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Musings in Milan: The Quality of Van Life & Freelancing

By on October 12, 2013

IMG_7449Autumn is my favorite season.

The crisp air, the colors- the atmosphere just feels more electric than sleepy summertime. If our summer was cram-packed with too much/too many, our now is cram-packed with stability and that always boring noun, ‘work.’

I love my job. It’s different every day, even when I’m only focusing on one project. In the past two weeks, I’ve worked with an NGO that I admire; am promoting a book that I like; and I’ve been doing a lot of the background for my favorite job: our new website.

Not too many people can honestly say they love what they do, but I do. Armando and I were talking the other day about the world of freelancing and quality of life, aka happiness.

We’re both much happier now as Digital Nomads than we were in our former ‘normal’ lives.

We work longer hours- we sacrifice weekends with our freelance jobs (we actually don’t have weekends, we have random days off)- and we stress more over juggling our sometimes-precarious finances. It doesn’t sound like a recipe for joy, does it?

But. On the flip side. We have: complete independence. If it’s a rough day, we take it off- without worrying about answering to anyone for our actions. We work longer because we really enjoy it, and do more- strive harder- to do a good job. Job satisfaction has skyrocketed for both of us.

Our open schedules give us the freedom to make our own travel agenda- we’re able to go where we want, when we want.

IMG_7407IMG_7488That freedom has given us unexpected rewards: a morning conversation with a Greek septuagenarian; a hike through Cava Grande; or more recently, a sunset watching seals on the French Coast.

Beautiful, irreplaceable moments that enrich us.

We’ve never claimed our lifestyle choice is all roses- it’s incredibly difficult at times. It’s life. It’s not meant to be a cakewalk. Grin.

The biggest downside over the past year has been the seesaw of money. We don’t have a bi-weekly or monthly paycheck to count on, and I’d have to say that insecurity has been one of our main stressors.

The unforeseen maintenance needed on Mork has been another. The happiness increase does make dealing with the rough stuff easier. Not to mention we’ve had each other for support.

I can’t imagine being on this adventure without Armando- he makes the adventure. Grin. On that note, I must be off. I have some articles to write for Mauritian weddings, as one does. Ha.

Ciao from Milan. -M

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