I guess it’s a reaction to Capitalism, but it is also a product of it. The lifestyle of the digital nomad. She’s wearing a Navajo Indian print somewhere in the Mojave Desert, sipping on a coffee cup (handmade of course) with a pyramid and a third eye engraved on it, while she and her German shorthaired Pointer pose for the latest glam shot of #vanlife under the canoe and the sunset.
She doesn’t care about making a payment for furniture on her credit card because she doesn’t buy anything from IKEA anymore. That’s all in storage at her parent’s in Portland since she decided to quit her job in Human Resources or PR and throw caution to the wind and travel the western United States in her van. Until further notice.
When you see modelesque women sipping on a coffee at sunset with their photographer boyfriend stoking the fire in the foreground, yeah it’s easy to say you want that life. No strings. Easy + carefree. Coming from the other side of the spectrum –– married plus two, I can tell you that the lies digital nomads tell about how lovely life is in such a way is just a product of buying into the capitalistic system which promises: work harder and when you see happiness it will look like this: endless days of nothing to do, while travelling the world. Alone or with someone as hot as you.
Having a life with responsibilities and family and friends you can count on and who need you at really rough times is a true life.
So if you are travelling the world just to rack up experiences, you are basically just participating in another form of consumption. The only way someone can check out of society and really make a difference in this world is by giving it forward. So from your #vanlife find a way to make you look less hot, and the experiences connected to the environment and people you share more urgent. Want to help single women out of poverty? Give kids a more meaningful life outside of Fortnight? Want to make seniors feel like they are still living? Save a peat bog? Give Africa clean water? I challenge the world’s digital nomads playing the game of balance transfer on their credit cards to make everything a little less about them and more about the people around.
Some ideas while you are out there:
- Don’t tag where you are. Give general, not specific locations. This will help preserve nature. So nitwits following you won’t trample all the plants and animals looking for the same sunset vista.
- Take more photos of real people you meet than you and your hot girlfriend. We really don’t care. The Kardashians are ridiculous. So are bum implants.
- Do random acts of kindness all day long. Since you are no longer part of society inspire those that are less lucky in (successfully dropping out) and/or monetizing Instagram and who have to work at Walmart instead. Every small gesture counts. But don’t show you did it on IG! Not even once.
- Catalogue nature. Save seeds. Leave no trace.
- Read books that celebrate simple nature and man in it: Hojoki. Walden. Sailing Alone Around the World. Or the children’s book the Snail and the Whale → if you no longer have an attention span.
- Try not to make people jealous; work to inspire, not deflate.