I spent a whole year travelling solo to find myself, only to find myself more grateful for my friends than ever.
I was in completely new countries, out of my comfort zone, meeting new and different people. It was hard and scary and one of the craziest journeys I had ever taken both physically and emotionally.
But what became abundantly clear was I wouldn’t have had the courage to carry on without knowing that people around me, even if they weren’t there physically, were with me every step of the way.
In short, I need my tribe for all the good and bad things that come at me in my life.
Who’s the person you turn to when you’re having a rough day?
Who’s the person that you want to share the good news with?
Who’s the person who will go with you to the obscure gig or free talk?
Who’s the person you’d tag in that meme?
They’re your tribe. And despite the distance between you or time you spend apart, it’s the most amazing feeling to know that they will be there. When you’re going through immense amounts of growth and change, they will be your constant.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be open to meeting new people, being exposed to the ideas of their different upbringings and backgrounds, and expanding our circle. Sometimes the best friendships come through when you least expect.
It becomes all the more important when you start to lean on these people as your support network, particularly as you go through all the difficulties of building a business or travelling as a digital nomad. Finding people who understand you and can help support your vision makes the journey less terrifying.
But it’s also important to know who we hold close, which friendships we’re willing to invest the time and energy into and know that the effort will be appreciated and reciprocated.
As we get older and busier, friendships are harder to make and maintain.
Friendships used to be easy to make. In school or even at work, the people you saw every single day often defaulted into that position.
But something changed when we started going our own way. We needed to choose. And now we choose on who lifts us up.
Convenience isn’t enough for friendship. True friendships do require an investment that goes beyond yourself and your needs. You need to consider their needs, their schedules and how that fits with your own. And it needs to be both ways.
But choosing people who truly lift you up can take you places you never imagined for yourself.
Motivational speaker and self-help guru, Jim Rohn said:
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.
So it’s important that those 5 are going to reflect the person you want to become and help support the vision you have for yourself.
Look, I know it’s hard. I look back with dismay that I have lost friends along the way because they are no longer travelling down the same path as me nor share my values and my visions. In travelling, I’ve both picked up amazing friends around the world and lost touch with many back home. I’ve had to take a step back from friendships that I realised were taking a toll on myself.
But it has also opened me up to friendships that are more meaningful to me.
The people I’ve surrounded myself with push me to dream bigger, give me the confidence to be more than I would have hoped. I don’t have to talk to them all the time but when I do, I know they are willing to listen.
And in return, I only hope that I can do the same. I want to be open to hearing them; and every trivial detail of their lives. I want to be encouraging and supportive for however crazy their dreams might seem to be. I want to be present and turn up and take time out of my day to make them know they matter to me.
It’s the least I could do for them.
I’m Tiff and I’m passionate about empowering people to tell their stories in meaningful and creative ways. A year ago, I quit my corporate job in Sydney, Australia to travel and pursue my own projects. Now, as a location-independent social storyteller, I can’t imagine going back. I love being able to share my stories and struggles with the emerging remote working community. I haven’t got it all figured out and constantly feel like I’m flying blind, but I’m excited to be giving myself the space to do so. You can find out more on my website, from Instagram or Twitter.
If you’re interested in sharing your story with us too, we’d love to hear from you. Email me at [email protected] to find out more.