THE WEEKLY #199: IN THE MOMENT
Right now, for me, it is impossible not to live in the moment. I simply cannot make any plans beyond a month. This is a concept I’ve unknowingly been training myself to deal with over the last few years. Since 2016 I’ve been learning how to live in the moment. Not in the cliche way that you might find on a postcard, Pinterest board, or a cheap t-shirt with a palm tree printed on it. I’ve been living in the moment in the sense of being able to relinquish control on certain aspects of my life.
When you aren’t in control of the future, your next move, or your personal outcomes you are forced to live in the moment. Some people thrive in that situation and blindly dive into their passions not knowing how or why it will benefit them. Others fumble and fall into a hole, crippled by not being able to see a linear route to their desired goal or destination. It’s not an innate skill, it’s learned. You learn to thrive ‘in the moment’ when you aren’t concerned by the outcome when considering what you’re situation will look like in one week, one year or a decade. It’s a tough concept to grasp because we are always taught the power and value of setting short, medium, and long term goals. Now, here I am suggesting that those who need that goal to aim for are the ones who often struggle to persevere if you take that goal away from them.
Part 1: My current situation isn’t yet ‘do or die‘. But I can lay it out simply. I’m currently in Australia. I need and want to begin traveling again. I’m a nonresident here in Australia so I can only be here for a limited number of months per year. There is no point on the horizon where it looks like Australians will be able to travel as per normal, at least in 2020. It seems we may be able to travel domestically or to New Zealand in a ‘Trans-Tasman Bubble’. I can leave Australia as a non-resident to my place of residence in the Philippines with an exemption, but I cannot currently enter the Philippines, which is in lockdown. As you can see, I am stuck in limbo for now.
Part 2: The second part of the story is that travel is obviously down in a big way. I usually generate all of my blog traffic from travelers looking for guides and things to do in locations I’ve been. 95% of my blog traffic comes from people searching key terms on Google. That search traffic is currently down from 25,000 page views per day to my blog to a range of between 5,000 and 8000 views per day. On top of that, most of my earnings are through hotel and tour activity bookings through affiliate links on my site of which have all basically stopped due to the pandemic. It’s no big deal. The traffic will return I’m assuming.
So when you consider the above, it is quite easy to find yourself paralyzed. I can’t travel, which is my job. Is my job even still there because while it is still earning a small amount it has been decimated by the lack of travel? The answer is: You just don’t know, but you do get to choose what you do while you are stuck in the limbo.
I have a huge backlog of articles I have been putting to the side while traveling. On some days I lack the motivation to get to them but I force myself to work through them all. Not because it’s earning me money right now, not because it’s super exciting but because sometimes you have to shoot even when the goals aren’t there or at least where they should be.
There have been about 4-5 ties throughout the last 4 years since I started blogging that I’ve questioned if I wanted to keep going. I might have had a month period or a week period where I was over it for some reason. Whenever I enter a period like this I take a day or two away from it all. I then force myself to keep going. Because experience tells you that to persevere is to be consistent and to be consistent is your best chance at success. It is never guaranteed but at least you’ll be in with a shot. Quit later but not now is what I always tell myself. Every time.
I’m not at a point of wanting to quit by any means right now. I’m just on the edge of one of those periods where you feel a lack of motivation but push through and get it all done. It’s part of the freelance life. You hustle hard for certain periods without knowing if you will ever yield the crop from the seeds you are planting. You learn to back yourself and go for it. This month I’m clearing the backlog by writing two articles a day on average. If you have a look, you will see most of them are about ‘where to stay in X’ type of guides. These are guides that do earn me a decent living but they are also super helpful as they go into detail. They aren’t excited to create but it’s part of turning adventure travel into a business. I’m planting the seeds to hopefully yield the crop when travel re-opens.
That’s what was on my mind as I went to write this edition of the Weekly. I’ve been enjoying family time in Adelaide. It’s all of the little things that go on in a household that add up to those interpersonal relationships. It’s not about birthday gifts or the momentous days. It’s about the in-between moments and I usually miss all of those so I’m making the most of spending time with those I love, those that are family.
I’ve also been keeping up the half-ironman regimen. The weekly totals are:
160km on the bike
3-4 gym sessions
I’m not really training for a half-ironman in particular, but if I don’t get injured and keep it up for a while I’ll try and do a half-ironman somewhere around the 5-hour mark. I genuinely enjoy cycling and running as transit and adventures on the trails so I’m not doing any crazy running drills or cycling intervals. I’m just enjoying the adventure and building a fitness base.
Anyway, that’s my journal for the week, here are some snaps from my phone that represent what went down because I still haven’t touched my camera since being back in Adelaide!