I have seen this sentiment a few times recently and it makes me smile. Because a few years ago, this was exactly my intention.
“Build a life you don’t need a vacation from”
I found this poem recently and I love it too.
A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between her work and her play; her labour and her leisure; her mind and her body; her education and her recreation. She hardly knows which is which. She simply pursues her vision of excellence through whatever she is doing and leaves others to determine whether she is working or playing. To herself, she always appears to be doing both.
– Lawrence Pearsall Jacks- (*he)
I am extraordinarily lucky and grateful for it.
I also have circumstances that many do not. I am not beholden to anyone. I am free to live where I want. I have a shiny blue passport and a good government. But while it is easy for me to make changes and live the life I choose to live where many millions of others can not do that, it doesn’t mean I didn’t have to set my intentions.
I had to purposely choose to leave where I was. To separate from loved ones. To live on far less income than before. To live with far less expense than before. To live without many a luxury I once enjoyed.
For my cohort in the western world, we all have choices. We just need to set our intentions, get over the fear, plough through (or wait out) the obstacles and then take action. Yes, my privilege is showing. But I am speaking to my cohort.
Every day I am humbled by the smiles of happiness and joy on the faces of people who have never known, and will never know, the luxury of having access to a choice of fresh food, a warm home, and (God forbid) Netflix or a pro hockey game.
So on this first day of Ramadan I reflect on how lucky I am to have options available to me, but also how thankful I am that I took the time to consider all my moving pieces and to cobble together a new life.
This is a life where for the cost of insuring an Audi Q5 for a year, I can instead enjoy three months of air travel. For the cost of Canadian cable TV for a year, I can spend more than a month in AirBnB’s around Europe.
I will still be working all summer. But to work, all I need is an Internet connection, constant contact my business partner, Skype to contact my shiny new marketing advisor, and my trusty laptop. I can work from cafes, I can reply to emails or plan trips from restaurants in Scotland, or my own apartment. Or while standing in line at the bank. Doesn’t matter.
PRAISE technology, the ability to multi-task and embrace it for the freedom it provides. So amazing! Digital nomadism is alive and well.
And so the countdown begins for so many exciting things coming up:
- Start of Ramadan;
- First leg of the “Beat the Heat tour” with 3 nights in Copenhagen;
- Next up 4 nights in Berlin;
- Then 5 nights in Split, Croatia;
- Followed by 2 nights in Dubrovnik;
- And off to Budhva, Montenegro for 2 nights, where I’d like to meet the Prime Minister and ask why he didn’t shove back. Although I’m sure he is too much of gentleman for that horseplay.
- After a long glorious ferry day, 3 nights in Hvar;
- With 3 nights in Zadar and return trip to the Plitvice National Park;
- Topping off Croatia with nights in Zagreb;
- And the grand finale, 3 nights in London to see Adele, Sean, Michelle, Lynne, Natalia, and Jamal. SHUT UP!
- There will then be 8 days in Morocco to catch my breath, repack, reconnect and relax.
- After which I fly to Toronto for 4 nights of getting my sh*t together and kisses;
- The meeting of a very special guest;
- Hopefully a flight to Calgary and visit to Banff (If I can find a place for less than an entire week in Europe!)
- More time in Canada visiting my nieces and nephews, Niagara Falls and the highlights of southern Ontario ;
- A journey to Quebec;
- A month of blissful back yarding with my little loves on Arcadian Circle;
- A return trip to Marrakech under guard of my sister and niece;
- And lastly a tour of some southern bits to show my sister that Morocco is a miracle, before sending everyone away so I can sit back at my desk and deal with high season!
Good Heavens I am blessed for it all!