I longed for new impulses. He never lived for adventures. In a completely different environment than the one I lived in until then. Then all of a sudden I got a hold of myself and booked a cruise to South America. All I knew then was that I wanted to visit Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia in four or five months. With a backpack and on the most modest budget possible. At that time, even in my head, such romantic images as those that line up on the Instagram of digital nomads were running: beachside vítillo, melo relaxing in a hammock, hashtag carpe diem
Of course, I knew from the exciting reports of experienced friends and bloggers that this is only the most beautiful part of the nomadic way of life. Despite this - or precisely because of this - I decided to take on the biggest challenge of my life so far.
“Who do you want to prove to?”
– the first reactions came from the family. It's a fact that I like to have a system in my everyday life, I need a lot of me time, and I'm not really a fan of surprises. At the same time, I like to explore, experience the unknown, learn cool things from new people, and of course push my own limits. Sometimes less intensely, sometimes to an extent incomprehensible to me. And this includes the fact that from time to time it occurs to me that I could go out into the world.
Last summer I reached a serious turning point - in all areas of life. I felt I had to step. Not a little. And literally. To break away from everyday life for a while, from a familiar, predictable, safe and comfortable environment. For a while, the idea matured in me at the level of a dream, then one September afternoon, after some administrative fluff and a button press, the dream became a real project: heading to South America! Not even anyway:
Closed with 500 digital nomads for two weeks on a conference ship
I, who can get by with a larger social program a week, and if there is constant bustle or constant change around me, I am unable to focus on work. I like to get to know each other, but it often takes time for me to open up and form deeper connections. At one point I was performing regularly, standing on stage to entertain others, and then I shut myself down and let my self-limiting beliefs rule my everyday life. This adjustment period can be a sign of my ability to shrink into invisibility even in the company of a single successful person, to forget in an instant that there is no point in comparing myself to others, because I have also put a lot on the table.
I knew it wouldn't be easy for me on a conference ship where people from all walks of life happily enjoy their portable work: online entrepreneurs, freelance photographers, marketers, musicians, language teachers, lifestyle consultants or writers - to be inspired, share their personal experiences, hold lectures, workshops, and even embark on a new project together. I also knew that there would be young explorers, beginners, retired adventurers or couples traveling the world with small children.
I was confident that this cruise would give me the final push to finally start seriously working on the goals related to my profession. Many times, even if a person does not know what he wants to achieve, if he does not see how clearly, then chances are that he does not dare to go for it. Behind procrastination, of course, there is the fear of failure - of course, every unknown path is scary at first rather than enjoyable - and the also hindering, but at least realistic, idea that the reward will not fall into your lap overnight, you have to work hard for it. Among other things, I managed to learn this "entrepreneurial" approach to some extent, while we were moving further and further away from the shores of Europe.
Reality show level 5000: digital detox and campaign against FoMO until exhaustion
In Barcelona, on the evening before departure, a meeting was held for the Nomad Cruise participants, which I ended up not going to."I haven't slept for days because of my nervousness, and I'll have a chance to meet you on the road anyway," I simply rejected the opportunity and instead spent the last few hours in the company of some local faces.
Then, when I met the nomads on my first trip on board, including my cabin mate, a young Polish woman, I immediately breathed a sigh of relief. I realized how much I am not alone, as we are all here looking for new opportunities, new adventures, new directions. As soon as the detailed program booklet was handed to us, we immediately knew that there was no place for excuses and boredom here.
Acro yoga, writers' meeting, random jamming, future planning, counseling, brainstorming, talent search, fuck-up night (when the performers talk about what and where they got stuck in their lives), card party, salsa class. Nothing is mandatory, if you want, you can meditate in your cabin all the time. You allocate your time and energy, you decide what topics and sessions interest you, or who you want to have dinner with at a table, but due to the better than better programs running in parallel, you are constantly haunted by the feeling of loss that you are missing out on something exciting, unique and unrepeatable from thing.
At first it wasn't easy to overcome that cursed FoMO (Fear of Missing Out), even though the organizers and the routine nomads warned us to consider, choose and if possible not to fall into the trap of free cocktails, I thought I could handle it I'll take the trouble. Then, on the third day, when I felt like I was going to collapse from lack of sleep, I managed to understand what the others were talking about. Rushing and whining doesn't lead to much good, and such a massive tsunami of impulses can be especially stressful for an introverted person. That's why it was so good (hello, Joy of Missing Out!) to retreat a little and wander alone after relaxing on the beach together when we docked in Mindelo for half a day. Not only was I recharged, but I also reassessed the past few days, so I could enter the second, harder half with renewed strength: another week on the ship, this time non-stop.
I started to dissolve towards the end
If there had been normal Wifi (you could buy it for a lot of money, but don't expect miracles from it in the middle of the ocean), I wouldn't have hung out on the net either. I tried to digest the new experiences in every free minute, and I didn't feel like I wanted to go home for a minute. Slowly but surely, I managed to let go of the compulsive idea of getting to know all the nomads. It is impossible in such a short time. At first I bounced back and forth, sometimes feeling at home, sometimes really uncomfortable, but I accepted that this is completely normal and that I don't necessarily need to seek out the company of those with whom we only row on the surface in a boat. I tried to cultivate and deepen the relationships that I felt were sincere, and despite the fact that it is relatively difficult for me to open up, I found soulmates here in quite a few people with a similar mentality, with whom we have been in contact ever since.
In addition, from a professional point of view, I received a lot of kicking in the ass - let's say, it also happened to me: I received from more than one person "why are you still hesitating?" or "stop striving for perfection so much!". There were times when the conflicting opinions made me unsettled, but overall, everything I gained during the two weeks was something my ego needed a lot for a while. I had already begun to completely dissolve in this new environment, when the realization hit me on the last day: we will arrive in Brazil in the morning! All I could see into the future was that we would stay in one city for another week and rent accommodation together with some nomads. But what happens after that? Where to next? Anxiety immediately took hold. I didn't want to leave the ship. I didn't want this to end. "Calm down, only the real adventures begin now!" - reassured the others. How were they right? I will tell you about this in the sequel.