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Slow Travel and Digital Nomadism

Most digital nomads have a travel wish list that’s mile long, but if you rush through that list you’re only going to end up in one place; burnout city. You can’t hop on a flight every week without it having a negative impact on your productivity, especially if you’re trying to manage a full workload at the same time. Can you manage that impact? Yes, definitely. But you can only do it for so long before the exhaustion kicks in.

This is why so many digital nomads have embraced slow travel and prefer to travel to places for 3–6 months at time, rather than moving around 24/7. This way of digital nomadism is much more sustainable and allows you to put systems in place to create a more balanced lifestyle.

Let’s look at a few ways that slow travel can help you to avoid burnout as a digital nomad and stay as productive as possible whilst you’re on the road.

You Can Create Routines And Regain A Sense Of Stability

When you make the decision to become a digital nomad, you knowingly sacrifice stability for freedom. Finding a balance of both is the holy grail of digital nomadism and the only way to find it is via slow travel. Staying in one place for month or more makes it easier to settle into a routine and become familiar with your surroundings. It’s a chance to regroup and get into a rhythm with your work and personal life, which is invaluable to your emotional wellbeing.

The extended period of time also gives you a chance to really get to know the city you’re staying in, immerse yourself in the local culture, and actually make some friends. You might even start to learn a new language!

What’s the point of visiting a new city if you only ever see the inside of your Airbnb?

The longer you stay in one location, the easier it will be to create routines and habits that will optimize your productivity; whether that’s going for a run in the mornings to get your brain in motion, or hitting up the co-working space downtown at 7.30am to get the best window spot. Plus, you’ll definitely appreciate the simple things — like knowing where to get decent wifi and a good cup of coffee!

It’s Easier To Navigate Timezones

I don’t think anyone ever gets used to jet lag. There are plenty of tips out there to help you deal with it, but — seriously — the best way to deal with it is to avoid it! Fast travel can sink your productivity pretty quickly if you’re not careful, especially when you’re booking long haul flights. It’s easy to land at a destination and get smothered in work because of an imminent deadline (which might be even more imminent if you’re in a different timezone!). But when you restrict your travel to every month/few months, you can set aside proper time for the only real jet lag remedy — sleep!

You’ll Be More Organized And Focused On Your Actual Work

If you participate in fast travel, you’ll probably spend 50% of your time looking up flights and accommodation for your next destination, not to mention sussing out where to go and what to do there. With slow travel you have much more time to prepare for your next trip and it’ll be easier to get yourself organized in terms of managing your workload.

If you’re working remotely in any sense, you need a task management system that will allow you to manage your projects, hit headlines, and communicate/collaborate with clients or colleagues.

Add travel to the mix and you definitely need one. I don’t really consider myself a ‘digital nomad’ these days because I have a home base that I’m in for the majority of the time. But I am location independent which means that I get to travel around quite a bit, and managing all of my work in Buckets definitely makes my life easier.

More Time To Suss Out Business Opportunities And Mingle With Other Nomads

Slow travel gives you more time to network and establish connections in the area. You can suss out what events are on/worth going to and even set up meetings with potential/current clients. You’ll also have plenty of time to check in with the nomad community in your city and you see if there are any meetups coming up. It’s a great way to get to know other people who are doing what you’re doing, and you never know what you might learn or who you might meet!

There’s an awesome Facebook group called Digital Nomads Around The World that’s definitely worth joining if you want to connect with other nomads. But have a look for others too, Facebook is full of them! These kinds of contacts can be pretty lucrative; you never know who might have a cheap sublet available or a gig that they need help with.

There’s No Need To Rush

Slow travel is about more than ticking travel destinations off a checklist. It’s about creating real memories and experiences that can’t be captured in a day trip to some tourist hotspot.

It’s about connecting with people and learning as much about yourself as each city you visit. It’s about visiting the places you always wanted to see and having the time to find places you never knew about along the way. So if you’re feeling drained from your digital nomad journey, just slow down. The world isn’t going anywhere.

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