2 Years Nomadic – Finding Our Purpose

And it is in this realization, that we have found purpose.  It took us 2 years of the most diverse experiences we could muster, to find our direction, to figure out what it is that we REALLY want to do with our lives.  

In 2017 we packed up our life, and quit the 9-5 to head out into the world.  We came with no expectations, we only wanted to experience life.  Since we have left, we have packed more fun and adventure into our lives than we ever could have imagined.  Being on the road now for over a year, has brought with it the freedom to explore what it is that we want to do to create an income for ourselves, the time to pay attention to the things that are truly important to us, and the adventure to truly make life fun and interesting once again.  We left seeking an exciting life, and we have not been disappointed!  Join us as we explore as much of this big old world that we can!

The passing of October has made us realize that it was October 2017 when we got on a one way flight to Costa Rica to start our journey.  I have to say, that it’s truly hard to believe that it was 2 years ago already.  We have officially been nomads for 2 whole years.

On one hand, it seems like the time passed by so quickly, yet we literally fit, what could be called “a lifetime” of experiences, into that time.  The things we saw and did, are impossible to quantify.  It has literally been 2 years of new sights being seen, new places being discovered, new people being met, a new language being spoken.  It has been 2 FULL ON years.  Every day a new adventure, every day a new possibility.

We have mostly tried to float on the breeze, to have our schedule so open, that literally we can follow any opportunity that comes our way.  I would say, for the most part, this breeze has carried us to only good places.  However, there has been hurdles along the way, emotional barriers that we had to break through, things we had to deal with within ourselves.

Like the time we were seriously considering leaving a 6 month commitment that we were only half way through, because we were being driven crazy by many different things that I won’t get into here.  We REALLY wanted to leave, but we also realized that with this lifestyle, also comes a way to literally RUN AWAY from your problems.  You have no attachments to anything, no reason why you can’t just pick up and go at any moments notice.

However, it also made us realize that running away is never going to solve anything.  With running away, you don’t grow and learn.  PLUS running away from commitments is bad for your integrity.  At least that is what we believe.  I kept thinking, and actually speaking to Chris aloud, that “I feel like somehow, someway, we will be rewarded for finishing this commitment.”  My gut was telling me something, it was saying to stick with it.  It was saying that we needed to FINISH the job.

I really did feel like somehow we would be rewarded for sticking it out.  It wasn’t necessarily a monetary reward that I was expecting, it was just something. Some feeling that I had, was telling us to press on.  Chris felt it too.  We both agreed that we needed to keep going, which helped.  I can’t imagine how much more stressful a situation like that one we found ourselves in would be if we had opposing viewpoints on the matter.

And in the end, we were rewarded.  We were rewarded tangibly in ways as well, but most important, we were rewarded emotionally.  We came away from that experience KNOWING what we can deal with.  KNOWING how resistant we are.  KNOWING that we are stronger than we thought.  It is this last part that is the most important.

I’ve realized recently that so many of us avoid things and run away from them.  It’s human nature.  But until you actually push through that barrier, to hang in there a little longer, to stick it out that tiny bit more, you never really know what you are capable of.

This reminds me of a quote by James Dyson, the inventor of the Dyson line of products, that I heard on a podcast last year.  His few words were really impactful to me, and they went something like this:

“When you are starting anything, you have to work twice as hard.  You inevitably will get tired, but then so will everyone else.  The trick is to push past the point where everyone else quits, just keep taking steps in the one direction.  If you do that, success is literally just around the corner.”

This resonated with me on a very deep level, and I have since applied it to a few different areas of my life.  The point, I believe is that as humans, we don’t tend to want to push ourselves.  Many of us have found ourselves in a ‘comfortable rut’.  We want to change our lives, but we are making good money, we are happy in our community, we are comfortable in our houses, we like our schedule, we like our bad habits.  The list goes on.  It seems, that the list of reasons to not change too much, far outweighs the list that does.  But does it?

Pushing through and finishing our commitment, made us realize what we are capable of.  In fact, this whole 2 year experience has reshaped our views of not only the world, but those of ourselves as well.  We now know what it is that we want to continue doing, how it is that we want to contribute to the planet.

For a while it felt like we literally were floating on a breeze.  Like, what good were we?  What were we doing that was benefiting humanity and the planet?  I felt a little bit useless to be honest.  I felt like I was a plague on the planet, always taking but never giving back.

But all that changed when we were given the opportunity to share our knowledge of permaculture techniques while working at a Botanical Garden on the island of Nevis.  We arrived at the garden being quite surprised that they didn’t have a composting system in place to feed and fertilize the garden.  They were using all synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and burning all of their deadfall and organic material.  The soil throughout was devoid of nutrients, and desperately needed an organic lift.

Of course, it didn’t take long before we were building that compost, to show the owner how beneficial it could be.  We taught her employees all about the process, and we opened their eyes up to a whole new world of possibilities.  By collecting seaweed and any other organic refuse that came off the land, we were able to create a rich dark soil, full of nutrients and beneficial properties for the soil.  We also worked very hard physically every day, which took some getting used to after a year and a half of relative laziness.  I mean we weren’t grossly out of shape, but we definitely had become stagnant.

This experience provided us with an opportunity to not only use our bodies, but also our minds.  We both felt better in so many ways.  Because of this experience, our eyes became open to the possibilities that exist around the world, just like this one.  We have realized that although WE know all of this stuff, composting, building soil, gardening in general, that many don’t. And we now realize that people are actually HUNGRY for this information.

