A bit of my truth behind the #digitalnomadlife
I’m not even sure why I’m writing this article while I’m supposed to be working and packing. Maybe is because it hasn’t stopped raining for the past days even if here in Bali is the middle of the dry season. Maybe is because things are changing, the streets are bustling with tourists, our co-working space is becoming less and less familiar while all the members of the digital tribe go back to spend the summer in the other hemisphere. Maybe is just the normal sense of instability that accompanies me every day, but something has been feeling off lately with all these goodbyes and suitcases laying around the villa. Being a “digital nomad”, as they call us, is not what Instagram tells us. My own Instagram is full of amazing memories, which I will treasure for life, but honestly, they represent less than 30% of the time I spend here. They represent what people want to see.
No one wants to see the internet not working, the hot water not coming out of the shower, the stinky ponchos in the rainy season, the bank that doesn’t give you money cause you are not local or the hours spent on the phone to make all the pieces fit. No one wants to do the other 70%, that ugly 70%, made of a weird mix of hours spent at the office and goodbye parties, parties that are now part of a routine, which funnily enough, we are all here to escape.
To be fair, it is also made of amazing, talented, unique people who enrich those painful hours spent at the computer while outside is sunny with a comfortable 80% humidity rate, people you most likely will never see again. Is made of an ex-corporate sales-man who is now refusing to wear a suit, is made of a talented video maker who didn’t believe in himself and will now travel the world with his videos, is made of a girl who can finally write for living, an 18 years old who lived in more places you can count and carries the best (and worst) from all of them, humble people who run multimillion dollars companies and tell you they have a small business online, a girl who travels on one-way-tickets with weird concept of “soon”, a chemistry student who decided to escape the canonical way of studying , a mandala artist, an ex-geologist who is now co-founder of a remote company, love stories between continents, a couple who decided to travel the world spreading puzzle pieces to connect people with their kindness, ex-pop stars, CEOs, people who were there, right at the bottom, and decided to change. Nomads who chose to see what’s around and absorb as much as possible from this world that is becoming smaller and smaller to explore, mixed stories of amazing people who will pass through your life, and leave a scar. I wish I could say it was a mark, but it’s definitely a scar. A gentle scar, not like a wound, more like a tattoo scar, one you look forward to, but still a scar. A painful one, but so fucking beautiful.
Being part of the digital tribe is the most unsettling experience I’ve ever had. So absurd that it manages to be also fulfilling and extremely addictive.
On one side you wish you could have a place you could call home, a real home, one you know you can leave your stuff in when you go away, one that you will find exactly the same when you are back after a month or more, one that has that “homey” scent and that familiar feeling.
On the other side having to go back to that same place feels “limiting” so you really want to escape.
I’m not even sure where I want to go to with all this, I guess I had to put it on ‘paper’ to try to better understand if swimming with the turtles last week was worth spending a day less with my parents in Italy while they are getting older, if building companies from a bamboo hut drinking coconut is worth not being sure if people will make it to my birthday because they are too spread around this bastard world we love so much, whom brings us together and take us apart so quickly. I need to figure out if the Japanese Sushi we had in Kyoto was worth missing on my best friend promotion or if Iceland’s Glacier was worth not being there at the Ang’s divorce party (yes there is such a thing). The north pole with its dancing lights, Australia with her reefs, Dubai with all its contradictions, Fiji, Spain, Germany, Thailand, New Zealand and all the others….are they worth it? This is what I’m still trying to understand. I think I needed an excuse to put it in written words to be able to read it again in a bit and see if anything changed.
I guess it’s just a weird way to say thank you to all of you….and goodbye…but as a very weird but talented and kind friend of mine said leaving Bali the other day: ‘Goodbye’ has a unique flavor for nomads.
PS. I’d love to put a photo of us swimming with the turtles here, but the idiot who took them is now on the other side of the world..with the memory stick…..They will come…I hope.