Finding Paradise and Purpose in a Pandemic
Irrelevant /əˈreləvənt/ adjective - Not connected with or relevant to something. Not related to what is being discussed or considered and therefore not important.
Sometimes we might choose a path in life, but more often than not, life chooses a path for us. Living full time on the road, going full nomad has meant giving up connections to people and places, and in turn, quietly, unnoticed, becoming less relevant to them. Of course, the sacrifices promise rewards that fairy-tales are made of, freedom, and finding connections with new people and new places. I don't think we chose to be nomads, to live an alternative lifestyle, we simply drifted into a new day to day routine. Through our first roaming winter, as much as we tried to choose a path, the world continually laid out its own path for us to follow. Steered by weather, blown-out tires, mechanical repairs, or whatever the circumstances were, we seldom found ourselves in control of what we were doing nor where we were going. Whenever we start to think we're at the helm, we're quickly reminded that we're just along for the ride. May as well lean back and enjoy it.
The year began with that fairy-tale nomadic freedom of being unsettled, gliding from one paradise to another Shangri-La. In February 2020, we had returned to the United States after spending a couple of weeks backcountry skiing at home in Canada. Now back in the sun and warmth of the South, we wandered from Las Vegas to Lake Havasu City, Death Valley, and Sedona. By mid-March, we were settling into the magic of Moab, surrounded by familiar faces and familiar places, excited for the adventures the coming weeks would bring. If our lives were akin to leaves being gently carried by currents and eddies in a tranquil stream, the world around us was trying to navigate a tidal wave. Self-contained, off-grid, and isolated in the desert we tried to keep our heads blissfully buried in the Southern Utah sand. Despite closing our eyes, covering our ears, and yelling la-la-la-la-la in an effort to drown out the reality, the COVID-19 global pandemic found us. All good things come to an end. On March 17, 2020, Moab and surrounding counties closed their doors to non-essential visitors. As communities, regions, and nations shuttered to travelers, the last chapter of our nomadic fairy-tale was read, we turn the page in anticipation of more, but the block letters are clear. The End.
Irrelevant; not related to what is being discussed or considered and therefore not important. Travel, adventure... the words synonymous with the life we were living are suddenly taboo, evoking visceral reactions. What we identify with is distasteful and scorned. Romanticizing destinations and experiences have no relevance to a world on lockdown. We are quiet in the knowledge that to many, who we are, what we do, travel, adventure, seems cocky at best, dangerous, offensive, or belligerent, in the face of a pandemic devastating people around the planet.
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