Although I went on holidays last weekend, I feel like I was not off at all. Yet, the sun burnt and the gentle smile on my face hint otherwise. So, what is the life like of a travel nomad and does it ever stop?
This is not a complaint, more like a reflection on the today’s trends in travelling. It no longer means to relocate from one country to another in the window of 24 hours, nowadays people move against time and as they fight the time zones they use every opportunity to catch up on emails as well as social media. Such individuals are digital nomads. I am far from labelling my self a nomad yet, but placing my bottom on the third type of seat in less than 12 hours, I can more easily than ever imagine what such life is like.
Last Saturday's morning, I was having cereals with fresh cow milk (sorry soya, you’re not sustainable anyway!), afterwards, I was sliding down the ski slopes, enjoying the Austrian Germknödel for lunch and driving back in the afternoon to my homeland to re-pack and set off to return to my home number two. Waving goodbye to the Czech Republic, I landed an hour later (thanks, time zones) in the UK, jumped on the bus and in a few moments I was ‘home’.
I set off at 3pm from the Austrian Alps, stopped in Czechia 5 hours later and finally arrived in the UK just after midnight. In about ten hours I moved across three countries and two time zones. I skied, I drove, I walked, I took a plane, a train and a bus. During this time I managed to catch up on my emails, send good thoughts to my loved ones, plan the week ahead and write up a bday/wedding gifts list. It feels crazy just writing about it but in fact, it was fairly relaxed as well as relaxing.
Instead of being present in the moment, nomads are constantly thinking about the next move.
Could I do this every day? No. Does it make me feel any special? No. So what is the essence of writing this? The point is that as more people are choosing to go freelance and becoming less dependant on their desk space, some might (myself included) be tempted to live the nomad life only for the seeming glory that surrounds it. In reality, rushing to catch another connection is not fun. Instead of being present in the moment, nomads are constantly thinking about the next move (literally or mentally). Being always on the go is daunting. It also requires a hell lot of effort, organisation and time-management. Furthermore, one might struggle to differentiate between work and leisure. And then, what is the point of travelling if you’re trying to be present at more than one place at a time? That's just exhausting.
And so, my plan is to be more selective of the type of holidays I go on and always make sure that if I don’t check my phone for an entire day, I will not feel guilty about it. Instead, I will put all my efforts into focusing on the present and ignoring the future, detaching from all negative thoughts and to-do lists that will be patiently waiting for me at home. Let’s hope that the next travel venture will be a true holiday. Relaxed, fun and holy amazing.