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Happy Camper

The Modern Digital Nomad

Trying to live in peace in today's fast-paced world is a constant fight. The stress of family, school, career, health, spirituality, humanity's identity crisis, world news, state news, local news, and even our virtual, digital life can weigh in. It all sounds good, and it is the American dream to have it all, right? But even after we get or reach whatever we are pursuing, we still need more. 

Technology these days doesn't give us much of a chance to become efficient in one thing before it becomes outdated and leaves us wanting an upgrade. Today's news is filled with crises worldwide, and innocent elementary kids are being murdered in our schools. It is hard to imagine there has been a scarier existence than today, but many could argue the fact. 

Stress is not optional, or is it? Many people are finding that it may not be optional, but it could be reduced to a minimal level. Right now, peace of mind and health is our greatest goal and most significant obstacle. I saw a phrase while scrolling the other day that I hadn't heard before, so I googled it. (I do not know how we learned anything before Google) The phrase was nature-deficit disorder. Now I will explain what that means. It is a lack of time outdoors. Studies show those who tend to spend too much time indoors and too much time in front of a screen. Let me add that scientists have listed the symptoms of nature deficit disorder as obesity, anxiety, lack of focus, depression, and detrimental to mental health.

What is the cure for this horrible disorder? It is readily available at your local park, state park, river, or lake. No need for a vaccine, it is entirely treatable. I may also add that you may need to evaluate your life and those around you because you might be an enabler. As parents and grandparents, it sometimes seems it is not worth the fight to peel our young from a screen, but it really is. But a word of advice, don't be a hypocrite (lol); go outside with them. 

So is going outside for a walk or camping going to stop all stress automatically? Nope! But it will help, and I would argue that reducing unnecessary stress will make a difference. We all need to learn to live a simpler life. 

What does live simply really mean? Well, it can be and is interpreted in lots of different ways. Some will say they live by merely cutting down on their debt. Others feel that living simply is related to organic food choices. Maybe it is working from home instead of a big corporate office. Many believe it means living below their means and saving for a rainy day. 

An estimated 3 million people in the United States live in a digital nomad world. What is a digital nomad? It is a person who makes a living using their computer while they travel the world. Before Covid, the tiny house movement was catching fire. Everyone was considering living tiny in order to have big adventures. Some of those tiny houses were on wheels, and that made moving around every 3 to 6 months feasible. 

After Covid, we learned 2 valuable lessons:

  • Most of our 9-5's could be accomplished in our pajamas. Ok, some of us did have to get dressed.
  • The great outdoors was one of the very few safe options for entertainment.

Millions of people left the office, and statistics show that the workload didn't suffer but quite the opposite. Companies realized employees working from home saved them money on utilities and supplies, and that was a good start, but then they realized employees were more productive. Wait, what??  

Studies show that not having a commute, the hassle of morning routines, and dealing with company culture and drama actually became a more efficient way of doing business. People then decided to cut the ball and chain that restrained them, and the digital nomad life exploded! 

It is estimated that over 35,000,000 people in the world have adopted the digital nomad lifestyle. Yes, you read that right; over 35 million people live the tiny, simple, adventurous, meeting new people, seeing new places, trying new foods, digital nomad lifestyle. 

Ok, I will admit it is not totally stress-free. You do have to strip your life of all the unnecessary material things. There will probably be some roadblocks along the way. (pun intended) This life isn't for everyone. It is a commitment that will flip your whole life upside down. 

People are tent camping, RV camping, car camping, van camping, travel trailer camping, and even camping in these tiny little campers called teardrops that are no bigger than a queen size bed.

This is a lifestyle for those people who want to collect memories, not materials. 

What does the Bible say about this "new" lifestyle movement?

Well, Paul is in favor of it. 

Phillippians 4:10-14 I'm glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you're again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don't mean that your help didn't mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles. MSG

Matthew tells us that Jesus was in favor of it also. 

Matthew 6: 25-26 "If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. MSG

Jesus even asked some to sell everything they had and give it to the poor and follow Him. 

Just remember living a simple life does not have to be living the digital nomad lifestyle, but it does mean cutting down on the unnecessary materials and obligations that rob you of your peace.

Stop and take inventory of the ways you can eliminate unnecessary drains of energy. Choose what lifestyle is right for you and your family. Do you want to collect materials or memories? And remind yourself that there is precious little time to do either. We are not promised tomorrow. 

Choose to be a Happy Camper!

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