Tag Archives: nomad

My Not-So-Digital Nomad Experiment.

Well here I am a few weeks into seriously beginning to apply the ultralight backpacking philosophy to my life in the front country. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

I have this strange affinity for neat and organized austere spaces. It’s super contradictory though because my car, workshop, and often many parts of my life are super disorganized and not particularly clean.

Maybe this will be an opportunity for me to bring physical organization and attention to cleanliness to other parts of my life?

I shoved about 90% of my already super minimal selection of clothing into a box in my closet. So far I haven’t needed any of it. This will take some balance, however, because as seasons change and as I spend time backpacking and doing various outdoor pursuits, I will need different arrays of attire. Not to mention I practically live in my ski instructor uniform right now.

I like reading people’s minimalism blogs.

I don’t like that almost every minimalist blog (and every blog in general) is highly based around making income. It’s starting to get annoying. Even the ones who (on the surface) aren’t making an income, really are. By selling eBooks or consultations these bloggers are using their blog to make money.

It’s really just me being irritated with the fact that everything revolves around money. These successful bloggers have earned it and they should enjoy it.

The more I think about getting rid of my car, the happier I am about the prospect.

A huge part of my has been wondering how I’m going to settle into the adult routine of paying bills. Phone bills, health insurance, car insurance, vehicle maintenance, etc.

My solution has been a great big middle finger to consumerism. Sell the smart phone, sell the car, and stay healthy.

Without a bunch of stuff I can live in a smaller space. Rent is cheaper.

With cheaper rent, fewer and very small monthly bills, no debt, and carefully monitored personal expenditure I really feel very little pressure to worry about how I’ll pay my next bill. There are few of them and they’re small.

Once I’ve paid rent, most of the month’s income goes straight to savings! It’s quite relaxing.

Selling the car has been a hard logistical obstacle. I keep coming up with reasons I need it (and to be honest I really do for the time being). I see an opportunity on the horizon to get rid of it, however, and intend to do just that when the chance comes up.

Deactivating my FaceBook account has created some cool new contacts. People I occasionally brushed past in the digital world actually reached out to stay in touch. It’s pretty cool. I’m very near to ready to deactivate Facebook and it’s exciting and scary at the same time!

I’ll probably keep elaborating on my discoveries and experimentation as it happens.

I’m hoping this new lifestyle will make it even easier for me to get to new and cool job opportunities as they come up seasonally in my field!

I’ll be sure to let you all know if it helps me in the long run and if it’s a viable option for other outdoor educators and adventure educators.

Sorry for the rambling!

Oh, P.S. using the WordPress app for putting pictures into posts is still a pain in the ass. Maybe I’ll leave that in a review on the App Store.

Have a good weekend everyone!

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My Ultralight Computer Geared to Travel

Well, I just got all set up with my fancy new travel computer. The goal was to remove the need for a laptop and desktop computer while still meeting these needs:

•Lightweight
•Compact
•Compatible with a broad range of apps and services
•Able to video message and send photos
•Able to use wordprocessing apps

So this is my first attempt at managing my website using only an iPad Mini 2 and an Anker Ultra Compact Bluetooth Keyboard.

So far I’ve been able to do everything from this little keyboard and it has full functionality. I can hit the home key without touching the iPad, I can adjust volume and brightness, show and hide on screen keyboard, play and pause music… just about everything without touching the iPad.

The keys are snappy and responsive too. No double inputs when typing.

It’s really quite a joy!

I have my WordPress app to manage this site where you currently are reading.

My next biggest concern was being able to read and respond to business and professional emails. Job applications are a huge part of my seasonal work and having the ability to edit, type, and send my resume and cover letters in nice looking formats is important!

Fortunately Google saved my skin with “Docs” the Google Drive app (and web service) that is a fully featured word processing program.

I can edit and attach my resume and cover letter using Google Docs. I can type up and edit the occasional document for any other purpose using the same service. And I like to use Google Sheets, a fully featured version of Excel.

Now to test the ability to format and upload pictures within the WordPress app…

Edit: After some testing, image adding using the WP App is less than desirable. Currently working on figuring it out!

Working Toward an Ultralight Lifestyle

For years it’s been appealing to me to apply my heavily ultralight backpacking style to my front country living. I think it’s finally time.

My older Macbook Pro has finally died and I will be getting rid of it soon. As I sit here typing on my desktop computer, it is listed for sale on Craigslist. I’ve decided to replace them both with an iPad Mini 2 which I ordered with a Bluetooth keyboard in order to easily facilitate emails, job resumes and applications, and keeping up on this site.

My iPhone 5 is eligible for an upgrade but it’s time to take another look at that. I’ve been saying to myself and friends for years that I’ve though about switching back to a “dumb” phone. It’s now or never, I suppose! So I’m going to sell the iPhone for what it’s worth and either reactivate or purchase a new pay-as-you-go QWERTY style “dumb” phone.

I will replace the lost functionality of the iPhone with the wifi only version of the iPad Mini 2 which I purchased. When I’m on the road or traveling, it will be phone calls and text messages only unless I’m near wifi. I will, for now, borrow a GPS car unit when needed but that brings me to the car…

I’m looking forward to selling the car. That’s right, I’m going to voluntarily get rid of a perfectly good car. Hopefully for a reasonable market value.

I’m hoping to be able to fit two (or three) changes of carefully selected clothes, a few small necessary front country toiletries, the iPad (and mini Bluetooth keyboard), my “new” dumb phone, and whatever select seasonal necessities in a backpack.

As I sit here looking around my room, having already sold two pairs of extra skis, an extra helmet, and a pair of boots… there’s not much left that I really need.

Here’s what I have left to tackle:

I have a printer but I’ll sell or donate it and just print the occasional page at the library or other office supply store.

I have an extra pair of ski bindings but they’re listed to be sold (soon hopefully).

I have an unnecessarily large pile of clothes for the season which I will donate much of.

My bed is an inflatable mattress which I will either store with the skis or ship home to be stored with family until next season.

The desktop and laptop, as mentioned, need to be sold.

There are a few odds and ends that I brought along which I will try to sell or donate such as an extra pair of shoes, a couple physical books (I recently switched to Kindle) and an extra laptop satchel.

I have a few other odds and ends which would be nice to store until next season (blanket, pillow, etc.).

Doing some research, I can get a hold of a 4 x 1 foot storage unit (what an odd shape!) for $20 per month. Probably worth it to store the few larger and more expensive items (skis, boots, inflatable bed, pillow, blanket, winter clothes etc) until next season.

I may gather up all my shit, put it into a pile in my room, and slowly whittle away at it. Getting rid of the car is going to be the biggest and most difficult leap of faith in this project.

Wish me luck!