May 2, 2024 4 min read

Traveling as a Digital Nomad: The untold inner journey of growth and connection

It's the dream come true, isn't it? Full-time travel, your business or remote job dialed up on your laptop, shades for the sun, blue light filters for the screen, a cocktail in hand.

Digital Nomads Full-time travel
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Before you can say your name, you've gathered 5 new friends and found the love of your life. That, my friend, is the digital nomad life. 

Part of it, anyway. It's the part that everyone dreams about or posts about. It can be entirely true and perhaps a little incomplete, as well. What about the other part of the, largely untold, journey of growth and connection that unravels inside the heart, mind, and soul of a traveler?

It's time, today, that we shed some light on that to build community, begin a conversation, and perhaps offer an "Oh, I feel that!" exclamation. 

Particularly, I've found that there are three ways traveling has helped me grow as a human and connect to my innermost self more deeply. On the flip side, every last one of these three things was once missing in my journey.

So, let me tell you from experience that without internally journeying home to yourself while externally venturing around the globe, full-time travel is a direct flight into self-abandonment, loneliness, and dissociation. On the flip side, recognizing the wealth of healing, connection, and purpose travel can offer us as souls is a total game-changer. 

Travel has made me curious about myself

There was a time when I escaped my childhood hometown simply to run away from family trauma. I moved across the pond and then on and on and on, hoping to create more and more distance between myself and my trauma. 

That didn't turn out exactly as intended. Unsurprisingly, my childhood trauma followed me, claiming quite a bit of space inside of my mental suitcase. Stubborn little thing. 

Me, not the trauma. I went for nearly 5 years, moving from city to city before I ended up buying a backpack: Certainly, traveling faster would be the answer to my unfulfilled soul.

In a way, it was. But backward. When I first began to backpack, I had freshly quit my secure job in L.A. and had exactly no plan. At this point, I felt broken open. Bottom of the rock had been hit. What travel helped me do then, better than any lifestyle had before, was to look around as much as look inside: 

Having left the Western World that had brought me up, I seemed to have no choice but to get curious about the world that was surrounding me now: how were other people living their lives? What were they in pursuit of, if anything? What was success to them? 

The more such conversational snippets I overheard, the more curious I became about myself: What am I here to do? What is my purpose? What brings me joy? What do I want out of life...if not the career I'd just un-gloriously left? 

It was curiosity that eventually paved the way for profound inner healing. It was curiosity that finally led me toward forgiveness. It was curiosity that helped me forge my way into entrepreneurship. 

And it now is curiosity that continues to intrigue me to travel further and further. What about you - what have your travels made you curious about? 

Travel has guided me to forgiveness 

I spent the first two decades of my life in Germany and the U.S. The mentality employed to deal with trauma, arguments, or fallouts was pretty much squeezed in between old-fashioned 'An eye for an eye' action or long-winded therapy sessions exploring 'my relationship to my mom'. While especially the latter isn't exactly terrible, I've also found through traveling that it's quite incomplete. 

While modern psychology is now held up as the ultimate status of human understanding, we travelers may have found one or two slightly more ancient schools of thought, a wisdom that's paved the way towards healing, understanding, connection, and forgiveness for centuries, not mere decades. 

While Eastern spirituality has gotten a bad rap thanks to inauthentic new-aged so-called spiritual coaches in the West, the ways of ancient Asian cultures and native cultures in the Americas, Africa, and Australia are, indeed profound and, in my experience, much more comprehensive. 

Having worked with local healers throughout Asia and, virtually, in America, I've gained an understanding of how interwoven we really are with one another, our ancestors, and the world around us. 

At some point, (understandable) resistance to forgiveness fell by the wayside, having seen and experienced too deep a level of the interconnectedness of life. Examples of schools of thought that have led me here are Pranic healing, nondual Kashmir Shaivism, Tantric Buddhism, and other spiritual teachers and teachings.

How have your travels helped you let go of grudges and move into the arms of forgiveness? 

Travel has helped me recognize and embody possibility

Now, for a bit more lighthearted reading: if you do not see possibility while traveling, extended airport layovers will quickly become the nightmare they're made out to be. 

Not the case if you allow your travels to teach you a mindset of possibility. Who knows, with that packed up, you might just get free upgrades, planes waiting for you, and luxurious getaways paid for by AirBnB. All true stories, of course. 

When I first arrived in Bali, someone told me that they don't make appointments in Bali, but set intentions. While that might have its downside for immigration purposes, overtime, I have come to realize that there's always a possibility. 

In other words: Where there's a desire, there's a way. And where there's an intention, there's help just around the corner. 

Through traveling, I've learned to lean more into my purpose and intentions than to lead so forcibly from my masculine energy. The latter can still come forth and run the show in business from time to time. However, I've found that leading with intentionality opens you up to the most unique of connections with strangers, opening doors for business, or perhaps even having you meet the love of your life.

Through travel, I've learned to always see a way. Likely why I called my business what I called it: Way of the Founder. 

What about you, what has travel taught you? What's the inner journey you've been on while living out of a suitcase? I'd love to know what from this article resonates with you. 

With loving and blessings, 


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