Changing cities, countries, and shifts in environments are all part of the digital nomad lifestyle. The pace we go about this can vary, but we do it for the beauty of travel and exploration.
However, moving around comes with its own set of challenges. A big challenge I often hear from digital nomads and clients is feeling grounded when changing locations.
What is grounding?
Grounding is a feeling of being safe, secure and at home in your space. It is feeling balanced, calm, present and at ease. This takes time when first landing in a foreign place and to each at our own pace.
When moving locations frequently, it can be tough to feel grounded. Yet, it is so critical.
Here are my tips for how to ground when entering a new place:
🌱 Unpack and settle in your space
As soon as you can, unpack your things. There is something about getting unpacked and organized that makes you feel more settled. Tackling this early also allows you to focus your time on getting out and learning about your new surroundings.
🌱 Get into your routine
Get into your routine. We each have our unique routines or rituals. For me, it’s morning meditation and movement often paired with journaling and burning incense. Bring back your daily habits and routine as soon as possible to help you recenter in your new environment. It also helps to travel with items essential to your routine to support this (yoga mat, journal, resistance bands, dietary items, etc).
Some questions to support you:
- What makes you feel balanced/at ease?
- What helps you to feel settled?
- What is an essential part of your daily routine?
- How do you feel at peace in your environment?
- What helps you to feel safe and secure in a new or foreign place?
🌱 Explore your surroundings
Get outside and explore. This is one of the most exciting parts! When landing in a new city, there is so much to see. Walk around the new barrio (neighborhood) to get familiar with your area. This allows you to discover local cafes, restaurants, gyms, parks, etc., and to orient yourself in your surroundings. The aimless wandering can lead to a sense of security and safety. You can also discover cafes to work from, restaurants to try and local necessities (pharmacy, markets, etc.). For safety purposes, it is best to do this exploration by day.
🌱Shop local markets
After exploring your neighborhood, you’ll likely discover local stores and markets. Shop around for your favorite food and produce. A healthy and nourishing diet can contribute to feeling grounded. I encourage you to shop local whenever possible. This is often less expensive, reduces the carbon footprint, and allows you to support and connect with locals.
🌱Add personalized decorative touches
Add personalized decorative touches to make your space feel like home. Mainly Airbnb hopping, I look for a space with lots of natural light, plants, etc. Yet, you can only get so picky. I love to shop local markets for candles, plants, fresh flowers, and other small decorative touches to make it feel like my own. Think about what makes your space feel good to you and add your personal touch.
Finally, presence is key to grounding. It’s putting the phone aside and genuinely observing the beauty of the tree-lined streets, listening to the local language spoken, taking in the scents of food from local street carts, and feeling the city’s energy. Pause and tune in to your surroundings.
Grounding takes time, but these practices can help you to find a feeling of security and safety in a foreign place. Feeling at ease allows you to relax, explore and enjoy your new environment.
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