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.