Getting Gutsy: A Digital Nomad Adventure

Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy. This post is One Woman Shop founder Cristina Roman's entry for Jessica Lawlor’s Get Gutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details and download a free copy of the inspiring Get Gutsy ebook.

cristina matagalpa

For several months back in the spring and summer, I tossed around the idea of going to Central America for a few months to work remotely and travel on my own. I wasn't in a particularly good place personally and I felt like I needed a change of pace and a change of scenery-- basically, I needed to hit the reset button in my life.

Every single one of my family members and friends fully supported the idea, but I distinctly remember deciding one day that I wasn't going to go. Traveling alone wasn't for me and I didn't want to leave my life behind. I decided I was fine with settling.

Obviously, my final decision turned out a bit differently or I wouldn't be writing up my story for a contest on getting gutsy!

After hours spent comparison shopping for flights-- which, in retrospect, was probably an avoidance technique-- I bought a 3-month ticket to and from Costa Rica with the understanding that I could change it if I wanted to come back earlier or if I got hooked on solo travel and wanted to stay longer (spoiler alert: I'm now traveling "indefinitely").

In some ways, I feel like a fraud claiming my actions as gutsy. Sometimes my travel life feels so easy that I have to pause and remind myself that I am traveling alone through foreign countries while speaking a different language-- and THAT alone is gutsy.

Eating blood sausage in the market in Granada, Nicaragua is also gutsy. Cracking jokes in Spanish with my friend from Barcelona is gutsy. Running One Woman Shop remotely with a business partner based in New York is gutsy. Going to Zumba class, even when I felt like an awkward teenager at a high school dance, is gutsy (when I left town, my Zumba instructor told me I was much "less rigid" than I was in the first class!). Learning to manage the constant cat-calls is gutsy. Living with a Nicaraguan family for a month and a half is gutsy.

I learned that getting gutsy doesn't have to mean feeling stressed or fearful. You can live a gutsy life filled with calm and and contentedness-- two things I feel now that I haven't felt so much in years.

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Cristina Roman is the Founder and Co-Head Honcho of One Woman Shop (the awesome site you're on right now). When she’s not working on One Woman Shop, she takes salsa classes, listens to NPR podcasts, drinks too much coffee, and explores her stomping grounds of Antigua, Guatemala. Find her on and over on her coaching website.
  1. I LOVE this line: You can live a gutsy life filled with calm and and contentedness– two things I feel now that I haven’t felt so much in years.

    I’m working on feeling more calm and content…and being okay with that! You are so right that it’s still gutsy! xox

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