It begins…

i’ve come to the point where, it I don’t start posting, I think this idea will go the way of many others: faded into the ether.

So, here it comes: this is the intro. (Post backdated, teehee)

This is not a blog.*
This is an experiment on myself that will last a year. 52 weeks.
I intend, no, pledge to write at least once a week over this course of this year.

There are a few reasons.
1) I’ve decided to become a nomad this year… Well, more than I have been. I want to see what will happen now that I have a secure remote job (as secure as a job with a start-up can be!) One that provides the other end of a compass that will span and circle the globe. Not a breach, but an expansion. (That was Locke, not me).

So. This is what I’ve been waiting for, trying for. It was harder, took longer, than I thought it would to get here, and probably other, more organized people, more determined people could have done it in less? The thing is, it took a lot of work to break away from what my socialization considers ‘success’. It’s something I ponder a lot. What is success for me? What does it look like?

2) This January 2016 represents a turning point for me. It is the putting into practice of a dream and goal I’ve made for myself, slowly but surely, to choose my life, and as a consequence, follow the road less traveled. This introduction is to mark the occasion, appreciate the events that led me here over the past year(s). This not blog is a possible way to make the most of and continue to appreciate my journey. That’s the second reason, which leads into the third.

3) I want to write stories. I figured that the best place to start was with my life. Looking back over the past five years, I systematically made choices that have led me to where I am, sitting in the awesome Infozone at the Brisbane State Library.

2015 was quite the year. By the end of it I was faced with a clear choice. To find a nice apartment in a nice city, furnish it and begin again to build community around myself.

A bit about me, some background info: My community has evolved to be about 80% online. I am surrounded by good, low maintenance friends that live far away. I feel certain that I can call on these people for help or a place to stay if I need it, because I have done so in the past. When I’m feeling down or challenged, my immediate family plays a big role in my life. We have a text group to celebrate life events and daily goings on. The reason for this is that we don’t live on the same continents, let alone the same countries. I remember when we first started using Skype, this awesome program that allowed us to talk between computers for free!

When I read over that kind of being in the world, though it sounds commonplace to me, I sometimes reflect how much a product of now I am. I am often grateful to be alive in the world in 2015. At no other time could my self have been allowed so much expansion. So much indulgence.

I’ve started over in new cities before…many times. Quillota, Vancouver, Regina, Nelson, Geneva, Malaga. Each with the intention that it would be where I finally made a ‘real’ life for myself.

That last one, Malaga, was rudely interrupted by a fractured hip in July 2015. It’s a long story. I ended up in a suburb of Charleroi in Belgium for the next five months, living with my amazingly generous aunt and uncle, being a hermit and forcing myself to pause, take a breath, reevaluate.

I had almost convinced myself that after spending a few weeks in Switzerland with my sister and picking up the things I had left there, I would come back to Belgium and find a nice apartment in a nice city, not too far from the Brussels airport, but an hour’s train ride was acceptable. Mons, Liege, Namur. One of those. Each met my requirements: pool (for rehabilitation of my hip), climbing gym, and co-working space (so I could come out of isolation and work with other remote peeps). This is my recipe for success in a new city. Put mechanisms into place by which I am be forced into contact with others through activities I enjoy, combined with places to be alone in nature, when my batteries need recharging. Plus, in this case I would be close to family and that is something I grew to realize I needed, to strengthen existing relationships with people who love me.

It was a definite choice, the decision not to go through with the nice apartment in Belgium. When it came down to it, I couldn’t face starting over again. I had spent the last five months strengthening relationships and finding out who were those I could count on, who I couldn’t, what feeling helpless does to me and how those around me took it, or didn’t. I also started working full time a couple of weeks after I arrived in Belgium. My project team in the start up I had started working for came to Belgium for a few days since I couldn’t leave my new home to travel or even walk down the street. The lasting, positive relationships that I wanted to preserve emerged and being stuck showed me that it was possible to create and maintain relationships at a distance, that this isn’t completely unreasonable and is gaining momentum as a way to be in the world. Validation.

A nomad. A digital nomad, in the parlance of our times. Part of a movement I hardly knew existed, and have now made the decision to own, and actively contribute to, at least for the next year, as I work remotely and build my career while having no fixed address.

I’ve arrived! This is my celebration of the decisions I’ve systematically made to get here, to the edge of this cliff. Jump, jumping… jumped.

This not-blog is a record of my journey that will either be a swan dive or the story of the updraft I catch in the next 52 weeks.

4 Comments on “It begins…

  1. Well said Valerie, and what an amazing journey. Best regards from Regina.
    Familia Rivas Gonzalez


  2. Thanks for sharing Val. Love that you’re being true to yourself and breaking free from socialization. It’s definitely a road less travelled. Look forward to following your non-blog and your nomadic odyssey!


  3. Very well written and very reflective. It is a precious record of your thoughts and emotions.
    Christine Joffres


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