A Complete Guide To Slowmading
Check out the video!
Table Of Contents
- What Is A Slowmad?
- What Are The Advantages of Being A Slowmad?
- What Are The Disadvantages of Being A Slowmad?
- Why Am I A Slowmad?
What Is A Slowmad?
A Slowmad means different things to different people, but it generally connotes someone who has more of a homebase, or travels at a slower pace the digital nomads who are traveling to a new destination every couple of weeks.
For me, being a Slowmad means I live for 6 – 9 months of the year in Denver, Colorado & Travel the other 6 – 3 months of the year to other spots.
What Are The Advantages of Being A Slowmad?
- Friends, Family & Connections
- Having a home base allows you to either keep closer contact with existing friends, or more easily make meaningful friendships in new spots.
- You also won’t experience that same level of isolation you can easily feel after being in a foreign country for a long time (see my story about my time in Vietnam above for an example of this)
- Easier To Keep A Regimen / Structure To Life
- For most of us having a regular routine / structure to our day is going to be the foundation for our success. If everyday looks completely different and we’re running around a lot it’s going to be hard to maintain a business, or grow a career.
- More and more, I allow my trips to be times where I’m not as strict about my regimens, my diets, working out, etc. and I can cut loose a bit. Then when I get back home I find I crave being a bit more monkish, and re-establishing my regimens. When I live my life too far into a groove of regimens, or too far in the opposite direction of novelty & chaos, neither is optimal for my mental health.
- Having A Place To Call Home
- There’s somethign comforting about having a place to call home, to keep a more consistent apartment or house to come back to that remains yours.
- Escaping Monotony & Mundane Day To Day Life
- I find that leaving from time to time does keep me from taking my home for granted quite as much. Generally by the time I start to feel the monotony of day to day life I have another trip planned and I can go experience some novelty and re-invigorate myself in that.
What Are The Disadvantages of Being A Slowmad?
- “Throwing Away Money On Rent / Home”
- If you’re renting, or own a place that you’re not at for weeks or months at a time, at it can feel like you’re throwing away a lot of money. You can work to mitigate this by buying in neighborhoods where you can AirBnB, or getting into leases where it’s easier to sublet.
- Friends, Family & Connections
- On the downside of this, you won’t be as close to your family and friends as you were when you lived in your hometown full time. This is the nature of the beast unfortunately, and the more you travel, the more this can be an issue.
- Dating, relationships & building families are going to be easier if you stay in one place, traveling around can make it tougher, not impossible but certainly more difficult.
Why Am I A Slowmad?
I actually taught English for a year in Vietnam, and that taught me that I really prefer to have my home base in Denver and travel from there. While in Vietnam I came to a realization about 8 months into living there that it didn’t matter how good my Vietnamese got, it didn’t matter that I never used forks, it didn’t matter how many friendships and relationships I had with Vietnamese people I was never going to be Vietnamese. I would always be a người nước ngoài, a foreigner. This realization really bothered me, because up until that realization I had really considered Ho Chi Minh City my new home. However, I had realized I was never going to truly belong there…
Beyond this, I had nearly lost all contact with my friends and family back home, I spoke with them from time to time, but it’s never the same as being there in person. So I decided in 2016 that Denver would be my homebase and I would always come back.
Update January 2022 – I’ve decided to end my apartment lease, check out my reasons for traveling full time as a digital nomad