I recently read something that instantly resonated with me – someone described herself as a “digital nomad”. She is a writer/photographer who travels around the country in an RV (with her dog) and documents on her blog the places she visits, the people she meets and the experiences she has along the way. Yes! I said to myself. Yes, that could be me! Perhaps someday I’ll be able to indulge in this particular day dream. Maybe someday I’ll be writing this blog from the Grand Canyon or the Pacific Coast Highway or Niagra Falls or the Rocky Mountains or …
Every week I buy two lottery tickets and I always think I’m going to win. So far, I haven’t won more than a few dollars but, for some reason, I always think I’m going to win BIG. I’ll share a sad little story with you now that I have shared with very few people. I don’t like to talk about it or dwell on it but, it fits the context of my thoughts today. Many years ago, as a struggling single mother living paycheck to paycheck, I used to buy one lottery ticket every week with the same sequence of numbers. I did that, without fail, for about 3 years until one week when I was so sick with the flu that I didn’t even think about the lottery. The following week, when I was checking the winning numbers for the ticket I had bought that week, I was shocked to see that my numbers had won on the previous Saturday – the day I would have normally bought a ticket if I hadn’t been sick. I would have won over $2M – I can’t remember the exact amount; I think it was $2.4M – and that money would surely have changed my life in unimaginable ways. I can’t adequately describe the way I felt but some of the emotions were anger, frustration, disappointment and a deep sense of injustice. I ranted and raved. I swore. I cried. I felt sorry for myself. Eventually, I managed to get past it but, trust me, I was miserable for weeks.
As with most of the disappointments I’ve experienced, I searched for a lesson to be learned. The immediate lesson was to NEVER use the same numbers every time I buy a lottery ticket! I’ve never been able to come up with any other lesson that makes sense. Many years later, when my best friend and I used to work together, we often talked about what we would do with the money if we won a big lottery payout. I would sometimes reflect on the difference to how I would have spent it if I had won years before. I comforted myself by saying I was more mature and unselfish than I used to be and so, I would use the money in more thoughtful ways that benefited more people. Hmm, maybe that’s why I didn’t win back then. Yeah, right. I’ve heard lots of stories about people winning millions of dollars and just blowing it all without doing one good thing for anyone. Final conclusion: there are some things that can’t be explained. Maybe that’s the ultimate lesson.
So, what does all that have to do with being a digital nomad? I have no idea except that if I win the lottery this week I know exactly what I would do – 1) pay off my mortgage, 2) pay off my son’s student loans and give him some cash, 3) pay off my best friend’s mortgage and give her some cash, 4) give substantial donations to the charities I currently support, 5) do some renovations on my house, 6) buy a Road Trek (in my opinion, the Cadillac of motor homes), and 7) hit the road with my laptop, camera and Liberty.
Not all those who wander are lost. ~J.R.R. Tolkien
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