10 Lessons From Being A Travel Nomad & Third Culture Kid (TCK)

I am a life-long travel nomad and third culture kid.

I felt drawn to write this blog post now as I am re-thinking everything… absolutely EVERYTHING that I call “my life” now. In many ways, it’s because I have been realising more and more that I am always going to be a nomad… a person where “home” does not really exist – at least in an external material form.

Home has become something which is truly within… one of the many reasons I now work in the mind-body-spirit and health industry.

I made London my temporary home for many years – a steady place where I have lived full-time since 2003, just over 10 years ago. And it was a perfect time to do so. I “found” my Self in this city. Before that, my family and I were used to moving every 3-4 years, even within the same city/country. I’m a happy product of a family who travelled – not always out of choice too, but out of the need to move (for work, education etc). I have been a foreigner/expat for 99% of my life.

And as I begin to embrace the idea of returning back to a more mobile life, I am loving the many blogs/websites that I find which are dedicated to people who have chosen to live the nomadic life… digital nomads, third culture kids and adults, travel writers etc. Although travel and nomad families/people have always been around, it seems to be a popular lifestyle choice now – being a modern-day nomad. I am finding people of all ages and stages in their life choosing this.

With information at the tips of our fingers, cheaper air fares, different approaches to work, online tools and much more – these are exciting times to explore the world more! 🙂

Here are my personal 10  life lessons (and reminders to my Self!) from being a life-long travel nomad and third culture kid:

Travel (VERY) light…

This is what my father always used to say as he was constantly pro-active in releasing the old and embracing the new… Travelling light is much more than clearing out old books and junk. It’s about releasing old energy/emotional ties to make way for something new, something that will serve you today. This keeps the flow going as you literally create space in your life to invite what serves your journey.

On a practical level, it’s also a lot easier to keep essentials only. Make a list of things that will make up your “essential living bag” – what do you really need?

For the things that you don’t, maybe it’s time to pass them on (charity shops, friends and family), sell them or release them completely.

And even if you’re not out travelling, a regular space clearing of your home or room does amazing things to keep the energy vibrating positively! [Read more tips here]

Regular restlessness…

There are MANY times in my life, like now, where the urge to pick up and go is very much alive! It might slow down for a while but then it always returns.

Use this as fuel to plan… It’s not always practical to just get up and leave – so the next thing that I have found helpful is to use this motivation and drive in other ways… plan a project, through learning new things, being creative etc.

Never stop learning…

This is part of being resourceful in life and growing… the challenge is to keep your Self in tune with what is going on – through the tools out there and knowledge that will help you live the life you want.

For starters, learning a second language is one of the obvious ways to expand your Self and offers more opportunities out there – not just in travel, but in both work and personal factors.

Choose a career or business that you can take anywhere…

If you like to travel, choose a career path or business that you can apply for or do anywhere. This was on of the most solid pieces of advice I got… and it’s true! In this day and age, digital nomads make a living online and those who work for others choose to do a career that allows them to travel.

I choose to work as a complementary health therapist and yoga teacher, knowing that travel is an easy option for this field.

Loneliness is an opportunity…

Ahhhh loneliness lol 🙂 I think I can honestly say that a big part of my experiences of moving to different places is confronting this feeling…

Loneliness is an invitation to Self explore. To re-connect to your Self again. To do nurturing things for your Self. It’s during these moments that I remind my Self that this is just my inner-child wanting to play and dream… I found meditation and yoga helped me a lot! Find something that you can return to do when you feel this way.

Be willing to say NO more…

There was a time when I would say YES! to most things – if people asked me to do things for them or if work required me to do extra etc. And somewhere along the line, I noticed my own energy being very low. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was until I set some healthy boundaries for everything in my life.

Having healthy boundaries ad knowing when to pass on something or say NO will allows yousmore space to renew your Self, set priorities and work on the things that matter to you the most… channeling the energy in a healthy productive way.

Don’t let anyone’s ideas of what life “should” or “should not” be like get in your way…

You may have friends, family or loved ones who love what you do – and then there are some who may think it’s time to “settle down” or don’t get it. My family and I have always faced other people’s positive/negative comments about living abroad and travelling.

It’s not always easy to hear what other people’s opinions are – but it’s your life. And it can work out just the way you want it to!

I found it helpful over the years to be inspired by those who are already living the lifestyle I aspire to… whether I have met them in real life or through blogs/podcasts/etc. Observing those who have success in your chosen path is a great way to get ideas and practical tips on what to do.

Work on being grounded…

The thing about travelling and moving around regularly is that there is always a focus on the future and plans ahead… what needs to be done, what needs to be put into place first, what location comes next etc. So, while we’re planning everything ahead of time, we can forget to sit back and just enjoy the space we are living in now.

A lot of nomads I have met (including my Self at many points in my life) get a buzz from the next big plan… which is awesome and inspiring – but remembering to enjoy the location and stage you are living in now will complete the journey and make it fuller!

Grounding exercises and meditations, writing, disconnecting from technology and spending time being creative are the easiest ways to tap into appreciating this moment.

Take time to enjoy every day interactions…

We can learn so much from our daily interactions with people – even if it is briefly at the check-out counter! One thing I have realised about travelling – people make the experience real!

Travel also allows you to naturally meet people, even if you are not the type of person to spark up conversations.

Open your heart, trust your instincts and take the time to listen to others – it’s amazing how much depth this adds to daily life 🙂

Find your home within!

Travelling means “home” may no longer just be one location… or any location! The meaning of “home” may be very different from what you grew up to know or associate it with.

These days, for me, home is now a beautiful feeling… Like when I am at peace, when I feel in-tune or inspired, when I see or hear something that touches me… that’s when I return home.

It took a long time to find this place and I spent many years searching for a location to call it “my home”. But the more I looked, the more I realised that it was always here – I took it everywhere and I could tap into it whenever I needed to 🙂

Find your home within – What makes you feel alive and happy? Do it more often, explore it fully and connect to that source of inner-home.

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