous. When you are vulnerable, you surprise yourself. You get better.
4) Be the master and not the slave : Ignore all the chatter
We are deep conditioned as kids to study hard, compete with the most intelligent around us, score well, land up at the best college and bag our dream jobs. What no one tells us, is that none of this actually brings us even a notch closer to being true to ourselves, our dreams and our desires. It’s best to live a life imitating someone else, which is supposedly normal, than becoming someone who wouldn’t compromise on truly being the way he/she actually is. Having worked for 10+ years after passing out of one of the top B-Schools in India, it worried me to the core to be at home, though my reasons to do so were far more convincing than being otherwise. So I made peace, in fact took pride in taking up a new responsibility of being a 24*7 stay-at-home Mum, where the job satisfaction is incomparable. It’s ironical that women, in all their endeavours are always questioned and are victimized to become the receiver of free and unsolicited advice about everything in their lives, which others may barely have an iota of idea about. Ignore all the chatter around- Inside and Outside. Follow your heart. Take charge of your life. Become the master of your mind and actions. Be confident. Do respect your decision. Because unless you do, no one else ever will.
Break the shackles. You are not free, unless you become the master of your life.
5) Feel the power that comes from focussing on what excites you. Passion is energy, cultivate it
Any change would be accompanied with a lot of discomfort. What do we tend to do about it ? We complaint endlessly. Stop complaining. Do something about it. Focus your energies on what makes you happy. What is it, that comes to you naturally and effortlessly and makes you feel alive. When I started to travel, I started to feel – The road is where I belong. I loved being a vagabond. The sense of freedom which came along was addictive. I was on a high. I was so intrigued by this complete process that i felt the utter urge of penning down my thoughts in general about travel, the places I visited, the people I met, the food I ate, the way my daughter was coping up with this sudden change, my life adjusting to becoming a stay at home mum, our life confined to a single room. I began to write to express, to share and at some point to inspire the new-born parents and especially Mothers, who find themselves in a quagmire trying to juggle work and home and miss out on having a life of their own, to just do one thing- Cultivate passion in something that you love. Always remember to put yourselves and your needs on the top of your priority list. As your life revolves around your loved ones, so does theirs. Your physical and mental health is of utmost importance, else everyone suffers, not just YOU.
Step out of your motherly boundaries along with the family and look at life after having a baby in a completely different light, because having done it myself, I can promise, that it’s all possible. What you need is just clarity of what you really want to do ? A secure job and a settled life doesn’t excite me anymore and it’s scary sometimes, because that’s not normal in a competitive world that we live in. Slowing down to savour what we have rather than trying to always acquire and achieve more is something which is looked down upon or considered as lame. But that’s where I stand today , and is exactly what i am doing, and whether I make it or not, this is my truth, which I share with you assuming somewhere something will connect with someone and may be we travel this path together, far away from each other, in our own separate worlds and yet share the same philosophy of life. Isn’t that so exciting ?
Go after what gives you goosebumps
After i became an active instagrammer, my feed which was once populated by celebrities, who belonged to the film fraternity, as I am a movie buff, have been very swiftly replaced by their counterparts from the travel, photography and the writing world. And these inspirational feeds and posts work as a constant reminder that there is so much to see, explore and experience that I never want to stop and think, but just keep moving. When I don’t think, I am at my best, because thought provokes fear and fear is detrimental to taking the road untraveled.
I see myself slowly turning into a traveloholic, a budding travel writer cum blogger and a self learned photographer. These three activities in tandem give me immense amount of pleasure and make me feel ecstatic. I feel powerful inside.
Life can be as perfect as this picture. The only way it can be so is if we start affirming about it as we breathe, and put our own selves at the centre of this change.
6) Dont criticize what you can’t understand : Open up your mind
As humans we tend to create boundaries around our physical, intellectual and emotional existence. And we assume what we know and do as the universal truth. I was a hardcore non vegetarian until i moved to Germany and quite serendipitously bumped into an article written by one of ny favourite travel bloggers Shivya Nath about why she turned into a Vegan. And honestly it messed with my head and haven’t eaten any chicken or egg since that day barring cakes at times ( without realising that it may have an egg in it ). I switched over to Soya milk and avoided the milk products as much as possible. I can’t call myself a vegan or even a Vegetarian as I occasionally consume fish and prawns but I am surely on the path of becoming one soon as my reasons aren’t religious but scientific. Prior to this, I always used to wonder how vegetarians survive in this world. And I often did criticize their choice of food, because of sheer ignorance and unawareness.
With awareness and open-mindedness we can bring about a much-needed change in the way we are impacting our environment just by eating wrong.
7) The more you let go, the higher you rise. Less is more: Follow the minimalist way of life
Our Life is far simpler and better within the four walls of a hotel room that we have been calling our home since the last 6 months. We have only what we need. We did leave the extravagance behind when we moved abroad. And we don’t miss it either. When we have less, we worry less. I no longer attach my identity with the brands I wear or the stuffs that used to call my own. I came across this very inspirational pair of friends, who are doing some mind blowing work worldwide, to encourage Minimalism, i too felt compelled by their story as ii found value in it, and now even if I try to go the other way, I can’t.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
8) There ain’t a better way of experiencing the world than travelling and reading : Travel and Read whenever and wherever you can.
I aint an avid reader yet, but i do know, understand and appreciate the need to be one. After having travelled to 11 countries in 6 months, I can say that travelling isn’t a luxury but a necessity. We need to look at travel not just as a vacation, but to make it a part of our lifestyle. Money and time never can come on our way to travel, but it’s our idea of travel that’s attached with having fun and splurging money do restrict us. If we really plan well and ahead it is very much possible to take multiple such vacations in a year both nationally and internationally.
I read. I travel. I become
Well for us, we were lucky to get an opportunity, to traverse through some of the most wonderful locations in Europe which usually feature among the top few destinations in the travel bucket list of Europe.Both motherhood and travel have brought about a drastic change in my outlook of life. Its an honest confession that I have grown more as an individual in the last 2 years than in the last 3 decades.
The essence of life and human values do not change, irrespective of which part of the world you are in. Human beings may look different, but it’s the same set of emotion that holds them together. And I can say this now that, THE WORLD IS MY HOME as I don’t feel otherwise anymore 😍.
Nothing can substitute the experience gathered while traveling
Hope you could relate to what I call as- my new perspective of a GREAT LIFE. Hope you could connect a tad bit somewhere. My journey and this post is absolutely incomplete, if I do not credit this new phase of my life to my inspirations in travel, writing and the photography world.
If you are interested to know more about us, you can read here.
Please leave a comment about what you feel about the above post. Would love to hear back from you.