Monday, 20 June 2011

Web-[eye]brows

So I've stumbled upon a little spare time to relax, do some "web-browsing", reading, researching, and pondering. I especially like rainy days for this. Often when the sun is shining and it's above 20 degrees outside, I find it really difficult to dedicate time looking at a computer screen, or spending time inside for that matter (I am getting better though-- another day always ends up coming) when I could be sunning myself in a field, taking a bike ride, doing a yoga class, going for a swim, or playing some frisbee. Do you blame me?

Anyway, I've been surfing the waves of the web for a bit this evening, and I thought maybe I'd share some of the things that I've been digging some dirt up on:

The concept of the Digital Nomad.
Sounds pretty gnarly, eh?
I've always been interested in reading and living vicariously through stories of Vagabonding. I read Vagabonding by Rolf Pottz (http://www.vagabonding.net/ / http://www.vagablogging.net/) and gobbled it up like nutella covered rice cakes.
I've been on a few solo backpacking/vagabonding adventures myself, and I always found that the experience pleasantly rearranges my concepts of day to day living, with residual effects lasting for several months after. Of course, as some of you may know, this fine warm peach fuzz that lubricates  the monotony of re-entering the home-routine is, more often than not, buzzed away by the grind our daily routines, which most people hailing from middle class North American lifestyles settle into as the norm. It sounds a lot more depressing than it really is.

I think it becomes more of an understanding that, with every great high in life, we've got to equally accept the regular goings-on: the ebb and the flow--what goes up, must come down-- type understanding.

Anyway. I always came back from my adventure-filled excursions with the understanding that I couldn't have it all, all the time. To have an amazing, carefree, spirited, soul-searching, flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants experience somewhere else, away from home, I needed to work hard, accept the daily grind with gritted teeth, and put my nose to the grind for X amount of months. The concept of living life as a Digital Nomad seemingly creates a sweet, delicious, and nutritious mixture of work, play, and 'living the good life' as it were.

Now there are plenty of good examples of perfectly sane people from all over the world that have given up their rat-race day jobs in order to risk the jump off this proposed ledge. Here is a website I stumbled upon that gives enough interesting (perhaps inspirational) reading material to entertain for a week full of rain: 10 digital nomads to learn from

The ones I've clicked through, they all seem to promote this lifestyle and say "You, too, can do this! Please try! Here is what we've done. These are the steps. Just because we've done it first, doesn't mean you can't as well!"

It is all a bit overwhelming to think about. Many of these people approximately my age, some even younger, and have made a life where they are living quite comfortably monetarily, all the while living on the edge physically, daring to call nowhere home-- other than their own skin.
Needless to say, I'm totally inspired by this.

A girl I met on one of my backpacking adventures is named Kelly Dunning. We met in Victoria, British Columbia about a year and a half ago. She was about to embark on a trip around New Zealand for a few months. She ended up never coming back, because she met a man who became a love, moved to the UK with him, and started to make her love for travel a sustainable career. She got a job on the side as a child worker while building up her freelance travel writing portfolio using various free and accessible websites. Eventually, she was able to quit her "day job" and now makes enough income from her writing to sustain herself from home. They've recently started up a website called global-goose that she is using as a springboard to further this lifestyle choice.

Through my clicking around I've found some great resources that may be of some interest to you (and probably me for reference at a later time):

This is not really an exhaustive list.. but it's a nice smattering of what's out there.
Something about this lifestyle really rings some kind of clear bell in my mind and heart.
How cool would that be?

To tell the truth, this whole teaching thing, settling down for 9ish months, day and night, work that follows you home, not really having the time or energy to fulfill your own passions and interests (at least not for the first few years of transitioning between a completely "green" teacher, and a "stable" teacher with lots of work to do) doesn't really bring my milkshake to the yard. Or whatever. I mean, I think it'll be a great growing opportunity to settle down for a little while (in a brand new country and culture) and to really try out these skills that I've been granted qualified to do with my 20,000 dollar piece of paper.
But as much as my heart strings sing when I see the light in the eyes of these kids, I am not sure the system that we've implemented will really encourage me to grow as a person, and as a teacher (and it's also questionable what kind of job the system does for the children). It doesn't feel like the path I'm meant for. Not forever, at least.

So, from August 3rd 2011 to August 3rd 2012, I will dedicate this one year to giving teaching a fair and honest chance, with the compromise that I will get to do it in a brand new environment-- a whole new world to discover. The excitement of being in a new city by myself, with just the right amount of "stuff" to be decently comfortable, is an inspiring springboard. I think it'll embed a new sense of inspiration and life into me. Not to mention this new city is 100% across the world from where I've spent my whole life. Talk about change. Talk about excitement.

Maybe while I'm there I'll be able to make a really good go at this blog/vlog thing: a fairly green Canadian teacher in a brand new country, lapping up a new culture, while starting a career, and living on her own for the very first time. Who knows, maybe someone might want to read about it. I am thinking that I might highly enjoy chronicilling my undertakings, mishaps, and adventures. After all, I am often quite clumsy, blunt, and inadvertently humorous. I think it could possibly make for some entertaining material.


Also, last but not nearly least, this is a great video-- encouragement to think outside the box when it comes to deciding on a career:


Oh, totally unrelated to all of this stuff:

I bought these shoes today. I am wearing them right now in my bed. They are pretty comfortable to stomp around in.












And I also bought a pocket digital camcorder, for making little interesting videos of the life and times of this little sack-o-meat. I think it'll come hugely in handy when I'm in Korea and words just have no way of expressing the exact untransferrable and untranslateable experiences that I will find myself in. I look forward to it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so excited to see what comes out of all this and how you not only grow as a human but how you impact others in your travels. And with the blog/vlog you can impact globally! Oh the possibilities!

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