When your life takes a wholly unanticipated change and you must rethink and redefine what your life will be.

A new word submitted to Collins Dictionary, pending approval. Another one – crafternoon which means, An afternoon spent (or specifically set aside for), enjoying crafts. I really like that one, for obvious reasons, but I am getting off track!

Back to detourism. I first read about this word in an industry report published by WGSN called, ‘Detourism: Long, Light and Slow Travel.‘ I was gone from the industry by that point, but still had a contact who sent me the report. I think this is a really important topic as I move through my travels with my family.

We are travelling slow, to be sure. We are each attempting to live our lives in different ways as we move from place to place. Some of us are having far more success in this endeavour than others. Being a digital nomad is not for everyone. Even though the report claims that the trend towards being a digital nomad is not going away anytime soon, it does not mean that every person today aspires to join that movement.

Although it is impossible to accurately predict how many digital nomads and location independents there currently are, its estimated there will be 1.87 billion by 2022, accounting for 42.5% of the global workforce, and so it would be imprudent to ignore such a huge demographic.

My husband has been the best at adapting. In reality he was already working this way when we lived in Canada. He would travel into his Vancouver office on occasion. He did not have a desk there, he was on location so infrequently. In my last job I tried to move towards that, but my position within the company and the overarching culture didn’t allow it. As I mentioned, it is not for everyone.

I have been guilty of being quite distracted by regular, routine, everyday tasks. It is very easy for me to do all my chores and then have no energy or capacity left, at the end of the day to work on my business ideas. Doing the creative work, especially has to be a priority at the top of my list and it has not always been like that.

I spent the first 7 months of my new life trying to figure out a schedule, while we lived in Canada. Then we lived with family for many weeks. I was no better in that situation. Then we hit the road and almost the whole time we were in Spain, I was easily distracted by what I thought was a higher priority, my domestic life.

Somehow, towards the end of our time on the Iberian peninsula I figured out what I needed to do. The secret was to send home my knitting needles. (Gasp!) That was a big enough change to my day, where I was shocked into behaving differently. Yes, it was a great source of creative inspiration, working with my hands in that way. But, my to-do list for getting a business off the ground had to come first. I had proven, over and 11 month period, I could not be trusted with even one set of needles and a single project. I would betray my goals and objectives in a heart beat to sit and knit and watch netflix.

It was a hard break up, me and my knitting. I sent them home with a second sock, half-finished! But, I had to be serious with myself. I could act like an actual retired person, who had worked their whole lives to save for this period of rest and recreation, or I could move into the next phase. I knew I had to set my needles free. I loved them dearly and I will see them again soon. In 5 more months we will be reunited. Hopefully, by then I will be more responsible about how I choose to spend my time. A little more like I was in my last career. 

Oh my, I’m off topic again. Back to our trip.

I would say our teens are having the hardest time embracing the digital nomad lifestyle. They find staying on task in their digital classroom, keeping up with their studies and getting questions answered to be very difficult. I can only imagine what it would be like to go back in time. When computers first came on the scene, I had a very hard time moving into a paperless realm. I didn’t even believe that would be a ‘thing’. Communicating over many time zones has been a challenge for the whole time I worked in the apparel industry, but it became increasingly more complicated in recent years. It was not uncommon to be asked to attend a Skype meeting at midnight to accommodate three very different time zones. 

While the statistics in the article quoted above seem to indicate a widespread popularity of being a digital nomad, the reality is something different. We are in a group of very few families, living as we are. There are quite a few parents with younger children who are taking a year off to travel. But, we are all working at our various projects, while we move along. That makes us fairly unique. We don’t really have a good connection to others for shared resources and experiences. Most travelling families are focused on making sure they get all the bucket list activities ticked off. We are doing stuff, as well, there is no reason to leave home if we were not. But, we have a much slower pace.

And yet, the world is conspiring to help us. We have found that getting internet, even high-speed service, is relatively easy. In fact, our connection speeds are faster than what most families use back home. But even more appealing has been the amount of roaming data we can get for very inexpensive prices. After we sort out local currency, at each new stop, we all get new SIM cards. What a difference that makes. It is like having the world in your pocket. 

While we might be one type of travel pioneer, there are so many more. In fact, wellness travel is a thing. There is even spa tourism. In fact, if you can dream it, it is probably being planned or done by now, for example:

The confluence of wellness tourism, contemporary nomadic culture and the unplugging movement is Restival – a year-old festival-meets-retreat which takes place in the Arizona desert. Restival’s founder, Caroline Jones was a “single female traveller” when she came up with the concept as a means of recalibrating and reassessing her personal life. Restival’s programme emphasises holistic and spiritual enlightenment, self-evaluation and digital disconnection, and it operates a wider commitment to raising awareness of the indigenous people of the Arizona desert location which it occupies.

It just goes to show, anything is possible. Maybe I can dream up a new word for what I am thinking of, as a travel, wellness, retreat, spa, creative type of thing. Maybe a creaspatreat? This would be a creative retreat with a spa like feeling. In the overall wellness tourism space, it would logically require some travel. When I put creaspatreat into google, there were no matches. Aha! I have invented a new word, as a new idea, in a new category of creativity! Wanna join? We meet in September 2018. Vancouver, Canada.

Join me in this creative journey. I think it will be worth your time. Together, let us see where we can take this. I look forward to hearing from you! Please share your thoughts. Feel free to send an email to: Christine@dailycreatives.com

Published books:
: : “Fruitless at 40: Rediscovering My Creative Power

Our travel year:
: : Have you ever heard of a digital nomad family? A Dad working in Europe and Asia, Teens doing distance education for grades 11 and 9, and Mom keeping it all together, writing, taking photos and making videos.
: : Check out all the adventure, captured in weekly videos on a youtube channel called creative wandering.

Would you like a free download of….
: : My tried and true packing list, developed from long-term, around the world travel and….
: : The first chapter from Fruitless at 40?
: : Join us!

Latest survey:
: : What would an epic creative retreat look like for you?

Daily Creatives Resources:
: : My heroine’s journey, a road less travelled
: : It took me a year to find freedom, a love story
: : Living in stress, moving to relaxation, looking for ikigai

Christine Westermark

I am a world traveller, lucky enough to have a loving family who support my dreams to learn, create and give back by designing creative content which enables a lifestyle we don't need a vacation from.

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Detourism and other new word suggestions

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