2013 was the year I made freelance writing my full-time job. At first it was scary but once the momentum of traveling, writing, chasing gigs (and payments), deadlines and more travel took over, I was able to ride the wave and actually enjoy it. Sometimes I can’t believe that my work involves things like researching New Zealand birds, packing underwater camera gear or pricing biathlon rifles. But it also involves the frustrations of unresponsive editors and the arcane rules of Quickbooks accounting software.
This was the first year I have achieved any sort of medallion status on an airline, though I’m not sure it’s necessarily something to be proud of. 88,000 miles flown and counting before the end of the year (yes, I’m squeezing in one more trip before the ball drops, though this one is purely for vacation). This was a year of mountains and sharks, of helicopters and caves. I made it into the Southern Hemisphere for the first time, learned how to use an ice axe, jumped in the water with a tiger shark and drove a 500-horsepower Ferrari AND a 17-ton tank. I also learned how precious free weekends at home are, just sitting by the fire or binge-watching an entire season of a British detective series in one go. I also learned how much any travel is better if I can share it with my wife.
When I returned from a trip recently, someone texted me and said, “welcome back to reality” and it occurred to me that it’s actually ALL part of my reality, both the excitement and new experiences and the (sometimes) mundane work of sitting at my desk at home writing about it. A wise boss of mine told me once years ago, “it’s all one life” and I have clung to that belief ever since. If you’re trying to compartmentalize your job from your home from your work from your play, something is wrong. Find something you love to do and there is no separation.