Ryan Biddulph Digital Nomad and Travel Blogger’s 5 Expert Tips to Thoroughly Enjoy Your Travels
By Ryan Biddulph
One of the biggest mistake I made during my early travels was not genuinely enjoying my trips because I was so heavily attached to being online.
When I was interviewed on Richard Branson’s Virgin blog I shared how not being present for special moments was my #1 digital nomad failure, as I had never spent significant time offline until we did a house sit in a remote Costa Rican jungle.
Here’s the article:
I want to share 5 tips I’ve learned and followed over my past 6 years of world traveling to help you thoroughly enjoy your travels.
Move away from checking bucket list items.
Focus instead on drinking up and enjoying each experience you have on the road.
1: Ditch the Phone
Prepare to be horrified: I don’t have a phone with a card aka minutes aka internet connectivity when I leave the house.
I do have a smartphone but use it only to get online for business, wherever we happen to be staying.
At home = phone. Away = offline.
I buy no card for minutes because I am explicitly against being online once I leave the home office (this ties in to tip #3).
If you do have a smart phone with minutes, leave it in the hotel or house. Human beings got around just fine before the advent of cell phones. Research destinations prior to your road or walking trip.
If you get lost, there are these things called human beings you can speak to or, whom you can communicate with via hand signals, to get around.
Barring getting lost, calculators – used by shop owners and vendors – solve any commerce issues in most areas of the world. Tap in a few numbers, they do. Point. Then you pay.
Or fingers work quite nicely for conveying prices, too.
There is nothing worse than seeing a couple in a rich, vibrant, colorful place like Bangkok with their eyes glued to their phone during dinner, while a fascinating scene unfolds around them.
I became the storyteller that I am by ditching the phone and actually observing what is going on around me. By speaking to locals and by connecting with real human beings during my world travels.
2: See the Spot on Foot
You really get to know a city by doing the pedestrian bit. Do any destination like a local!
Traveling around city by bus, car or even via cycling causes you to miss too much. Walking around is the easiest way to recognize and explore fascinating ‘hoods, interesting restaurants and other places that are best discovered by pedestrians.
We only rent a motorbike if there is no other way to get around, like when visiting the rice fields around Bali or when we spend time on Phuket. Other than that, we get around via our own 2 legs to fully embrace wherever we happen to be traveling.
Walkers experience places.
Those traveling via car or motorbike or bus simply travel through.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Those traveling via car or motorbike or bus simply travel through. #Traveltips #TravelTuesday ” quote=”Those traveling via car or motorbike or bus simply travel through.”]
3: Cut Back on Work Time (or Online Surf Time)
If you work online or obsess over keeping current with your latest Facebook updates I suggest cutting back your online time to embrace your trips.
I cut my workload by at least 2-3 hours during our globe-trotting travels.
My biggest failure as a digital nomad was not being present when visiting some of the world’s most jaw-dropping spots. When I was on Nagigi Beach in Fiji I dwelt on emailing my list. Ditto for my online obsession when in the jungles of Bali, or while traveling through Costa Rica.
There is a time for online work or play and a time for offline travel. Respect the seasons. Get offline to soak up your travel experiences.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Respect the seasons. Get offline to soak up your travel experiences. #ATimeForEverything ” quote=”Respect the seasons. Get offline to soak up your travel experiences.”]
4: Do as the Locals Do
Eating at local haunts, visiting local spots, and engaging in local customs make for enjoyable experiences on the road.
Why are you traveling in the first place? In most cases, you want to have fun exploring a different culture, and living a bit more like a local is the easiest way to do so.
Kelli and I eat at a small Buddhist vegetarian restaurant in a Thai neighborhood when we visit Chiang Mai, Thailand. The owners speak about 3 words of English. We would not have it any other way.
This non-tourist spot serves up some of the best fare in Chiang Mai We feel like we are in Thailand, living and eating as Thais do, when enjoying lunch at this restaurant every day.
Do as the locals do.
Get more out of your travels.
Pass on tourist spots more regularly for memorable, life-changing experiences.
5: Enjoy your Travels – Slow Travel
Enjoy your own version of slow travel to thoroughly soak up the sights and sounds of your desired destination.
If you work a full-time 9-5 job, do your best to schedule 2 weeks or more of travel throughout the year, focusing exclusively on one spot.
If you are retired or a full-time online entrepreneur, travel for months through specific spots.
I have seen and experienced brilliant stuff on the road because my wife and I spend 1, 2 or even 4 months in a single location, like when we visited Savusavu, Fiji.
Doing the slow travel bit helps you embrace life like a local. It also inspires you to make friends with both ex-pats and locals in these places, enhancing your travel experience.
How are you enjoying your travels? How do you ensure you enjoy your trips be they work or pleasure?
About the Author
Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author, and world traveler who’s been featured on: Richard Branson’s Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, Positively Positive, Life Hack, John Chow Dot Com, and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and self-published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon. Ryan can help you build a successful blog at Blogging From Paradise, so go connect with this amazing human!