When I decided to take this solo trip to Bali, I never intended for that to mean that I’d spend the whole month completely alone, finding myself or something like that. I mean, yes, that would be amazing, but also not completely realistic because well, I talk to everyone. And, while one of the objectives for this trip was to revitalize my mind and reflect a bit, the other, was about connecting with others in the digital nomad space.
I’ve been staying in a coliving complex for the past week. It’s been really great as far as building a community here, exploring with others, and networking. The people are from England, New Zealand, Amsterdam, US, and Canada. I’ve learned so much from them about the lifestyle of a digital nomad. And we’ve shared a few laughs about how we use the English language differently. For example, “vodka and Coke” is a thing in the UK which, if you are from the US, kinda sounds gross. Or how the Brits say “pissed” and what they mean is “drunk.”
Some of these things would have never occurred to me to even ask. It’s been awesome getting a glimpse into the ins and outs. One thing, that I never really thought about, that makes total sense now, is why digital nomads choose to come to Southeast Asia. It’s magical, yes, but it’s because it’s incredibly cheap to live here. With less financial stress, it’s less risky and it creates space for those wanting to go off on their own and start a business.
I’ve also learned about the complexity of building long-term relationships. The digital nomad life, as you might expect, is very transient. You are constantly establishing new relationships. In this environment they can get really deep, really fast, sort of like being at summer camp. It’s both exciting and exhausting. Loneliness can also arise. You don’t think of these things when you think about the life of someone who has the freedom to live and work anywhere. Sometimes we come with these expectations of reinventing ourselves, that if we just run away all the bullshit in our minds gets left behind. As I’m sure you’ve experienced perhaps yourself, that just isn’t true, your baggage, your stories come with you. More on that and my experience at a later time.
I am still committed to writing more regularly and the reason I was off the grid last week was because I got really, really sick. I’m fine now, thankfully, but when I was sick they rallied around me and made sure I was okay. When people who don’t even know you well, express concern, open their hearts and go out of their way, it’s profound. It restores some hope in mankind and millennials. I’m kidding. Kinda. So, even though I am here alone, I’m not lonely.
This community of people that I’ve met has meant so much to me and I’m feeling fulfilled by that aspect of the experience. Not to mention, we happen to be a pretty good lookin’ crew.
Who’s to say that people can’t be revitalizing, that new relationships can’t prompt reflection and personal growth.
A trip to a Balinese Healer, yes please, but don’t discount the people around you who can also energize you.