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Learning to Pivot

Lessons in Planning our Nomad Life


2023 is an important year for our family. As we rang in the new year, we also rang in the celebration of our Nomad Life. This is the year that we launch. One full year on the road. We are excited and the emotions are running high as we get serious about putting pen to paper, planning and preparing for our adventure.


As with all situations in life, the planning part of our trip has had some meaningful lessons for us already. Lessons in honest communication as we prepare a trip that will involve four people with different needs and expectations. Lessons in patience as we count down the days for the departure. Lessons in keeping the faith as we continue to believe in the value of our adventure despite the fears that occasionally creep in. The biggest lesson has been in learning to embrace change as we shape our trip to fit within the boundaries what is possible.


The biggest lesson has been in learning to embrace change as we shape our trip to fit within the boundaries of what is possible.

Indeed, learning to pivot has proven to be essential in our planning and preparation phase. We started off the Nomad Life project with a very specific idea of what we wanted to accomplish. As our preparations evolved, we came to the realization that some of our ideas, though valiant, were ambitious and others were downright unfeasible. So we adapt. We change our plans to make our journey as safe and fulfilling as possible.


The main example of this has been our itinerary. We started the Nomad Life project with the idea of driving from Canada to Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego and the southernmost city in South America. We had visions of celebrating the upcoming New Year's Eve by singing Auld Lang Syne while watching the penguins waddle along the Beagle Channel just across from Antarctica. We were looking forward to driving through the desserts of Chile, drinking Malbec in Argentina and eating chivito in Uruguay. We were even prepared to cross the Darien Gap, which involves ferries and air travel.


However, when we contacted experts to prepare, we learned that crossing the Darien Gap and driving across South America was much more complex, expensive and time-consuming than we had anticipated. We made calculations and tried to put the pieces together, but we realised that driving to Ushuaia was not possible on this trip. We don't have enough time or resources to drive all that way comfortably and within our time frame.


With this new realization, we needed to pivot. We went back to the basics of what we are trying to achieve with this trip. We remembered that our objective is to explore new communities, regions and sights while living a nomad life for a year. We want to be happy, safe and excited as we travel. Nomad Life is not about the kilometers that we cover. Rather, it is about the time that we take to travel mindfully. We took out the maps again and asked ourselves how far we could drive to make this happen. How much world can we see on THIS trip to keep it inspiring and meaningful?


After much thought, we landed on an itinerary which will allow us to see the United States, Mexico and Central America. We will drive from our hometown all the way to Panama and back. And will do it at a rhythm and speed that allows us to explore new communities and make new connections over the course of twelve months.


Being able to pivot is an important skill in life. It is a skill that we hope to model for and teach to our children. When life throws a curveball, as it inevitably does, it feels powerful to be able to adjust and to change the direction of our journey to continue to meet our needs and achieve our priorities.


Nomad Life will be a master class in learning to pivot as we will need to adjust to the evolving realities that come our way. We hope that Nomad Life will teach us to pivot on our trip and empower us to pivot throughout the rest of our life journey even when the trip is long over.

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