5 Mindset Shifts That Took Me From Wanderluster To Traveler & Digital Nomad

5 Mindset Shifts That Took Me From Wanderluster To Traveler & Digital Nomad

5 Important mindset shifts that took me from dreaming of travel, to working abroad in 22+ countries as a traveler and digital nomad. These are as essential as finding travel tips for cheap flights - because if you can't shift your mindset, you're not going to go anywhere! - Ally Archer - goseekexplore.com

I used to only dream of living a true work + travel lifestyle. One where I would be able to choose where I wanted to live, travel internationally at least once per year, and find creative ways to work around the world that emphasized my skills and allowed for massive personal growth.

Steve Jobs said, "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future."

However, you can take control of your life and pave the way for the dots to somehow, some way, hopefully connect to what you want them to be.

5 Mindset Shifts That Took Me From Wanderluster to Traveler and Digital Nomad - Goseekexplore.com - Ally Archer - San-Diego-California.jpg

But how do you go from being a wanderluster, dreaming of traveling the world, to actually doing it?

Making your travel goals a reality is more than travel tips, finding a travel job that aligns with your career, or scoring cheap flights (though those are definitely helpful).

Making your travel goals a reality starts within. It begins with the choice to make a change, and oftentimes that starts with your mindset.

If thoughts become things, if what you choose to focus on is your reality, and if positivity is a state of mind, then it only makes sense to look at your mindset.

Of the 26 countries I've traveled to, I visited 22 of those because I worked abroad while doing so.

After traveling internationally for several years and moving to my dream city in California while building my career, here are 5 mindset shifts I had that took me from wanderluster to traveler and digital nomad:

1. It's possible

You must believe that travel is possible.

You must believe that through all of the obstacles, you will come up with a way to make it happen.

If other people are doing it, why can't you?

Find others who are similar to you that are traveling the world.

Better yet, look up to those who are five steps ahead of you and follow their footsteps. What did they do to get there? How did they get started? How can you apply that to your own life situation?

Don't get discouraged, jealous, and shut down the thought that you can't travel because those that "can" are either "rich," "have education you don't have," "have opportunities you don't have," "are left-handed," "have different colored hair," or anything else that ultimately doesn't mean anything for YOU.

Excuses are for the lazy, and I don't know many lazy people that actually travel.

You can make it happen - you just need to believe it's possible, first.

2. It's on its way

One of my favorite quotes comes from this Wayne Dyer audio I came across on YouTube that I've shared countless times on my email newsletter, social media platforms, and with most of my friends and family: "It's on its way."

Believing that "it's on its way" does wonders.

We may not know exactly what the universe has in store for us.

This is more along the lines of the law of attraction, which is something I thought was total BS a while back. However, as time went on, and especially after listening to Dyer's speech, it was too hard to ignore. 

I always say that the law of attraction is nothing without action. 

You must take action and trust in the universe that what you're seeking is "on its way."

Having that mindset shift eased my stress, anxiety, and negative emotions that came through when I started working online as a digital nomad.

My productivity increased, I was attracting stronger clients at higher rates, I was in a relationship with a nice guy (that later ended, but it's okay), and I was constantly in a great mood.

If you want to make your travel goals happen, you have to believe that "it's on its way." If you don't, or shrug and say, "Yeah, it would be cool but it's probably never gonna work," then it probably won't.

It's on its way, it's coming - the lessons you will learn from creating your work + travel lifestyle, and the blessings that you receive when you make your travel goals a reality.

3. It's a priority - time management is key

Whew, this one was huge, and I'm still working on this. Time management and priorities are always a work in progress for me, especially as my priorities tend to shift as I grow.

When you're creating a work + travel lifestyle, you need to make travel a priority.

Travel doesn't have to be your top priority - we all have family, friends, work, bills - but travel isn't this simple task.

You don't travel by reading one blog post about Bali every few months.

You don't travel by looking at flights you can actually afford and then not purchasing them.

You don't travel by letting your vacation hours at work pile up year after year, never taking time off.

Yeah, it sounds simple. "Just book the flight!" But if you're not prioritizing booking the flight, or applying to travel jobs, or researching which visa you may need to go where you want to go, then how are you going to do it?

Once you shift your mindset to making travel a priority in your life, it's time to work it into your schedule.

A few of time management & productivity tips/hacks I like to use are utilizing the 80/20 rule, time blocking, and (very soon!) outsourcing some of my tasks by hiring people to help me with my projects.

  • 80/20 Rule: what are the top 20% of my tasks that move the needle and produce 80% or more of the results? Focus on what drives results, and either cut or outsource the rest.


  • Time blocking: Block out time in your calendar and stick to your schedule. For example, set aside one hour every other day for creating your work + travel lifestyle: 30 minutes doing research, 10 minutes making a list of travel jobs you want to apply for, and 20 minutes crafting your resume. Then when in a few days when you focus on your work + travel lifestyle again, you'll have a much clearer, more organized, and structured head start than if you spent an hour here and there reading random blog posts and getting distracted on Instagram.


  • Outsourcing/Cutting down on tasks: How can you save time and focus on big picture tasks? How about getting flight alerts through email to find a good flight deal - let the search engines with fancy algorithms save the time for you (ex: you can create flight alerts on sites like Skyscanner, Kayak, etc.). Look for ways to save time when you're creating your work + travel lifestyle by making it more efficient, especially if you have limited time.

4. Letting go of fear, insecurity, and doubt

"The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed." - Chinese Proverb

This was a big hurdle for me to overcome, and like time management, this is still a work in progress for me.

Fear, insecurity, and doubt. There are so many times were I hesitated or wavered on decisions, especially with travel or career, that were rooted in those three words.

I was afraid of traveling solo for the first time in 2014 and almost didn't go to Paris because my friends and co-workers couldn't go.

I took the leap anyway and went, and I'm so happy I did. Since, I've solo traveled in Iceland, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and Australia. I made friends and had countless experiences in the process. I can't imagine where I'd be if I let fear win back in 2014.

I was insecure about my abilities as a new freelancer and undervalued my skills and time, settling for low rates and some projects I wasn't passionate about just to get anything.

After a lot of hard work and mindset shifts (see #2), I raised my frequency, worked on improving my negotiation skills, and landed clients at 2-3x what I was previously earning.

I doubted my ability to put creative work out into the world.

For months, I had a book idea in my head and eventually I couldn't stand it anymore. I just had to write. To create. To share. And on Thanksgiving 2017, I made a goal to write, edit, and self-publish The Adventure Club by December 20th. I just did it. And I'm so happy I did.

What are the opposites of fear, insecurity, and doubt?

Courage, confidence, and trust.

Courage, confidence, and trust are essential to moving forward.

We all experience fear, insecurity, and doubt - myself included - but by flipping the script, we can go much farther.

5. I deserve to travel and live the lifestyle of my dreams

You DESERVE to travel.

You DESERVE to live the lifestyle of your dreams.

This is something you should tell yourself every single day.

You don't have to struggle if you don't need to.

You don't need to feel guilty for traveling or enjoying your life when there are others who aren't traveling or aren't enjoying their lives.

By being YOUR best self you are helping others simply by spreading positivity.

Don't let anyone ever tell you that you don't deserve to live your dream lifestyle.

Don't let anyone tell you are not capable of creating the positive, exhilarating, wonderful reality you crave and deserve.

You are capable of whatever you set your mind to.

Now go do it!

How To Create a Work + Travel Lifestyle

You deserve to live the lifestyle of your dreams - Ally Archer, GoSeekExplore.com - Wind-and-Sea-California

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