“Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you, and in this materialistic age a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.” — Peace Pilgrim
One of the first steps in transitioning into the expat lifestyle is learning how to let go of your addiction to consumption and material possessions. But before you jump to any conclusions, this does not mean living in poverty. This simply means learning how to let go of many of the things you have been brainwashed into thinking are requirements for living. A car, for example. A house in the burbs. Gadgets for every last little tickle that ever tracks its way across your brain.
As many of the posts here cover, the cost of living is one of the primary bonuses of becoming a location independent digital nomad. Cultural exploration is certainly a major benefit for many of us who live this lifestyle, but the freedom that comes with a reduced cost of living leads to a number of beneficial side effects, not the least of which is oodles and oodles of free time because you no longer need to be a slave to the clock. As Aldous Huxley said, “Your true traveler finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty – his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.”
Making the transition to that point, however, is the most difficult thing you will ever do as part of your preparation for the location independent lifestyle as a digital nomad. It takes incredible strength to break free of the conditioning that your mind has been put through for the entirety of your life. However, it is the first step you must take before you can truly transition into the expat lifestyle, because everything about living free from the system revolves around flexibility and the lessening of material possessions so that you can enjoy freedom from possession.
Throughout the 30 Ways in 30 Days posts you are going to read numerous tips and hints on how to transition into the expat way of life, many of which revolve around this basic principle: flexibility. You will learn how to have flexibility in your mind as you adapt and adjust to different cultures; you will learn how to cast off your reliance on schedules and clocks and time zones and eight-hour work days; you will learn flexibility in conversations as you travel the world and meet new and interesting people who have different values and mindsets and cultural ways of thinking; and most importantly you will learn flexibility of life.
You are moving beyond the boundaries on the map, beyond the borders of your comfort zone, beyond the safety net of everything you have ever been told since the time you were born that was “absolute truth”. You are going to learn how to expand your horizons to accept all cultures, all religions, all colors of skin, all people on the planet. Your mind will open to all possibilities because you will no longer be limited by a point of view that is relevant to one specific point on the planet. You will become One with everyone and everything and come to understand that the entire planet is Our Home.
Learn to let go, and take your first steps along the path of the Human Experience.