New article ideas for Lands Remote have been bubbling in our conversations and yet this is the first to be published in awhile. The reason? Aaron and I have been reflecting on our near future and re-envisioning this adventure we’ve chosen for ourselves.
Our motto has been from the beginning that we are “open to the possibilities” and yet conversely, we have been determined to complete our mission to circumnavigate the globe.
What we didn’t anticipate was how much we enjoy the lifestyle we’re living while motor-homing through Europe and want to continue beyond what our budget and original vision allows. We’re also traveling much slower and want to see far more than originally planned. So we’re embracing Lands Remote as a possible key to continuing this lifestyle we’re loving.
Since you heard from us last, we drove from Bulgaria back to Greece, flew to Egypt for several weeks, then back to playing in Greece with our friends-are-family the Fitts’ from San Francisco. It was in our late night conversations with Joey and Juliana that helped us clarify why Lands Remote is unique, why others might be interested in hearing more, and who our audience might be. Additionally, Juliana and I agreed to finally move the Montessori assistants training we designed and taught for years into a distance learning delivery system and thus creating another income base.
Knowing we were planning to head to Albania next, the question Joey kept posing was, “Why Albania?” His question became the catalyst for examining what drives us to out-of-the-ordinary destinations in an out-of-the-ordinary manner. In the literal sense, it’s Charlie, our motorhome! But at the heart of the answer is that we both like to question assumptions.
Our previous posts have this common thread . . . from “Breaking Stereotypes in Bulgaria” to “Is it Art? Or Craft?” to “Incongruent Mind-Set” to “Moroccan Cuisine”, our reflections have questioned either ours or others perceptions about a place or culture.
We seek out places a bit undiscovered or less touristed which has compelled us to visit Albania. This small country located on the Adriatic Sea bordering Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo was the last of the Balkan countries to emerge from it’s Communist dictatorship. Given that, you again might ask, “Why Albania?”
We had few expectations of Albania but we assumed that as it shared the same coastline as Greece and beautiful Croatia, we’d likely find great beaches and good food. We have not been disappointed.
It has been our long term dream to become location independent for an income, and slow traveling throughout Europe and North Africa has helped us see that the life of a “digital nomad” is in fact possible, if not probable if we can fulfill a niche in the saturated travel market. As Aaron kept wondering, why would anybody be interested in reading about us? This was the question we needed to answer for ourselves.
Our summer was spent reinventing our income base from our “outdoor office” located outside Charlie overlooking the white rock beaches of the Albanian Riviera, to the quiet shoreline of vast Lake Shkoder on the Montenegrin border. It’s inexpensive to travel in Albania and the people are incredibly friendly to boot!
Our answer to “Why Albania?” and why people might be interested in reading about our journey is that it epitomizes why we seek lands remote: it compels us to question assumptions whether we find them true or not.
Ironically, our time in Albania seemed to be less about actively dispelling the perceptions we were told from others about this phenomenal country, than questioning our assumptions about ourselves. We’re also getting a taste of what it’s like to be digital nomads and finding the reality despite our assumptions of what it entails.
We’re learning to work when we can (and when the internet bandwidth allows) and take advantage of our location for breaks. The glamour of location independence dims a bit as we sit hour upon hour in front of our computer screens; however, we truly appreciate our ability to wake when we want to, manage our time as we wish, and when we take our breaks whenever and where we like, our choices start to shimmer again.
We have had business meetings while floating in the turquoise Adriatic Sea, hiking through an olive grove, and sharing a beer while enjoying the sunset. We know that this is our big push to start a business and our hope is that we’ll find a maintenance “groove” once we’ve launched.
The question “Why Albania?” will forever go down in our personal lexicon as a reminder as to our unique point of view. We started this journey “open to the possibilities” and while we think we lack expectations of a place or a people, they still exist. Our new motto might well be Lands Remote: Question Assumptions. Especially our own.
-written and photographed by Tammy