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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Palmer


Nomad. In less than 90 days, I am embarking on a new adventure. A scary, exciting, at times overwhelming, opportunity to ‘sample’ the country in one-month increments. I am giving up my permanent home to travel to a different location, one-month at a time, through the end of the year (at least). I want to share how I got here, starting with the upfront acknowledgment that a great deal of privilege affords me this opportunity.

  • I am not currently a caregiver for anyone other than my dog (who will go with me); I am an empty nester with parents who live independently and care for each other.

  • My age and health are currently in my favor.

  • I have a job that can be done remotely for the most part; and in-person opportunities can be coordinated from the locations I will be visiting.

  • My car is dependable and able to make the trek.

  • I have been able to save for the unexpected needs of the road (although I am hopeful that not living in Southern California will be financially favorable).

  • My community has been enthusiastic and supportive of this adventure and is encouraging my ‘next’.

I always wondered where I might go once my children were grown and living their own lives. With my daughter’s graduation in December, that germ of an idea started to take shape. Before it was fully formulated, I decided to speak my desire aloud. Saying it made it more real and also made me accountable for answering the inevitable questions; finding answers for the where, the how and the why.

Accountability came in many forms. First, I was accountable to myself to set the parameters of how I could make this work. I then held myself accountable to partners for laying in the locations of where I would travel. I am now in the hardest part of the execution (so far) which is addressing my ‘stuff’: clothing, furnishings, all of the piles and files of papers. What do I keep, donate, sell or trash? What do I take with me and where do I store what I want in the future? I am trying to be accountable for being productive in making those hard decisions (harder for sentimental rather than material objects).

And here is the big one: being accountable to ask for help and accept assistance.

Why do I share this plan? As members of my community, I think there may be learnings for all of us, even if you aren’t taking on this monumental of an undertaking. Want to make a job change, raise your hand for a promotion, move, write a book, change insurance companies, apply for a speaking engagement, clean out your garage…

  1. If you want to do something – big or small – don’t keep it to yourself. Share your idea with others.

  2. Speaking it makes it real and invites those around you to support, offer assistance, and be a sounding board.

  3. Acknowledge dissenting points of view, but overcome any obstacles, staying true to yourself. (QStorming is a way to kick the tires on ideas by challenging your thesis and assuring you explore it from all viable points of view).

  4. Take individual steps forward rather than looking at the entire solution which can be overwhelming.

  5. Find someone(s) to be accountable to for each step. They may have no vested interest in the completion of the step or the outcome, but if you feel accountable, you may be more inclined to stick to your commitments (see: working with a trainer vs intending to work out alone).

  6. Take time to note your progress in tackling the steps. The momentum will build and the habits will form.

  7. Get to where you are supposed to be – even if it has morphed from the original thesis or plan.

As for me, I am committed to 9 months of nomad living. I have 90 days to sort 56 years of ‘stuff’, and will use each day to tackle a task or two. I will enlist the support of others: physical, mental and emotional. And then I will see where the road takes me (literally and figuratively).

Thank you for holding me accountable and for supporting this journey. I imagine I may have some wisdom from the road to share.

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