About 9 months ago, I decided to give life as a digital nomad a try, and about 4 months ago, I actually did it and physically left home. It’s been a very interesting journey, to say the least. I’ve spent my time exploring New York on foot for hours on end, teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Vilnius, Lithuania, and finally coming to the now obvious conclusion that absinthe is really not for me when in Prague.
I was lucky enough to have several of my best friends visit me while I have been hither and yon across the globe – life on the road DOES occasionally get a little bit lonely. There is nothing like having a late night talk with your best buddy, abroad or at home.
But there is another unexpected benefit I had from my friends visiting me. I came to realize the distinct difference between traveling and nomading (yes, I just turned that into a verb).
I’ve been reading Robert Greene’s “Mastery” for the last couple of days and I like it a lot. It may be his best book yet. In a nutshell, the book is about how to excel at something, be it writing, physics, playing an instrument or boxing. In typical Greene fashion, he looks at numerous case studies of historical masters, to extract the common underlying principles of their success, giving you a starting point for your own journey to mastery.
One thing Greene really stresses is the importance of finding the right teacher for what he calls the “apprenticeship phase”. I completely agree with the idea, but there is one minor problem: what if you regularly choose to learn things that are so outlandish, there is simply no good teacher around?
The topic has been on my mind for a while, although I’ve been dreading it. There are several reasons for that, but mostly I fear that turning the issue into an article will fail to do the people I’m going to write about justice.
Let’s start at the beginning. I only fairly recently learned that two people who used to be important to me — in very different ways — are no longer with us. One of them was my literature teacher of many years, and the other a girl I secretly had a crush on, without ever being close to her.