Yesterday Tim participated at our Agile meetup. He was there to wish goodbye. He and his wife have been on a path of becoming urban nomads and the time is here now.
We discussed taxes, weather, addresses, letting go of stuff, being creative with space, the freedom of movement and the restriction that it brings with it.
Many urban travelers call themselves Nomads. Coaches like me assume we fall into the same category. We romanticize the notion of not being in the same place constantly. The idea of constant movement gives us the sense of being nomads. But we forget that we always go back to some place called home during the weekends. A home where we spend our holidays. Sometime not every weekend. Some of us travel for longer. But a home still awaits. A place for familiarity, hugs, for love, for romance and relaxation. A place where we bring our dirty laundry week after week, a place we barbeque with friends, a place where there is space for us and where we get comfortable, a place where we catchup on gossip, have our own doctors, check postal mail, and catch up with old friends.
We plan our trips, book our hotels, eat in restaurants. But that is all planned. Yes there is the stress of getting these bookings done within time and budget. Keeping our reward points in check. Holding on to the upgraded seat, or the upgraded spacious hotel suite, because only we know the value of an extra leg room space or an early glass of wine. We know the value of reaching home on time. That two hours means a lot to us. Being home at 9:00 pm matters, than being home at midnight. But we are still not urban nomads.
Tim is not plannig such a life. He wants to experience the nomadic life (and we are busy coining a term for his chosen life – ‘Nomadic techie’ seems a good start, but his creative wife will give it a better form perhaps!). He is not going to be using points to book his travel and hotel. Like so many other nomadic tribes, he will just know where he is going to be probably two months in advance. Maybe three. In this short period of time he has to establish a life style, learn the city, its culture and be ready to move. He is planning on uprooting his comfort zone; leaving his business, social and family networks. Downsizing it all to barely minimum. Enough stuff that will fit in his RV
Here are some pros and cons:
Pros: New way of experiencing his own self. Forming a new relationship with his wife and family. There will be never a boring moment. Freedom to attend as many conferences, go to as many cities due to low cost of travel. Check off on bucket lists as a WIP item along the way. Cost of doing business will be low. Factor the experience learnt and take it to the next gig. Always be around the customer. Quoting his words, he will never carry ‘ technical debt’ (he meant baggage. But then when a techie talks, their metaphors must quote the source code don’t they?)
Cons: Possible long bench time. Some projects might not materialize due to inconvenient location. Always start from scratch. He has to be on high alert-learning and knowing mode constantly. Sometimes life is in the mercy of mother nature.
What he has to learn new:
Network, network, network: Network in new cities for new clients, new businesses . Always learn the culture of a new city. He will learn patience. Sometimes there wont be a second chance.
What he is giving up: A stable community. A comfort zone. He is giving up boundaries.
I wish Tim and his family great adventures, learning, and tons of joy in their new un-comfort , self-awareness life style