I’m in Nicaragua. I’m so NOT in Nicaragua.
I’d bought a ticket to fly there two days after my last day at work, with little plans other than than to find a zipline and get away from my computer. But as I was stuffing clothes into my pack the day before I was supposed to leave, I happened to check out my passport, and whatdoyaknow, it was scheduled to expire halfway through my week-long trip. (I’ve never had to renew my passport before. Ever.)
“You’re surprisingly calm,” my roommate said when I told her what I’d just discovered.
I was calm. Because there was absolutely nothing I could do about it in the next 20 hours. So why bother getting upset? Besides, I’d bought that ticket on a lark, so I could just as easily do something inside the United States to celebrate my new-found freedom.
Plus, now that I’m able to work remotely, I can use that ticket another time. Like, as soon as I renew my passport.
Because while I love my life in D.C., I’ve let it get, well, boring. Since I moved to the capital nearly a year ago, I’ve met new friends, learned my way around my neighborhood, and enjoyed my job even though it wasn’t right for me long term. That job was primarily phone reporting — rather than get-out-into-the-world reporting — so I’ve spent much of the last year at a desk. Which, as you can probably imagine, was difficult to stomach after riding a bush taxi through Africa.
I missed the rush of experiencing someplace new, of not knowing what each day would bring. I missed feeling alive.
Why didn’t you take a vacation, you ask? Because in the crazy American culture of work, we only get a few weeks off every year. I was hoarding nearly all my vacation time to go to a writer’s colony in September. (And yes, I’m still going!)
What I should’ve done was fit adventure into my life on weekends. I did a little of that. But I spent more time building this blog and helping clients with social-media strategy and creating blog products. I focused on those ventures so I would have the freedom to ditch my day job if it came to that — and since it did, I’m glad I put the energy into my side hustle. But I should’ve also made more time to go sky-diving or explore new cities or do some other activities that would’ve given me the thrill I’m craving now.
Because without that occasional rush, I can’t sit still. Before I decided to leave my job to become a slasher, I was thinking about leaving in early March to hike the Appalachian Trail. In retrospect, I realize maybe it wasn’t so much the trail I wanted to tackle but the thought of having something more exciting to look forward to. Now that I’m making this move to work with new, awesome clients on blogging and social-media strategy (and still have bandwidth for another!), I don’t feel that same tug to hike 2,000 miles.
So as part of my new workstyle — That’s not a word, is it? It should be. Like “lifestyle,” but for work — here’s one of my goals: fit adventure into my everyday life, so I don’t feel like I need to drop everything and do something crazy for six months.
What’s the best way to do that? I’m still figuring it out, but Nicaragua is a good start — even if it needs to be rescheduled.
How do you fit adventure into your life?