Decide or Abide
Decide. That’s all anyone has to do. Just make that decision. It’s pretty simple and straightforward. No hesitation or overthinking required.
Whether it be that dream career, moving past that troubled relationship or simply what to make for supper. All you have to do is make a decision. Right? Right.
If only it were that simple.
Interesting this word decide. Derived from the Latin dēcīdere it means to “cut off from.” To exclude all other options so that we are left with only one remaining possibility. Easier said than done for the majority of us.
Let Fear be a Counselor, Not a Jailer
Despite having multiple reasons to embrace a nomadic lifestyle, few of us actually decide to. Apart from money, fear is what keeps most in their home. Fortunately, somewhere along the line, I stumbled across the phrase “Let fear be a counselor, not a jailer.” So I’ve kind of incorporated that cliche into my own lifestyle.
It’s not like the nomadic lifestyle is suited to everyone. It does require a certain laissez-faire attitude to put yourself out there into this uncertain world. Like a trapeze artist working without a net, there are many doubts and fears to overcome.
There’s concern over the perceived language barrier. Will you understand or be understood? A lack of communication could greatly hamper travel plans, accommodations and personal safety for that matter.
Then there’s anxiety over how our sensitive palettes will react to foreign cuisine. Maybe it will be too spicy or just too bland. Perhaps they’ll overcook their food or worse yet undercook it causing me extreme health issues. Will they cater to my vegan or vegetarian ways or will they be grossly carnivorous?
So many thinly veiled and often unsubstantiated worries. And let’s not even get into currency exchanges, real estate laws and strange foreign tax treatment. It can all appear to be so overwhelming.
But all of these concerns pale in comparison when it comes to The Biggy. Sure enough, it gets brought up every time I brooch the subject of residing in some distant land. The ominous universal health care. The big bugaboo. It’s like a dog on a bone.
Health Care Dare
I understand why this concern is at the forefront of many people’s minds. For those afflicted with a precondition or high potential health risk, it’s a valid concern. That said though, it’s certainly not a legitimate concern for all.
Living life with the worry that you may suddenly fall ill or be involved in a catastrophic accident does seem a bit overly paranoid. I myself believe that consciousness does somewhat affect our reality so I stay far clear of that type of doomsday thinking.
Falsehoods and Fake News
We tend to discount and dismiss moving to another country based on false beliefs and biases without ever taking the time to do our own due diligence. We assume, wrongly, that our country’s health care system is superior to that of other countries. In many cases, nothing could be further from the truth.
Here in North America, we’ve come to accept the belief that in order for health care to be good it has to be expensive. Anything less is looked upon as inferior.
We’ve been sold a bill of goods by those with a vested financial stake in costly healthcare. But, as is with many other ideas we have come to believe and accept, we simply don’t challenge our own preconceived notions.
Apart from this, a decision to embark on any nomadic journey is further hindered by our ineffectual mental baggage. Imagined threats arise from old cliches such as “burning your bridges.” Now that’s something every parent warned against.
Most mothers and fathers went through some form or another of personal or financial struggle. Such adversity results in us adopting a deeply-rooted fear of losing what we worked so hard to gain. The notorious “if come, maybe.” was a possibility never to be seriously entertained. After all, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
It’s a wonder we can muster the courage to do anything at all with our, “don’t leap before you look” mentality. The irony is that there is nothing less secure than security. If you recall in the Parable of the Talents it was the servant’s decision to “play it safe” that resulted in his negative consequence.
Fear Is Temporary. Regret Is Forever
Regardless of whether you are 25, 35 or 45, the fact remains, you will be 65 one day. That’s just a given. The only uncertainty is what your life will look like when you get there. And that depends entirely on the courage of your decisions today.
At 30 years of age, I thought I was too old to return to school. Then 40 came around and I realized that I had had ample time to study. Being 40 now though, I thought for sure that it was much too late to start a new career.
Then the day of my fiftieth birthday arrived and it dawned on me. At 40, there had been innumerable opportunities for me to choose a new path. I just never possessed the inner belief and foresight to grab one of them.
But with me now moving toward sixty at a seemingly accelerated pace I believe I may have finally clued in. I am going to be 60 soon and dammit it isn’t too late. It may be later but it is most definitely not too late.
One Day or Day One
Of course, this self-reflecting from one decade to the next cannot be dragged on in perpetuum. That is why I have decided. Hitherto, I am a Freelancer. A Digital Nomad destined for far off lands. UpWork estimates that by 2030 close to one Billion Digital Nomads will be roaming the Earth and I’ll be dammed if I am not one of them.
And so, I have cut myself off from all other options. Then again, perhaps life itself has thrust this decision upon me. No matter. The decision has been made and I am very glad to have made it.
Thus far, few friends have reached out to me with respect to Doyen Digital Nomads. I am still pretty much a solo traveler on this crazy journey. Although, at this early point of my sojourn, I am perfectly alright with that.
I may not have many links to post nor email lists to auto-respond to. No websites to drive traffic or opt-ins to engage with. Not yet, anyway. I do have this blog though and that’s a darn good start.
It was the Buddha himself who said, “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We alone must walk the path.”
It’s not for me to say whether or not there’ll be any form of redemption on my nomadic journey. Of one thing I am sure. Though everyone dies not everyone lives. I have decided to live.