It was time for a change. I had been in Arizona since the second week of November - partly to see friends, partly to attend Debra's meetup in Quartzsite, and partly for work. Nearly 12 weeks later it was more than enough.
One of things that I have discovered with the traveling lifestyle is that it lends itself well to seasons. Of course, the natural seasons of winter and summer, spring and fall, play a large role for lifestyle travelers. I also find that it is helpful to understand other aspects of life in terms of seasons as well - and yes, there may be overlap with the natural seasons.
The rhythm of seasons is a natural part of the human experience, but a part that we often overlook in our modern world. It is a natural part of the historic human experience to have seasons of productivity followed by seasons of rest, for example. Those with a religious background may be aware that Judaism mandated a weekly Sabbath day of rest as well as various periods of rest throughout the year that were layered on top of the natural seasons. Historic Christianity likewise observed religious seasons that involved changes in diet and activity. There are many other examples that could be cited, but the modern Western world has all but lost the concept of seasons.
Winter is a season when I flee higher elevations in favor or warmer places, like the southwest desert. It also happens to be a "social season" for me as many of my friends are also in the same geographical area at the same time. This season is always challenging as I attempt to balance visiting with friends I have not seen in many months and may not see again for many months with working and finding enough solitude for self-care. I know in advance that I will not be as productive during this social/winter season, but that is alright because relationships matter too.
Summer is a season when I move north and hopefully higher in elevation to avoid the triple-digit temperatures in the desert. It is also "family season" for me as that is when I visit family in Wyoming and in the northeast. Family gatherings tend to be sporadic and spontaneous (at least with my family) so I have plenty of time to work and explore, but also try to always remain flexible for those last-minute family opportunities. I see friends infrequently because nomads tend to scatter with the wind to the four corners of the earth during the summer months.
Sometimes I find myself in a "micro-season" like when I am traveling for a few days or weeks and neither socializing nor working as much as normal. These micro-seasons are unique and a part of the traveling lifestyle, and I find it necessary to remind myself that I will not be as productive - and that's alright for the micro-season. A productive season will return soon enough.
The past few weeks have been a freelance work micro-season where I have been busy with work activities that resulted in less control of my schedule than normal. This too is alright as it provided a much-needed financial boost.
After a busy social/winter season and a busy freelance work micro-season I am ready to retreat and recover. I left Quartzsite, Arizona on Monday with a staggering amount of work planned for the next few months - both freelance work and my own projects. I headed north on the first day of a three-day cold snap, discovered a new route from Quartzsite to my home base in Pahrump, Nevada that avoided Lake Havasu City and Las Vegas, and arrived in Pahrump in time for 24 degree nighttime temperatures! Nothing like the weather reinforcing that I am entering a new life season for the next few months.
The next few months will mostly be a work season for me. I will be working on freelance projects and some of my own projects like expanding the Nomad Lifestyle 101 course, preparing for another issue of Meanderings Magazine, trying to develop a consistent rhythm with video production for my YouTube channel, and tackling some long-overdue projects on my rolling studio/home.
During this three-month work season, as winter weather gives way to the warmth of spring, I will still be making some short trips to explore and create new content - like a planned trip to Death Valley National Park later this month. I will also take an occasional break to connect with friends who either live in the area or are passing through. My main focus though will be on work. I have learned over the years that by sequestering myself in the wilderness (desert or otherwise) with nobody around, but with good cell data, that I am able to be highly productive for a season. That is exactly what is required in this season.
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I will also be sharing details about my anticipated 2020 seasons with Patrons as well.
Cover Photo: One of my three camps in as many days in the desert outside of Pahrump. In this photo, a snow-capped Mt. Charleston (between Pahrump and Las Vegas) is lit by the setting sun.