While collecting seaweed at the beach, to put it in our compost, we were always approached by a local wanting to know what we were doing.  They had heard that seaweed was good for the garden, but didn’t know how to integrate it and put it to good use.  So we would take the time to explain to them how they could do it in their own yards.

We have no idea if any of them ever did.  But maybe.  It’s impossible to say how that information travelled, but we are grateful that we spread the knowledge.  Hoping, at any chance we got, to help others understand that it is us that can heal the soil and the earth.  In fact, it is up to us.

If this past two years has provided us with anything, it is the clarity that comes with taking time away from distractions.  By freeing our minds from the pressing concerns of everyday life that we had back in our old lives,  we were able to focus on what was important to us, and we now solely focus only on what IS important to us.

We created a space for ourselves to breathe.  We created a space for growth and expansion, a space to push back our barriers, to prove to ourselves what we were capable of.  For that, we are both very grateful.

Right now, we find ourselves back where we left from, our home country of Canada.  We have been here since the end of August.  We hadn’t “planned” to stay this long, but as opportunities kept arising, our leaving date has been pushed back.

Recently we signed up for an online platform called Workaway.  The reasonable yearly membership gives you access to a network of people around the world that both want to volunteer on projects in foreign countries, and foreign countries that are looking for volunteers.  This platform brings it all together into one tight little bundle.

After only glancing over the postings that are available, I became really excited about the fact that many people are looking for others to help them learn permaculture.  They need strong bodies and capable hands to help them heal the land so that they can build gardens and live more sustainably.  It has made me realize that our skills are valuable all over the world.

And it is in this realization, that we have found purpose.  It took us 2 years of the most diverse experiences we could muster, to find our direction, to figure out what it is that we REALLY want to do with our lives.

Through Workaway, we have found a platform that will incorporate all of our loves; travelling to foreign lands, living like locals, using our bodies, spreading our knowledge, working for the benefit of the earth.  Honestly, we can’t wait to get back out there into the world again and get started!  But for now, we will sit tight in Canada, accomplish what we need to accomplish here, then, when the time is right, we will head off again to find a new adventure!

Being a Digital Nomad! 

It’s been a while since I updated my readers on the status of our ‘Digital Nomad’ life.  We now have 3 Etsy shops where we are individually selling our different creations.

I have split my products into 2 different shops, one is mostly clothing, and the other is home decor.

Chris has started a shop that incorporates many of his cartoon drawings.  The drawings are then sold on stickers, downloadable clip art, posters, pillows, cutting boards and more.  Check his shop out here.

Chris also does custom pet portraits and any other commissioned artwork.  He is a very diverse artist and can draw in many different styles.

Our art continues to be a priority as we grow and build these online platforms.  Again, it is something that we have really created time for, as in our old life we didn’t have as much opportunity to find time for creativity.

Travel Plans

As is our norm now-a-days, we don’t have any specific travel plans, but our current plan is to go to Morocco in January.  There are many Workaway opporunities there and it offers us a new experience and a new culture.

The pull to head back down south, to our friends and familiar landscapes is very strong, but we both know that once we get there, we may disappear into the jungles of Costa Rica or Guatemala, and never come out.  Heading somewhere totally different will help to quench our thirst to experience new and different places as much as we can.

All the pieces are not in place to make this happen just yet, but we are in full manifestation mode, and know that things will fall into place as they should if we try not to control our future too much.

Thanks for reading! Please know that above all else, I aim to inspire others to just get out and see the world. Traveling is such an enriching experience, and I can’t even comprehend how much it has shaped me as an individual. If you have ANY questions, or need travel advice of ANY kind, PLEASE don’t hesitate to email me at the address below! I will do my very best to help you in any way I can!

Xoxoxo Happy Travels!

Current Location: Canmore, Alberta Canada 

Travelling Plans: Our plan is to stay in this area until Christmas or New Years.  Details of our next destination are yet to be confirmed.

To head back to the beginning of our journey, and the moment we decided to sell all of our possessions to travel the world, click here.

To see many travelling photos and to learn about where we are travelling, please follow our Facebook and Instagram accounts by clicking on the appropriate icon in the right hand column.

To learn about where I have previously traveled, visit my Countries Page.

To see all of my blog post headings on one page, (including all of the ones about letting our stuff go) head over to my Blog Post Menu.

To contribute to our Patreon account, please click here.

To learn about housesitting, please click here.

To email me directly, please do so anytime at jillamatt@me.com.

If you like my writing, and want to follow along on our journey, please put your email address in the right hand column to subscribe. That way all of my posts will go straight to your email inbox:)

Author: jillamatt

Basically born a traveler, I long to see every corner of the world. In 2017, my partner and I sold all of our posessions, to pursue a life of travel, wanderlust and a yearning for more; More knowledge, more experiences and more joy. Join us in our explorations of this beautiful planet, we promise to not disappoint! The world is a giant book, and I intend to read every chapter that I can. I promise to whisk you away with me, as you yourself travel the world, without ever leaving your house.

2 thoughts on “2 Years Nomadic – Finding Our Purpose”

  1. Loved the latest update/blog. Looks like you have a really good plan. It is exciting to know you can use your expertise in gardening/farming to help others. Miss you & love you both and will anxiously await the stories of your upcoming adventures! And have fun back home!


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