The Importance of Being Still

Pettigrew State Park,  North Carolina

Pettigrew State Park, North Carolina

Despite the prospect and privilege of visiting places I've never before been, I occasionally feel directionless and lethargic.  

On those days I don't want to write. Although, nobody really wants to write, do they? I don't want to explore. I don't want to practice photography. I don't want to eat. I mean, I'll eat - I can always eat - but I don't want to invest effort into preparing meals. Or cleaning up.

These periods of sluggishness are especially bothersome because I've chosen the life of a digital nomad. I'm doing what I want to do, in locations I've selected. It seems paradoxical that I wouldn’t want to explore every new stop. It's not depression. It's that, during those times, I'm simply indifferent.  

A digital nomad generally does not have a permanent abode, and uses telecommunications technology to earn a living by working remotely

After a few of these episodes I discovered that I harbored an unanticipated expectation of myself in this new lifestyle. A ridiculous, self-imposed pressure to be out and about all the time. Having "adventures." 

I'm often pressed by friends and family about my "adventures." And, much like a new graduate dodging the uninvited inquiries about an uncertain future, I feel I'm underachieving.

Every nomad has their own reason for wandering. Mine is not very exciting. I like life on the road. I like the migration, the changing landscape, the complete anonymity inherent in traveling solo.

Sloth life: Me and  Samus  contentedly lazing amid our mess

Sloth life: Me and Samus contentedly lazing amid our mess

I nurtured my alone time in a sticks and brick home. Having my home on wheels shouldn't change that. Yet it did. I did. Fighting the intermittent listlessness to meet an impracticable expectation only fueled my frustration and muddled my brain. What I needed instead was to be still until I felt refreshed. So basic. Rest and relaxation. It should not have been a revelation.

Wherever I go, I'm the same me, with the same needs I've always had. Quiet and solitude. I'm not on vacation. I'm not engaged in a Fantastic Race®. There's no limit to my staying in any one location.

The next time my mind and body tell me so, I'll listen. I'll be still. So very still that I'll need only to tap a tiny app to have someone drive their car to my van to deliver my food. Because I can always eat.