The future I'm longing for
Some people might have noticed that I like to go hiking from time to time. During my hikes, I normally listen to music, techno or trance most of the time. That kind of music gives me a certain push to walk faster or keep walking, but also gives me enough “free space” in my head (is not too distracting for me like for example metal is). That's perfect for thinking about topics that concern my life at the moment.
Most of the things I am day-dreaming about are not too serious. This article is about one of them.
From a normal daydream...
My normal daydreams start off at my current situation and goes from there into a future I would like to live. Normally, it is about minimalism, being able to go hiking in other countries, for example the USA or Canada, but also Iceland, Norway or sometimes Spain (I'm more a “Go-North” kind of hiker) or having a camper van and exploring countries in Europe with it, all while being able to work while being “on the road”. That's what (digital) nomadism is, but in a more “light” variant, as (digital) nomads normally do not have a home-base (as far as I know, some of them might beg to differ).
On my last hike, though, I thought about how an utopian future life would look like, how I would like to experience the future. Some of these things might be achievable, but most of them are probably not.
And of course, all thoughts were ...
... starting with minimalism
The concept of minimalism is not only an idea that improves your life on a psychological level, but also (and maybe even more so) on a practical one, of course. If you have less things, less things can brake, can go missing or have to be taken care of.
That's of course nothing new.
But what if you have so few things that you can enable a whole new lifestyle? I wrote about “extremist minimalists” before, and maybe that's the direction these thoughts are going. Having only 100 things is most certainly complete overkill and maybe not even possible in European culture. But having, say, less than one thousand things, enables you to just pack everything you have into a (rental) car and just drive away from your current location, leaving everything behind.
On the realistic side, though, it is not that easy, is it? One must cancel their rent, must de-register their water supply, power supply, one probably must change their contact settings in their bank account, several insurance accounts. Ones employer must know about their whereabouts, even if it is only for taxes. People are not allowed to be unregistered in Germany (or even in Europe?), so they must notify the Citizens Registration Office somehow about where they are... which might not even be possible if there is no address (think of living in a camper)!
So being a minimalist is the one thing, but being able to move is a whole other story, save moving ones things around.
Being able to just move away
Being able to just hit the road and drive to another country never has been so easy in Europe. The Schengen-Abkommen made it possible for millions of Europeans to just sit in their car and drive to their neighbor country for vacation, all without actually having to go through a tedious process at the border! Crossing the border in Europe is the same as crossing from your kitchen to your living-room! Accepting a job in another country is easy in Europe (AFAIK, IANAL). One just has to accept an offer, get a flat nearby (or not, if its a remote position) and that's basically it.
Or is it? What about insurance? Will my German insurance pay if I fall down the stairs in my Paris apartment? Will my doctor in Vienna be payed by my insurance if I have to visit them? Who pays if I hit a car with my bicycle in Madrid? What if my flat in Bergen burns down, does my german insurance cover that? Probably not!
I don't know the answers to any of these questions, and although they are hypothetical, they bug me whenever I think about (digital) nomadism.
But the general idea is amazing to me. Having the option to move to Norway for a summer, to southern Spain for a winter, just because you want to is really an awesome idea and I hope I can pursue that idea at some point, maybe with a camper or maybe even without one.