Adjusting To Life As A Nomad

It’s Christmas morning. I wake up to the sound of a howling draft and the balcony wind charm dancing noisily. No Christmas carol singing here. Only the sound of the angry wind fussing ferociously with the ocean.  A lover’s quarrel that has endured the entire night.

My apartment here in Spain is empty, but for me. There is no Christmas tree and there are no decorations.

The smell of  turkey with stuffing baking for hours in the oven is but a wishful thought. There will be no big family dinner.

Instead, I smell the salty ocean air being whipped about. I smell the eminent rain creeping closer on the horizon. It’s dreary and gray out there.

christmas day alone digital nomad adjusting to life of travel



I have been bouncing around nomadic for almost 3 months now.

I have stomped the pavement of big cities like Toronto, London, Montreal, and Barcelona. I have observed the slow scenery of sleepier places like Nova Scotia and now this off season resort town in Mallorca, Spain.

It’s been a whirlwind of change with a disgusting amount of packing-unpacking-repacking.

Packing up again for travel digital nomad traveling through canada 2013

This first few months were my adjustment period. Originally, I wanted to go straight to SE Asia and then on to Africa. I chickened out and delayed those plans. Not completely. I still left ‘home’ but changed my destinations (for now). Asia just seemed so far -and it obviously is.

Being flexible, I still made it work.

In Nova Scotia, Canada I  did a tiny voluntary project and attended an amazing Red Cross Humanitarian Award Ceremony.

In Toronto I made a connection with a lady who needs help starting an NGO.

And I am finally moving towards Spanish fluency here in Malorca (it only took 15 years).

What I’ve come to realize is that distance is not the sole factor that keeps people on familiar shores. Living a nomadic life comes with many upsides.

But the nomadic life also comes with traveling alone, dealing with language, currency, and culture differences.

travel barcelona market 2013

And of course, being away from family on Christmas day.

This is why I do NOT travel for Facebook pictures and stamps in my passport. I don’t feel traveling is a badge of honor.

Those things could not be my sole motivation to live a nomadic life. They wouldn’t be enough for me.

When people say that they couldn’t live this lifestyle…… I get it.

I get that it’s hard as ever to make a leap and leave the cozy comfort zone.

I have to have a damn good reason to hit the road or I wouldn’t leave either.

I love new cultures and the amazing beauty of this world, yes. Even more than that, my main reason is to be part of something that feels bigger than myself.

Of course, I could do that at home. I somehow always knew that part of my life journey would involve doing this work abroad. And I am no longer fighting that.

A calling? Intuition? Whatever.

Every nomad has their reasons. If your reasons are stamps in your passport and Facebook updates, GO FOR IT!

Whatever fuels and reminds you of why you want to live a nomadic life (especially on days when you feel down and alone).

I am crystal clear on mine. And that is the only thing that keep me on days like today when my family is elsewhere sharing food, festivities, and love.

My reason (plus the reality that stuff could be way worse) remind me to……

stop my whining, call my family, and get on with my day.

After all, I choose this journey, right?

“Everyone has to make their own decisions. I still believe that. You just have to be able to accept the consequences without complaining .”  –Grace Jones

So right now, I am grappling with acceptance.

Tomorrow the sound of the ocean breeze will hopefully wake me again.

Except it won’t be a ‘specially designated’ day. It will just be another day on the Spanish coast. Hopefully more like this gorgeous one last week.

palma nova mallorca spain 2013

purple ajoy2