Nomad vs Vacation: What can we learn from the two very different approaches?

more than a year ago
When you travel, you’re making an active choice to break free from the constraints and routines of daily home life and embark on a new and uncertain journey. It’s a chance to rest, relax and recover, all while taking in a new environment and potentially a new and vibrant culture. While many of us fixate on the location and duration as the two main variables, there is another one: whether to be a nomad or a vacationer. Let’s dive into how these two very different approaches can alter the overall experience you’ll have.

Setting out on an open-ended, nomadic style of trip is very different from just going on a two-week vacation to a specific location. As a nomad, you’ll be really jumping into the unknown, often with just a few key dates in your diary to make sure you’re back home on time. Many would say this is true travel, and it’s certainly something worth considering if you can make it work with your career and home life.
Man on plane looking with mask on © Austin Distel / Unsplash
Nomad vs Vacation: What can we learn from the two very different approaches? © Austin Distel / Unsplash
Being nomadic gives you the freedom to look deeper into the culture(s) you immerse yourself in and find out what really makes the locals tick. The extra time and freedom give you plenty of options when it’s time to decide which “fork in the road” you’re going to take too. This allows you to move away from the beaten path of common tourist resorts, hotspots and the same old photo opportunities. If you want to fit a little bit of that in along the way then of course you can, but you’re not obligated to make that the only thing you do.

Staying at a resort in a popular tourist area is very different in this regard. Don’t mistake the purpose of this article, though. We’re not trying to persuade you to pick one approach over the other - we’re just highlighting two very different approaches. When you stay at a resort, you’re choosing a relaxed form of structure based on comfort and familiarity.

Detractors of this approach will say that all you have done is swap the constraints and confines of life at home for a new set of rules somewhere else. But what if you enjoy the simplicity and comfort of an all-inclusive break somewhere sunny and cosy? There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want to do. There’s always the option to get a little further away from your base for a few hours and drive out to less tourism-focused areas.
Nomad vs Vacation - Woman working at a beach bar © peggy-anke-unsplash
Living the digital nomad dream! © Peggy Anke / Unsplash

When you choose to be a nomad, on the other hand, you’re deciding that you’re going to be the one who wakes up every day and chooses where you want to go. Rather than existing in the confines of a resort’s timetable or schedule, you’ll be going with the flow in a way that some travellers find truly liberating. But what if this constant motion and search for something new tires you out? Taking a Kindle, FaceTiming with friends, and even playing chess online are all great and important ways to have a break from your travels without adding extra weight to your bags. But, as this article highlights, remember to never combine playing any games, especially those where you stake real money, with alcohol or drugs, as this could have serious negative consequences. In fact, this is great advice for life in general.

When travelling, you may be getting away from the rigours of home life with either approach, but carving out a little time just for yourself away from the new world you find yourself in is equally important. You shouldn't be constantly engaged and switched on with the people you’re travelling or the places you’re seeing, so having a sedentary activity you can call your own really does matter.

So, how are you going to choose which approach to travel to take next time you have space in your busy schedule? The key is to think about what you want to achieve and the things you want to experience along the way. You can travel however the mood takes you, and you’re not forced to travel the same way each time you go away. Go with what feels right at the time and you will never go wrong.


Connect via social media
google sign in button
Leave a comment using your email This e-mail address is not valid
Please enter your name*

Please share your location

Enter your message*
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here. AGREE