“Why did you leave?” he asked. “Will you ever move back to Kentucky?”
His voice was the echo of a hundred voices before it. These questions are not new and it’s only natural for people to ask. After all, I did just leave my little hometown in the heart of the Bluegrass State to travel the world with my husband full-time. When you’re in your thirties and you’ve spent the past six months living and working abroad, rather than pursuing the traditional “American Dream” of large houses and children and white picket fences, people will inevitably ask questions.
Here’s the best way I’ve found to explain it:
When you were growing up, did you have a best friend you felt connected to, who made you feel better when you were down and was always there for you? Did you have a lot of good memories together, plenty of adventures, or possibly a few drinks after a long day at work? Maybe you’re still the closest of friends – or maybe one day you woke up and realized that something was different.
Growing as a person involves change. It involves breaking comfort zones. And sometimes, it involves realizing that where you are is not where you need or want to be at this moment in your life; that you are being pulled in another direction, that you have to make a decision, or that you have to make a move.
That’s how I feel about Louisville. That’s also how I feel about Lexington right now. Some of my happiest moments are owed to the Derby City as well as to my hometown. These are cities where I came of age, found myself, figured out who my friends are, and met my husband. We had some beautiful experiences in the process. Louisville acted as a muse providing me with so much inspiration over the years. Lexington provided a home base, stability, and plenty of friends, family, and loved ones to support me in my spiritual journey as well as my professional career. For that, I will always be grateful.
But it came time to move forward.
I’m not a fan of the “digital nomad” catchphrase. It sounds a bit pretentious but the people living this lifestyle have yet to come up with a better term to describe it.
We can’t really call this an “adult gap year” because there is no gap. My husband and I are both working. I’m running a business, coaching clients, designing things, planning workshops. I’m even taking college courses.
We aren’t living abroad as tourists. We’re just living (and working) abroad. So maybe “location-independent” is the best way to describe what we are doing. We have the freedom to live and work from anywhere in the world – but we have to continue working so that we can keep that freedom.
When we’re not working? My husband and I spend our time planning for future investments, researching how to #travelhack, contemplating where (and if) we will build our future home, looking into immigration laws and pet quarantine regulations, and planning for the family we might one day have. But we’ve still got a little time before any of that happens.
I view this exciting moment in my life as a temporary stepping stone giving me time to contemplate my next move. I find myself looking forward to the remainder of my thirties in a way that most people my age probably don’t. I’m not dreading getting older because I don’t feel like my best adventures are behind me, but rather AHEAD of me. They’re ahead of all of us, if we just find ways to make them happen.
Don’t worry. I’m working towards that…