This blogpost is an extension of 6 OTHER Things Every Digital Nomad Needs to Have, with a bit of safety in mind.
#1 An Ability to Rough It
Being a digital nomad can be a lark, but it is not always easy.
There will be times when you are uncomfortable, and this may be due budget constraints. You might have to forego the usual privileges to make it to your next paycheck.
Rough it, but make it enjoyable. It will strengthen your character in ways that you are not immediately aware of.
Do note (as I have learned): How you handle your money today will determine how you live tomorrow. How you spend when flying high will determine how deep you go when flying low.
A moment of hardship does not need to define the rest of your life.
If you are a self-employed digital nomad, the area that will benefit the most from your being imaginative will be your work. Making fresh approaches will make your job stimulating and your product/services interesting . Fortunately for you, your dynamic environment will help your creativity flow.
Another aspect where your imagination will come in handy is your itinerary. You should be able to picture where you would like to travel next and how it will be conducive to your lifestyle, and lastbut not least, you will encounter challenges on your journey that require creativity. Sometimes imaginative solutions will be the only fixes, but results more fun.
Here are some examples of me using my imagination:
- The USB ports on the TV charge phones.
- Shower caps, and condoms to keep delicate electronics waterproof
- Stashing cash in socks for safekeeping.
- My laptop is smaller than an A4 page – I always slip it into a hardcover book. Should somebody riffle through my bag, they will likely miss my laptop.
#3 At Least one Reliable Friend
We embark on this journey of digital nomadism for numerous reasons and freedom and flexibility are benefits that we will all agree on. The ability to change location as we see fit is definitely near the top of the list, but this lifestyle comes with cons too.
It is a road that can become lonely. So, on our off days, we go to bars and cafes, hoping the remedy is drinking with strangers. We make buddies’, associates, and drinking pals but do you make friends? Friends are not the same as buddies. Friends are the people that you can really bond with.
These are the individuals that you know have your back when you need to get home after having too much to drink. You can phone when you are in a pinch, and they will do what they can to assist you irrespective of where you are on the planet and how far they are from you. The thing about these relationships is: They do not just happen. They form over time, take investment and require interaction.
You build these relationships by being fair, trustworthy, open-minded, and honest. These traits will attract the same in those that possess them – and these people are ideal for friendships.
#4 A Comfortable Pillow
For somebody traveling indefinitely with the extra responsibility of making a living, good rest is crucial. Without it, your reflexes become blunted, and you will make mistakes.
The best a digital nomad can do for a good night’s sleep on long bus rides, flights, and layovers is a comfortable pillow. It will help you get the closest thing to proper rest in these situations. You may also find that the beds at lodgings are uncomfortable. With a decent pillow, your head and neck will be safe. This pillow – your new best friend – can also insulate hard seats, especially on those workathon days.
#5 Keep A Go-bag
A go-bag in this context is not your big backpack or suitcase with which you carry your clothes but a smaller pack. You will use the go bag to carry your most important belongings, and some.
As a digital nomad, your bare essentials are; a laptop and charging cable, passport, wallet, money, one change of clothes (I prefer track pants and a waterproof hoodie with lots of zip-up pockets), toiletry bag, and medication (insulin, etc.), and will come in handy if you have to leave quickly.
Why would you need to get out quickly? Because you feel threatened, a natural disaster strikes suddenly and chaos ensues, a sudden outbreak of civil unrest.
Really? Yes Really.
It has happened before: The Arab Spring between 2010 and 2011, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the Australian bushfires in 2020, among others.
#6 A Self-Defense Trick or Two
Unfortunately, anticipating trouble will be harder for somebody who has never been in a tight spot with an unsavory character/s. I remember telling a German girl who was mugged, “the chances of it ever happening to you again are slim.” Why would I say something like that? Because an experience like that makes you sharper, more alert, and more sensitive. You sus everybody out, and you are always aware.
However, for the experiences that a digital nomad does not foresee, an air horn to the ear, pepper spray to the face, a high voltage taser, or an aerosol can and lighter, will change any ambitious individual’s mind.
My superpower is evasion, I can see trouble from a mile away (thanks to a few bad experiences), and if it happens to get close, I am often able to talk my way out of it or run like hell.
If you know a few moves, good, but choose your battles and if it is safer to part with money, phone and jewelry, then do so.
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