I’m sitting high on the hilltop, the sun warm on my face and the butterflies fluttering around my head.
The cicadas and the distant sounds of farm work are audible amongst the gentle thrum of cafe noise where I’m seated.
Of course, it would be easy to romanticise my life – imagining that my newfound life as a digital nomad is epitomised by the beauty of this single moment.
But like every generalisation there’s much more to it than meets the eye.
Today’s yoga class was all about balance. And I can’t help but reflect on how this life that I’ve chosen, is all about balance.
Balancing the excitement of jumping on a plane, with the sadness to say goodbye to the ones we love.
Balancing the desire to travel and explore, with the desire to have a home and feel part of a community.
Balancing the desire to go and meet new people and make new friends, with the desire to hold my loved ones close and never let them go.
Balancing the desire to go minimalist, with the frustrating reality of selling, donating, dumping all of your worldly possessions.
Balancing the desire to have nice things, with the practicality of actually carrying those nice things on your back to your next destination.
Balancing the desire to unplug and play, with the very real commitment I have to get work done and stay connected to my team and clients.
With so many options available to us, it’s natural that we all make different decisions about how to live our life. But in the end, it’s pretty rare to find anyone that doesn’t wonder – what if? – with the
Many friends have lamented to me how they only wish they could pick up their lives and take off like we are. And conversely, I wonder what life would have been like if I had made the decisions they had made – bought the house, had the kids, stayed in a normal job. What would life have been like if I’d stayed in my engineering career; pursued a design career in the big agencies instead of building my own business; stayed in my home country instead of travelling the world?
Life would have been very different.
Not better or worse – because, in the end, I am the same person and my happiness level would likely be the same. Just different.
Like most people, sometimes I tell myself I have no choice. But the reality is that most of the time, that is a lie… it’s just a hard choice.
But despite the recognition of the choices I have made, I do feel immensely grateful for the freedom I have had to make those choices.
There are two things that travel has made me realise:
- We in the western world have so much more choice and freedom than we ever appreciate.
- There are so many people who will never benefit from a fraction of the freedom or choice we have.
So I am grateful, that in this instance I am the one that gets to sit in a hilltop cafe with someone else making me breakfast.
I am also grateful for the opportunity to meet people, who make me realise just how fortunate I am.
Because life is much more enjoyable from a place of gratitude.