We chatted with fellow digital nomad, Jordan Caroll, to find out more about the impact that the nomadic lifestyle has had on his personal development over the years.
First off, What is the best part about your lifestyle?
Being able to use proximity to my advantage. Because I can choose, intentionally, where I want to be in the world. I can follow my intention at that time. If I want to learn Spanish I can move to Medellin. If I want to be near a beach I can spend time in Bali. If I want to spend time with a friend in Florida I can leverage the freedom of proximity to achieve my goals. Since these goals are dynamic and changing constantly, I can adjust my compass so my environment reflects my ambition. It’s incredibly powerful.
Which place has had the greatest impact on your personal development and why?
Medellin, for sure. I’m convinced that in some alternate, the parallel and undefined universe, I am Latino. Having spent the past 6 months in South America, visiting countries like Peru, Chile, and Colombia, I’ve never felt so deeply embraced by a culture. The people, food, and lifestyle, what’s not to love?
Speaking of people, they are what makes or breaks a place. I’ve been fortunate to meet locals that possess such warmth and excitement to share their beautiful cities and countries. It inspired me to finally learn Spanish, and although I still have a long way to go, it was enough to help me break down barriers that I had somewhat unconsciously built for myself. My time in South America has taught me so much. I think more than anything I return to the US for the first time in a half year with a greater sense of humility. There’s so much perspective to take from other cultures. I often find myself nowadays realizing how insignificant my problems really are.
What is your best individual traveling memory as it pertains to your personal growth?
It would have to be running my first marathon when I was in Prague. I hated running for the longest time. Eventually, I adopted it as a way for me to explore the cities I was visiting and it became a source of meditation for me.
With the nomadic lifestyle comes the expectation that you need to step out of your comfort zone. Do you have an example of this and how it helped you grow?
I was on a boat in the Caribbean (off the island of San Andrés) for a fun event recently. I speak some Spanish but it’s still very difficult for me, especially in chaotic situations like this one, with 100 passengers having a good time and partying. Unbeknownst to me, I was entered into a dance competition. I ended up making a fool out of myself, not only because of my silly dance moves but also because I didn’t know what the announcer was saying (he spoke Creole and really fast Spanish). But you know what? I won the competition, giving the Colombian girl whom I was dating at the time a serious laugh. Moments later I sat down to take a break. I looked up at the stars, over the ocean, and then saw the smiling faces of both friends and strangers having a great time. I thought to myself: “you just won a dance contest on a boat in the middle of the Caribbean ocean with a Colombian girl that you are dating and an entire ship of people that don’t speak English”. If you would have told me that a few years
ago, I might not have believed you. But I loved it, and it’s always a reminder to never take myself too seriously.
*This interview was initially conducted in 2019 and has since been edited.