What if I could just do what I wanted? What if there was actually no genuine reason or excuse for not following my passion? What if Life really were that simple, that we could just stop doing something and start becoming something else? As a digital nomad, a solo travel blogger and former member of a more conventional life, these are questions I once asked myself.
Becoming a digital nomad
For the past year, I have asked myself these questions but one of my greatest problems in life has always been to over analyze everything and so I never go after what I wanted. It was the main reason, I suffered with acute anxiety from an early age and the defining reason for the self doubt this past year. I was afraid that I might fail in trying to follow my passion, for a living.
I love adventure, I love being in the outdoors, I love travel but after spending a week wild camping in the very North of Ireland, I must admit that nothing appealed to me more during this time, than having a warm place to sit and a fast wifi connection. I needed the wifi for some work online but the truth is, as much as I love outdoor adventures, sometimes I love nothing more than sitting on the sofa reading about one.
The idea was to live in a tent through Winter, to hike during the day and work online in the evenings. I would live like this as it was the only way to afford staying in Ireland and spending Christmas with my family. However, when I found myself on a beach the other evening, with an emergency foil blanket wrapped around my naked body, I quickly realized it was neither a suitable way to live or a suitable long term plan to make a living from my passion.
I was thankful to the many articles and people who had given me permission to fail over the years, as this was the only way I could come to terms with such a disastrous week. The backpack was too heavy to climb over the endless roadside fences and the one time I managed to scale a wall near Ballyiffin, two horses came stomping over which sent me in to a controlled state of panic. When I worked up the courage to ask, one farmer said no to camping on his land and then I ended up spending most of the time walking alongside traffic on the road.
Hiking in the west of Ireland
On the final day, I hiked over some beautiful mountains but it would bring a swift end to the idea of living in a tent. It rained hard and fog brought a very minimal visibility which was fine but the exposed and boggy nature of the terrain meant having to walk a huge distance until I found a more suitable place to camp.
I climbed inside after a long struggle pitching the tent, but no sooner had I time to enjoy being in out of the wind that I had realized my terrible mistake. While putting up the tent, the rain cover had blown away from the backpack and as a result, my clothes, sleeping bag – everything, was wet. I would spend the rest of the night with an emergency foil blanket wrapped around me and wishing I was sat on a sofa somewhere reading about a bigger idiot than myself.
The week was a complete disaster but at the same time, the decision to stop was a sign of how much had changed in recent years. I was not enjoying the constant search for suitable camp spots and without hesitation, I quickly decided to stop doing it. It was also for this same reason that I quit my job a few weeks previous to become a solo travel blogger. I was not enjoying the job or lifestyle and figured this was exactly the right reason to stop doing anything in life, not to mention the act of doing so would mean following my passion to become a travel writer.
It was a scary feeling to hand in my notice but the experience of recent years has taught me to seize these opportunities. You see, I figure we live in a complicated world but the over analyzing or over thinking from which I had always suffered, is actually what makes it so complicated, because really, life can be as simple as we want it to be.People often ask as to how I managed to overcome the anxiety or fear which I had struggled with before cycling across Africa but honestly, it was more to the fact that I accepted it was there and then learnt to use it to my advantage.
If we don’t like something, change it