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Leaving London, Becoming A Digital Nomad + What Happens Now

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It's been a while since we've had a life update post, hasn't it?

Well, I think we definitely need to have a talk right now.

If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or any other social media channels, you'll probably have noticed some changes. (And you'll probably have noticed that I've been posting a whole lot more recently, too.)

That's because my life changed quite drastically last month. I quit my full-time job at a publisher in London - and pretty much my whole life - to travel more. To travel indefinitely. I booked a one-way ticket to Kuala Lumpur, crammed 30kg of stuff into a suitcase and set off on a new life. A life of travel, working for myself and living as a digital nomad.

Yep, it's actually happening. It's been two weeks already and I still can't quite believe this is my life now. It's been exciting, it's been exhausting (hey, jet lag!), and it's been full of challenges. But most of all it's just been truly magical.

Becoming a digital nomad

It probably sounds kinda weird to say, but somehow it just feels like I was meant to do this. It's not half as scary as I thought it would be and I already feel like I've been living this new life for ages. It certainly feels longer than two weeks. Whether I live this new digital nomad lifestyle for a year or forever, I already know that I'm never going to regret it.

Somehow I've gone from a hoarder with over 1,000 items of clothing to living with just 30kg of stuff, my suitcase now my wardrobe. And I still feel like I need to cut down more.

Somehow I plucked up the courage to quit my full-time job and the stability that comes with having a regular income and guaranteed pension, to work for myself and put everything I have into my company. And it feels good to finally give it the love and attention it needs to be successful.

Somehow I found the self-belief to trust myself and trust that yes, I can make this work. And the self-doubt is already starting to disappear.

Leaving London

In all honesty, I've been ready to leave London for a while. 3.5 years isn't a huge amount of time to live in one city, but London is so intense at times that it feels like I've been there at least twice as long. London is enchanting and intoxicating. It's crazy and all-consuming. And after 3 years of lapping up its bottomless brunches, pop-up stores and overpriced mojitos, I needed a break.

Don't get me wrong:  I love London. I'll always be a Londoner at heart and London will always feel like home to me - but that doesn't mean other places can't feel like home too.

We all know the saying about being tired of London and being tired of life, and as much as I hate to admit it, I was tired of London - and I really believe that it was making me tired of life. I realised how desperate I was to escape on the weekends to re-energise, like an introvert stealing some alone time away from the big crowd.

It wasn't just how London made me feel that was starting to bother me, but also how I thought it was going to make me feel if I stayed. Without being too melodramatic, it felt like London was ruining me - or at least the version of myself I want to be. London is eclectic, exciting and has everything you need, but it was also suffocating, polluted and expensive. Moreover, London became comfortable for me, but it wasn't a comfort that felt good to me anymore.

Ultimately, it was the things I didn't love about the city that started to take over, outweighing all of things I loved to the point where I didn't enjoy any of it anymore. Suddenly, the crammed tubes with no air con and every second person tutting and cursing started to drain me just a little bit more, and I no longer found myself amused by the ridiculousness of it all. (Who gets so worked up about being 10 seconds later to a job they hate, after all?) I even stopped pitying those very people, and that could only mean one thing - I'd become one of them.

That scared me a lot.

Because that's not me. That's not the person I was before living and working in London and it's not the kind of person I want to be. The patient, outgoing and overly positive person I'd always been was slowly fading away among those sweaty tubes, overcrowded streets and impossible-to-escape pollution. And my confidence, self-belief and motivation were disappearing along with it. So I left.

And now I've left the UK, too, with no idea when - or if - I'm going to return.

I also started vlogging!

If starting a whole new life wasn't enough for me, I also decided to start a brand new project: YouTube.

As much as I love blogging, it just didn't feel like a powerful enough way to capture this new adventure; I wanted something more personal, more visual, and something that I could look back on in the months and years to come. Something that would take me right back into the moment and record all the things I may have missed or forgotten when writing.

I've committed to uploading a new video every Wednesday and Sunday, and so far I'm (just about!) sticking to it. I've planned a mix of travel vlogs, city guides and digital nomad tips and advice to share over the next couple, so I'd love for you to join me if you're interested in any of those things.

So where now? 

I don't really know what's going to happen or what my life will look like six months or one year from now. And I'm really enjoying that. This definitely hasn't an easy decision but I'm 100% it was the right one and I can't wait to share more of it with you!

  • Charlie Elliott

    So exciting! Congrats on the big move and I can’t wait to see more!
    Cx

  • This is amazing! I just found your blog, and I’m already excited to follow along. Best of luck on your adventures!
    Randi

    • Thanks Randi! Glad you’ll be coming along for the ride :)

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