Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day” ends with a magical line that has always stuck with me and gets ever more potent with each passing year. Oliver writes,” Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
If I’m being honest, the idea of getting closer to my dreams and further away from the office was a huge motivation for starting my life as a digital nomad. Life for me didn’t feel very wild or very precious working the 9-5 and only getting 2-3 weeks a year to truly do what I wanted. I wanted to earn money on the road so that I could check off things on my bucket list while also paying my bills.
Motivation for Embracing a Nomadic Lifestyle
After a few years as a digital nomad, however, I came to realize something. Working from anywhere can become all about work if you’re not careful. You can find yourself putting off what you set out to do with your new-found flexibility in the first place. But what is it that you truly plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Who do you want to spend it with and how do you want to spend that time?
Recently, I discussed my plans for 2024 with another digital nomad. We both came to the conclusion that we wanted to get back to some of our original plans that we had when we first started our digital nomad journeys. For my friend, it meant getting a group together and driving across Sri Lanka in a rickshaw. Back to spontaneity, back to true adventure. For me, it meant finally signing up for a one-month cooking class in a dream destination and improving my cooking skills while still managing to get my work done. I don’t yet know if this is possible, but I intend to start making these dreams a priority instead of pushing them to the back burner.
With the current state of the world, it’s easy to toss your plans aside and forget about them entirely. Sometimes, of course, you must. There is no other choice. But achieving your dreams can be the inspiration to take your life in new directions and to dream even bigger. I don’t know about you, but when I finally tick something off of my bucket list, I feel immense gratitude and the feeling that I’m right where I should be. It’s a reminder that the life I have created for myself as a digital nomad, with all of its sacrifices and ever-changing destinations, is serving the greater purpose of going in the direction of my dreams.
So, to get back to Oliver’s poem and the impending dawn of a new year, fresh and full of potential, tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? What are your dreams for 2024?