• Sarah Yoo

4 Profound Life Lessons From One Year As A Digital Nomad

Travel: it’s exhilarating, energizing and super fun. As we throw ourselves into the deep ends of new cultures, people and places, we find ourselves living on the edge of our comfort zones. Traveling challenges us to think differently, adapt quickly and therefore grow in profound ways.

One year ago, I hopped on a one-way flight from New Zealand, leaving my friends, family and the comforts of home with just one plan: to be in Bali for 6 months and begin my new life within the digital nomad community.

Today, I’m writing this in my home office while overlooking the lush trees of Medellin, Colombia - a city that I never thought to visit.

My conclusion with a year under my belt?

Traveling while building my dream career has so far been thrilling, invigorating yet tiring and challenging. But the biggest gift of all? This lifestyle has served as a great real-world classroom; every day, I am presented with interesting life challenges and its lessons at an exponential rate. ⁣

Here are four most profound insights I’ve gained from my newfound nomadic lifestyle.

Lesson #1: Things Don’t Go As Planned.

Many begin a long journey of travel as a result of life at home not panning out as they had planned. Ironically, it’s the same but in a different capacity when you’re a digital nomad.

Time after time I learned that whatever you plan may not be what you expected:

  • Everything will take twice as long. This is especially true if you’re used to a first-world ecosystem that’s efficient and streamlined. Many third world countries are far from fast life. From the time it takes you to find a new home, your closest supermarket or ways of transport - everything takes longer than originally anticipated.


  • Things are always changing. People in the digital nomad community are constantly on the move. As they come and go, your own feelings about a place can change. You may suddenly love or dislike a place or you may suddenly find yourself in countries that you never thought you’d visit, as you join people you meet on the road.