My good friend Jake put up an interesting post recently about how he’s not having a grand ‘ol time in Paraguay.
In it, he said the following:
“Something I’ve noticed throughout the years.
My mood is generally more negative and my energy levels lower in the fall — when the days start getting shorter and the sun starts going away.
I crave the sun.
It’s the exact reason why I despised Lima, Peru during my first trip to the city, but fell in love with it during my second stay.
I went to Lima in their winter months my first trip. I saw the sun maybe a handful of times during my whole month there.
On the subsequent trip, I went to Lima at the start of summer. The sun was shining day in and day out. Unsurprisingly, I loved the place.”
I mean, I chose Eastern Europe – again, by choice – as my new home when I left America back in 2016. I declined checking out Latin America on any deeper level, and didn’t even make it out to Asia until this year.
The reason I was able to do this was relatively simple:
I lived in the city that has possibly the best weather in the world, San Diego.
It checked every box possible as far as good weather.
Sunny year round. Never humid. Rarely extremely hot. Rarely rained. Daylight savings times weren’t that bad for the winter months. The only knock I’d have is that the water was rarely warm enough to actually surf in. Basically, the point is that I was never going to do a whole lot better than good ‘ol San Deezy.
So that made moving to Europe even easier.
I had no expectations that it would ever be anywhere close to as good as it got in San Diego.
And really, I’d rather have winters here in Ukraine than I would say, suffer through Chicago’s latest winter.
The point I’m trying to make is this:
Not many places in the world have good weather year-round.
I would also be lying if I said my first Eastern European winter wasn’t a bit tough, and even the second and third ones haven’t been a walk in the park. Yes, it’s cold, grey, and a little bit lonely. People aren’t as happy. But you know what else?
It Makes The Good Times Even Better
I have an actual appreciation for summer weather, outdoor cafes, and of course, long legs and high heels in the summertime.
In California, I didn’t give a damn.
Every day was the summer.
In fact, I probably would say I disliked the actual summer months because it brought hordes of tourists to the Southern California region.
It’s hard to appreciate 75 degree days when you have that for 330+ days a year…
Now though, these days are something to be cherished. They feature long walks in the park in Ukraine, or hours sitting at a cafe just soaking in the sun and enjoying the precious time we have on this earth. Not to get all cheesy on you, but it’s like the universe balancing itself out for the harsh winters.
The Sun-Chasing Digital Nomad
I’ve talked about it before…
Digital nomadism is a dangerous trap to get into.
Moving month to month from country to country, never putting down any real roots is not the way that most humans are built to live. Yes, there are the occasional people who can play the field forever and never have a real home, to boot. But those people are not typical.
Also from Jake’s post:
“It’s 5:19 pm currently here in Asuncion, Paraguay.
The sun set nearly 30 minutes ago.
It’s pitch black, dark as night, as I write this blog post.
That’s an early sunset no matter how you slice it. An early sunset that’s been screwing with my circadian rhythm and messing up my sleep quality.
But the early sunsets aren’t even the worst part about it.
The dreary, rainy days are even worse.”
I mean, a 4:50pm sunset would be a blessing in Eastern Europe (we routinely have them at 3:30 in the worst times of the year).
Nothing against Jake, of course, he knows I love him.
At the same time, this dangerous attitude, this inability to adapt to something like this, is a long-term path to hardship. Assuming you ever want to put down roots somewhere, if perfect weather all the time is of the utmost importance, your options are going to be very limited. Rather than basing a decision like that off of the things that can get you through the rough times, like good friends, good culture, and good food…you end up in an endless path of chasing the sun around the globe.
You see this on other levels too, with many a digital nomad…
Always moving to avoid the visa problems. Or, for the mere pleasure of conquering a new country.
But that is a temporary dopamine hits.
By all means…
Chase the sun. Move around a lot. Explore different cultures and see what makes you click. Just know, that when you reach the end of a road, it’s very likely you are going to have to make sacrifices in one way or another.
And I’m sorry to say – many digital nomad types are woefully unprepared for this.
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