Remember my sarcasm when speaking about the 70% of Americans who take prescription drugs and pointing out that 70% of Americans hate their jobs and wondering if it was the same 70%? A part of me wants to apologize for my tone in that post — sarcasm is decidedly low-form Sagittarius . . . and much more prevalent when I was younger — and yet it is still a real part of me, and yes, it really pissed me off, how blind so many of us continue to be, and how much suffering we endure as a result. The Buddha really did get it right. The cause of suffering is craving. And the cure for craving is to practice detaching from our thoughts about the stuff and status that grab and hold our minds in a prison of our own making.
Thanks to pachamama alliance for both of these. The first is, for many of us, obvious.
The second is for some of us, still a dream! Damn! I was all set to “go on the road” with a small Scamp RV in the summer of 2002. My husband was going to law school in the Fall, and told me, with great humor and affection, that he didn’t want me there for his first year, because he wanted to study and I would be too much of “a pest”! Well, yeah, okay, so that hurt, sorta, kinda.
But wow! I jumped at the chance to FINALLY experiment with the RV life.
Fate intervened. The new (used) truck-like vehicle that I bought to haul the the new (used) Scamp kept dying. “Electrical” problems. Hard to fix. How would I know that it really was fixed? Visions of being out on a desert alone, half way from one lonely spot to another took me over. I sold them both and visited my grandkids in Massachusetts instead, with a trip to Europe thrown in.
Three months later, on January 3, 2003, Jeff died, after only one semester in law school at Indiana University. That’s how I landed here, in Bloomington. This sweet community was my refuge during a full year of conscious grieving. A few years later, I collected my journals from that time and turned them into an award-winning book.
The nomad idea still calls me. But I don’t want to do it just to “have fun.” There needs to be a purpose, a service of some kind that is mine to do. Meanwhile, I slowly help build this permaculture homestead as a template for what we need to do when we are settled, in place. That is my service, now. In the future? Perhaps take this blog on the road?
June 18, 2013
by Morio Bourzac
One year ago author Vanessa Runs abandoned the rigid corporate lifestyle for something far more rewarding: living life as a nomad. After quitting her 9 – 5 job, she moved into a 22ft RV to travel the world and immerse herself in her passions. Her experiences are documented in her first book The Summit Seeker.
Over the course of her first year as a nomad, Vanessa has learned four valuable lessons, covered in her own blog post, and revisited here.
In this revelation, Vanessa discusses the merits of simplifying your life. Instead of spreading ourselves too thin through activities or possessions, reducing both of these things allows you longer periods of intense focus on individual tasks or ideas.
While quitting your job may not be a realistic option for you, taking some uninterrupted time once a day to focus on a personal dream or goal will allow you to connect with a deeper part of yourself that may go overlooked when distracted by peripheral tasks.
Vanessa’s anecdote regarding authenticity involves how she acted at work versus how she behaved on her own. In this duality she noticed she wasn’t being her true self at work – that her professional self was an inauthentic representation of who she really was. When she moved into the RV, the necessity to have two Vanessas vanished.
Due to the different roles each of us is required to fulfill on any given day, our true nature often remains muted, or otherwise guarded. By allowing these mutually exclusive elements of our personalities to coalesce, a more accurate presentation of our true selves can emerge. A more authentic version.
The third lesson from living in an RV revealed itself seemingly by accident: the refrigerator broke. Rather than have it fixed, Vanessa used it as an additional challenge to her already restricted living conditions. In the end she discovered another avenue that taught her to live in the present, while also challenging her to waste less.
The challenge of not having a refrigerator can be daunting, but in Vanessa’s case it taught her about how much she really needs, and how efficient she could be in her food purchases. In America, where 40% of our food is thrown out, these are two lessons that could prove invaluable.
As anyone reading may have guessed, being completely self-sufficient while living in an RV is a nearly impossible task. Vanessa learned this in her first year, while simultaneously learning to appreciate the hospitality of others.
By learning to accept, if not rely, on the kindness of strangers, Vanessa has found that there are those who welcome the opportunity to help others, and recognize it as an opportunity for personal growth of their own.