On the Road – a Travelers Life
While I am sitting in the train in Sydney going back into the flat I call ‘home’ for now I was thinking about how different life as a traveller is, when you are literally living on the road, working in different countries to fund your travels or even have your own business and you do not have a home base as you would usually do. You are living as a nomad. Yes, that’s me.
Hi, my name is (still) Monique and I am now 29years old. In June 2014 I finally (yes, oh yesss) left Germany behind and moved to Thailand and recently to Australia. Germany was my home before. I was born and raised there and used to live in the best city ever: Berlin. But I chose to pack up and live a more adventurous and for me more fulfilling life – the life of a nomad. So I gave up my home base and do not own a residential address but my passport, perfectly wrapped in a beautiful yellow cover.
Now back to my train ride in Sydney, still thinking about where I just came from. I was about to shop a tailored pants, as this is what I need for work. But you wouldn’t find one in my duffle bag. You can find a diving mask and fins, summer dresses and neon colored socks, or trekking shoes but no tailored pants. I am still not sure if I want to have some, as I kinda refuse to have them just for work reason (instead I bought a ridiculous cool jeans skirt. Can’t wear that one to work. Damn me.) So I went home and thought how weird it feels sometimes to not have a ‘suitable’ pants for work.
In Sydney you would feel totally underdressed anyways by even going to the beach sometimes, in case you have a lack of self confidence.
Being to Bondi Beach for the first time I thought people would go to a 5* dinner party later. Haha and I was hanging out totally chilled in my thaistyle beach wear. Oh well. An afternoon to remember for sure.
To move from place to place, working in many different countries, to adjust yourself to all different atmospheres and environments takes a lot. Not only does it take your effort and energy but the ability to adjust to new situations in a snap and transform them into something more comfortable for you. You meet a lot of people with all kinds of characters, traditions and manners they have been taught. You have to figure out work ethics, social life rules and the general ‘how to adjust’ over and over again. It’s not just challenging every time again but can be very hard to achieve in a for you comfortable time frame.
Australia was one of the places for me being very hard to adjust to. It is just so commercial, superficial in the social life and just way too unrelaxed – at least it feels like this in Sydney (where are those well known layed back surfers? Well you better surf over here boys ‘n girls) after living in Thailand for a while. I am sure it didn’t help to arrive in one of the most expensive cities of the world with almost no money, having to find an accommodation and job immediately. My stress level kicked in after 5hrs and the pear cider after 7. I was lucky to have a place to stay for the first 2 weeks with two dogs who daily looked at me like as if nothing was wrong (they were probably the only chilled out guys around).
Being in Sydney for now 6 months (it’s halftime already. Wow.) I totally adjusted myself to the city, to most of the people (sorry peeps, I still like you all 🙂 ) and the surroundings. But that doesn’t mean it will be for long.
I think what I want to say is that being a traveler, a nomad, means you are in a constant movement. You are not leaving your comfort zone – you giving up on it. And if you not ready for it – you better get prepared to take it all. You create a whole new world of your own comfort and you need to make sure you keep it up and adjust it – every single day over and over again. This sounds super hard and I am not denying it sometimes is.
But what will wait for you is unbelievably incredible. All the experiences I make, the lessons I learn (gosh, I can’t count them anymore, really) the amazing people I meet on the road (luckily I can’t count them as well ♡ ) and the happiness I achieve is priceless. No one will ever be able to take that way from me.
My heart is filling up with pure joy every day I see the sun, hear the ocean, follow a plane with my eyes, walk another way than I usually do … Life is just too awesome not to love every minute.
Now I am not just here to sing a song about a travelers life, so I do have some tips for you.
As this travelers life might sometimes be harsh to you, the question is: What can you do to get easier adjusted to your new surroundings? How do you find out more about the social life and get into it? And how do I deal with this constant change?! I compiled a few tips, which help me to feel comfortable in a new place, with a few adjustments to your personality I am sure they will help you, too.
Top 7 tips how to stay comfy on the road
1) Listen to your favorite music.
I love Coldplay. I listened to Coldplay already in about 2003 (or earlier? Well it’s long time ago, that’s for sure). 2007 I moved to London for my university internship and only listened to Coldplay when over there – in good and bad times – and loved them. And I still do. Having a really crappy day? Coldplay will make everything better.
2) Surround yourself with your favorite color.
I love yellow. Everything yellow. But especially if I can wear it. So to make me feel comfy I just wear as much yellow as possible on the road. I also keep my passport in a yellow leather cover. Have yellow bags, scarfs and obviously shoes. And yes, I can look like Bibo (you are just jealous, I know it).
3) Take your favorite bag/shoes/scarf/hat/
Just because you are traveling doesn’t mean you can’t have a piece of comfort with you – constantly. I have a pair of sneakers I bought in my first solo trip in London (obviously they are yellow, too). Ever since I took them on any trip I went. Seriously. Every single trip even if it was only a weekend. They would not be left behind. And they are still with me, being repaired for the 3rd time, making a good impression in my room.
4) Stay in contact with your (travel) friends.
This might be super obvious to you, but a lot of people forget about this. You can share lives even if you are 20.000 km apart from each other. There are apps such as whats app or viper or we chat and Facebook and Instagram to share latest news and photos. Use them and you feel a little more connected when you are alone out there.
5) Invent your own traditions – and keep them alive.
It doesn’t has to be a huge Christmas party, a carnival parade or a monthly high class dinner. What I mean are the small things. For me whenever I can I go to the beach and just listen to the sound of the waves. They sound different every where in the world. So when I come to a new place I make sure to make my way to the beach as soon as possible and absorb some wave sounds. Also I do that before I leave a place. To actually get to know a place better I got to sit in a public space and watch the local people and their behavior. Just to get an idea what the place is about. I also have the tradition to go out and dance somewhere and completely freak out, dancing like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air – just because I can 😉
6) Check local meet ups/facebook groups
Or you might want to join your hobby in a school /gym/team etc.
Seriously, I found that this is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to get connections on the road. With my dancing I meet a lot of like minded girls and boys, join street dance parties and never fail to have fun and meet new great people.
7) Last but not least the most important one: Be open minded and talk to people. Everywhere. Any time.
Because this is for sure the way to new friends, dance – partners in crime , party crashers, chill-buddies and whomever you wish for. Just go for it!
What are your special tricks to keep you comfy on the road? I wanna read them all.
Hope to see you out there,