Adventures of a Digital Nomad: Dating
Last summer, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Date with Destiny with Tony Robbins in Gold Coast, Australia and it was one of the most transformative weeks of my life.
In a week, I made some really good friends and basically required all my core values to better serve me.
I left go of some really old programming around not being good enough and I spent a lot of time getting focused on what I actually want in my life.
I came away from our week with a vision for my future that included some big tasks:
- Growing my location independent business to 7-figures and becoming who I need to do that
- Prioritizing my health over all other things, excuses be damned and
- Entering into a loving, passionate healthy relationship with a man I adore.
So far, I’m doing okay on the health** and business and have made about 0 progress on the life partner piece.
When I left Remote Year, one of the reasons I went to London was that I needed some familiarity and had friends there. But another reason was that it seemed the easiest place to start dating and to settle into for a few months, as I was desperately craving stability.
Boy was I wrong.
Turns out, when you’ve created a life full of freedom, where you can travel and live where you want and work your own hours, it’s really hard to relate to someone living the typical work-home-tv-sleep-work routine so common in western society.
Plus, it wasn’t as easy to settle in without a resident visa and I realized I’d really rather not spend winters in the UK…
I mean, that was just kind of a dumb oversight on my part. Why would I go back to cold and rain when I can be anywhere? Duh.
Anyway, from a dating perspective, I thought if I want to meet someone that’s living this crazy life of freedom, and avoid winter, maybe I’d be better off going where the nomads are.
And I popped on over to Bali.
At first I was pretty pleased to be there and I thought I’d settle in for 3–6 months. But life in Bali wore on me pretty quickly for a number of reason, including poor WiFi, lack of sidewalks and general difficulties getting around.
I didn’t spend much time trying to date or even spending much time around other nomads, as the primary workspace in my area was shoulder to shoulder packed everyday.
I made some incredible friends but ultimately didn’t enjoy living in Bali enough to stay, and I just didn’t have the energy to date.
So, I decided I’d head for the Digital Nomad Epicenter: Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Everyone is talked to had raved about it, and it’s got the highest concentration of nomads…
In this game I’m playing of “Are You My City…” I though for sure CM would be a great place to grab an apartment and settle in for a few months.
In hindsight, maybe I should have done some research.
I’ve not been here long, so I’m sure I’m missing some of the magic… but from what I’ve seen, CM is kind of the Tulsa of Thailand.
It’s a nice place, affordable to live, but not all that exciting. It’s just kind of there.
There ARE a ton of amazing temples, the food is great and there are some good tourist attractions (primarily the elephant sanctuaries), but I’ve learned since I got here the primary reason that CM is so popular is simply the cost of living.
And that is great — you can get a monthly apartment starting around $200 a month for a fleabag or a nice place for $4–700 — but basically CM has gotten its reputation as a nomad place simply because a lot of young nomads are too broke to live anywhere else.
And after 15 months of non-stop travel, a temple is just another temple to me. I don’t mean that to be as douchy as I’m sure it sounds… but once you’ve seen a couple dozen giant gold Buddha’s it’s no longer the draw it was.
I mean, I drove by three on my way to get coffee this morning. Temples are to Thailand what Walgreens are to America. On every corner.
So, the search for a new city continues. The search for someone to share my life with continues. The business building continues. The soul searching and health prioritization continues.
The exhaustion never effing stops.
But I’ve stopped thinking too much about any of it. I get up every morning and do some meditation and writing, and then I prioritize some work and try to maybe go have some fun, or to relax in the hammock. This week I’ve been dogsitting and I have lots of canine love and I’m pretty busy with the launch of sixfigurefreelancers.com
I’m at a weird cross-roads where I’m too burnout to keep traveling full time but I’m not ready to “go home” either (not that I really know where home is anymore.).
So, for now, I’m slowing down and I’m returning to the western world… but in Australia. I’m heading to Melbourne for 3 months at the end of January and really looking forward to having sidewalks again.
Plus, I hear it’s a lot like Portland with more sun, fewer hipsters and Aussie accents.
Maybe Melbourne will be my new city?
**P.S. I’ve recently met an amazing naturopath that works online with frequent travelers. Kirsten Swales specializes in digestion issues (and nearly every travel has them) but she’s seriously an amazing coach and resource. If you’re traveling and a need on-call health support, reach out to her!