“Become who you are. Do what only you can do. Be the master and the sculptor of yourself” — Nietzsche
This quote was in the wrapper of the Christmas chocolate I just ate for dessert. Funny how coincidental. It represents exactly the approach that governed my past year.
2020 has been a year of self-awareness and constant readjustments. A questioning of myself, and a permanent quest to become closer and closer to who I am deep down inside. Finding but also creating and sculpting who this person named Auriane is.
I’m not sure I would recognize my January self in the mirror. Here are the 8 most powerful changes, decisions, and habits I have implemented in my life in 2020. I have written at length on most of these topics over the course of the year. Where more details are available, I’ve added links. …
My friend Johanna, who came from France to visit me in Lisbon, left yesterday. She stayed with me for 4 days. It was during a moment spent in her company that I pronounced the following words:
“This is exactly how I imagined my dream of becoming a digital nomad.”
A digital nomad is a person who travels around the world while working, often from their laptop, needing only their brain and a wifi connection. That’s how I’ve decided to live my life for now. Lisbon is my first stop.
These four days have been intense. Now I am alone again. And this contrast reveals something that has become more and more obvious to me over the last few months. …
Your mood is intangible, fluctuating, and intense. It appears suddenly and it plays a role in your decisions, your interactions, and your reactions. In other words, everything that makes up your life. How many times have you not felt like working, woken up in a bad mood, or lacked kindness toward your partner, simply because you were seeing the world in grey?
It feels like our mood is just the way it is. That there’s nothing we can do to control it. And that’s true. It’s there. Period.
The thing is, it’s not controllable, but it’s orientable. …
For a long time, I thought that traveling solo meant staying alone for the whole duration of the stay. While this may be true, I discovered that it didn’t make much sense. My best travel memories are the shared ones. Even though I fully appreciate my moments of solitude, it often turns into a series of walks and visits that do not create meaningful memories.
So far, I have traveled alone to three different places. In Hong Kong, my best memory is the barbecue evening I spent on a rooftop with friends of a French acquaintance. In Berlin, it was the two evenings with Steffie, a woman I met in a club. …
When my father installed a wood stove in the living room, he only knew how to make a fire. He didn’t know how to manage the log supply. As a result, it was sometimes cold and often too hot.
He experimented. He learned.
Now he cuts the logs in half, and the temperature at home is always perfect.
When I started writing on Medium, my articles were tiny. I didn’t know how to develop my ideas. I had no clue what I was doing.
I practiced. I persevered. …
Whoever finds at least one advantage in using a check-in suitcase earns my eternal admiration. As far as I’m concerned, carrying around tons of stuff with me is not my cup of tea. My winning formula is one hand luggage and one backpack. A small one, I mean. Just like in the picture. And this, for trips of several weeks or months.
For sure, it forces you to make choices and to be very selective in what you take with you. …
There’s a French proverb that I heard my father repeat many times throughout my childhood and even now. It goes like this:
“Qui ne tente rien n’a rien.”
It translates at: “He who attempts nothing gets nothing.”
I don’t know who it comes from, neither does Google. What I do know, however, is that almost every time I’ve applied it, it has become a little bit more deeply rooted in my mind. Because it has enabled me to obtain great things.
Just like today.
I am currently staying in a hotel room in Lisbon. This is my first stop as a digital nomad, so I divide my time between work and exploration. To make a long story short, I should have been in an Airbnb but it got canceled. …
Have you ever felt stuck? Not knowing which way to go, afraid of both wasting time and missing out on what could be? Not knowing whether to keep going or give up on something new that feels uncomfortable right now, but afraid to push aside something that might work in the end?
Sounds familiar to me too.
The fact is: you’ll never know. Unless you try. But trying takes time and effort. How do you know if it’s a waste of time? How do you know when to stop?
Whether it’s a new lifestyle, a new habit, a new job, or anything that matters to you and could transform your life, my answer is: try it for exactly six months. That’s what I’m doing right now with my new lifestyle: I’ve become a digital nomad. …
Whether you’re on vacation abroad or live as a full-time digital nomad, this one is for you. I am currently spending 3 weeks in Lisbon, Portugal, in a small hotel room. I don’t have a kitchen, let alone a mini-fridge or kettle. I should have stayed in an Airbnb with all the comforts, but it was canceled 48 hours before my arrival, so basically I had to find another option.
Lisbon is not the most expensive of European countries, but it’s not the cheapest in the world either. Eating out costs between $5 and $15 per meal, which adds up to the final bill provided that you eat at least two times a day. …
Past a certain level, working costs you more than it earns you.
Tomorrow is my birthday. My parents called me earlier in the day and suggested that we go together to choose a present this afternoon. My mission was to think about what I wanted.
The more I thought about it, the emptier I felt.
Some situations make you feel strong and unpleasant emotions, often anger or sadness, and you don’t know why. Two options are available to you: wait for the emotion to pass, or dig deeper and find out where it comes from. …