An Indie Hacker and Digital Nomad
2023 Nov 19

Quitting Digital Nomad


I began my digital nomad journey in 2019 and was instantly fascinated by the lifestyle. It was a great fit for my love of travel and exploration. My dream had always been to travel the world without the time constraint of a "vacation". This dream finally came true. However, as time passed, my feelings started to shift. After several years, the excitement of moving to new places faded. Each new city felt like a slight variation of the previous ones. The sights no longer sparked my curiosity as they used to did. In each new city, I found myself falling into a routine of eating, sleeping, and working without exploring the city much.

I had thought that moving to new places was the source of my excitement, but I realized that it's actually the break from mundane, routine life that made traveling enjoyable. When traveling becomes the norm, it transforms into your new "routine life", and the excitement of travel diminishes. This was my experience during the last year of my digital nomad life. I realized that my old dream was no longer there. I needed to change something.

Now, I'm ready to establish my home base in Tokyo, where I lived before becoming a digital nomad. One thing I realized throughout my travels is that Tokyo is actually a very livable city. It's a safe, convenient city where I can easily satisfy most of my needs. The efficiency and predictability are well embedded in its system (see how the trains run punctually). It is also an enjoyable place to live, thanks to its culture and diversity. Of course, there might be times when I feel tired of Tokyo (and bored by how predictable the daily life is). Then, I can always take a month-long trip to cities like Bangkok (my second favorite city).

Was being a digital nomad a mistake? Not at all. I am grateful for the experience. Living in various cities as a resident brought countless learnings and ignited new interests. It made me more mindful of my environment and how different cities impact my daily life. Some cities made me live healthier; some made me more active. Understanding these differences was an eye-opening experience for me. Overall, I'm glad I did this digital nomad thing. It's just that the lifestyle isn't meant for the long term.

To be honest, I'm not sure what my life will look like after settling in Tokyo. I might fully embrace life here, or continue traveling frequently, or take a dual-base lifestyle between cities. Regardless, this is the new experiment of my life, and I'm looking forward to the changes it brings.