"You are unique and special, like an individual snowflake with an intricate design. Simply by existing, you have stunned the world with your majesty. You are a gift to the universe."
Let’s pause for a quick quiz:
Is this quote...
A. A line from a Hallmark greeting card
B. A motivational poster
C. A poem written by a teenager with a mediocre grasp of similes
D. A popular mantra perpetuated by society
If you guessed D...
Bing bing bing!
Thanks to affirmations like the one above, many people seem to believe that they are in fact beautiful and rare, like said magical snowflake.
Enter, Special Snowflake Syndrome, or in other words, the belief that you––unlike all the other zombie trolls out there––have been gifted with a magic essence that makes you different. That somehow you are, by virtue of being alive, a unicorn of a person––majestic and rare.
But what does it really take to be remarkable?
It’s 11 AM on a Sunday morning –– hangover o'clock. You could really go for some waffles. And eggs. And sausage. Covered in syrup. Not to mention bottomless coffee brought to you every five minutes.
Visions of your favorite hometown diner fill your head. It’s got a name like Ruby’s or Charlie’s or Stan’s.
You roll over in bed and peer out the window –– to see a skyline full of buildings and signs with another language written on them. You’re in a place where cutesy diners like the ones your stomach is calling out for don’t exist.
You slump back down under the covers and daydream of home.
Perpetual travelers and nomads often come to a head with the homesickness beast here and there. Sometimes it’s the yearning for a particular person or place. Other times, it’s food.
Even though you can’t make that breakfast place of childhood appear out of thin air, there are some things you can do to quell the pangs when they come a-knockin’:
When I was getting ready for my move to South America , many friends, coworkers, and family members did not hesitate to weigh in on my big decision.
In fact, they offered their worth-their-weight-in gold thoughts with me on a daily basis.
Most of them sounded like this:
“Oh honey, do those things while you still can –– before you’re saddled with a husband and kids!”
“That sounds amazing. I wish I could do that, but I have bills and responsibilities.”
“Enjoy your adventure! You’ll eventually have to come back to the real world.”
Real world. Real world. Real world.
But what is the real world, really?
There’s something you need to say.
If you didn’t say it after watching the video of the polite little boy with the dinosaurs,
or when you caught your 500th Pokémon,
or when Google Maps saved your lost ass,
say it now: Thank you, internet.
As those living in the digital age, we owe the internet for a lot of in our lives, from Barack Obama ping pong PhotoShop masterpieces to Morgan Freeman giving us turn-by-turn directions, albeit briefly.
More seriously, the internet has also opened up a plethora of opportunities when it comes to our professional life.
Enter, digital nomad.
This special brand of human thrives on one thing in particular: freedom.
Freedom to work where and when they choose. A lot of the time, this means traveling the globe with a laptop, working remotely or freelancing to support a lifestyle of frequent motion.
Certainly, this lifestyle isn’t for everyone. But, if it’s something that intrigues you, arm yourself with the tools below. Happy roaming!
Life abroad looks like paradise.
Just look at any travel magazine, hostel website, airline advertisement or [choose your own propaganda].
You’re promised gorgeous sunsets, sandy beaches, and delectable cuisine, with new, lifelong friends surrounding you at every turn. Laughs, smiles, and warmth abound. In no time, your new culture will embrace you, treat you as family, and give you a home away from home.
As you may have guessed already, reality paints a very different picture.
Before the specifics, a definition: living abroad means living abroad.
Not studying, not travelling, not a monthlong volunteering stint. Living abroad, generally, involves a job, an address, and settling –– at least for several months –– in another country.
Maybe you moved somewhere with a spouse, friend, or organization. Maybe it’s just you and a one-way ticket. Maybe you have extended family there. Maybe you’re in a remote village that no one’s ever heard of.
No matter your situation, you’re going to discover that some things you thought would be true of your experience, just are not. I could spend many-a blog post (and I plan to) talking about all the things you discover when you uproot your life and move to a new country.
Let's change the world.
Who wrote this?
Gina Edwards, Impact Explorer founder and lover of all pun jokes, making a positive change in the world, Stephen Colbert, Jif Peanut Butter, and staying inside on rainy days. Order may vary.