All posts by Paddy Vipond

What nobody ever tells you about being a digital nomad

When I tell people what I am doing currently, and what I have been doing this past half-year or so, I always get the same variation of a response – “You are living your best life”/”Oh my god, I am so jealous”/”I wish I was you.”

What I’m doing, and what I have been doing since August, is working remotely for charities, part-time, whilst hopping around Europe. With a limited wardrobe packed into a 48L Osprey Kestrel rucksack, and comforted by a small financial safety net available to dip into every so often if ever the need arises, I have jumped from city to city across the continent.

These last seven-and-a-half months have seen visits to Bosnia, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, UK, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland, Greece and now Albania. I can see why my life may be appealing to others.

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Reflecting on life, loss, and parenthood

Not long after I celebrated my 18th birthday, my dad died of a heart attack. I have probably mentioned it somewhere on these pages before.

That event was 15 years ago now. I am almost at the point in life whereby I have existed longer without my dad than with him.

My parents were separated at the time it happened and had been for half a dozen years by then, so the loss was softened somewhat by the fact that my dad had only been on the periphery of my life as a teen. At least this is what I have come to think, and what I have come to believe.

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Let’s talk about beauty

Let’s talk about the courageous women in Iran who are standing up for their human rights in the face of horrific repression and persecution. Let’s talk about their bravery, their hope, and their determination. Let’s talk about their shared ecstasy as they laugh, sing, dance and cry tears of joy in the streets.

Let’s talk about the look a couple give one another. The secret, personal, love-filled glance which envelops the other in warmth. The glance that says everything, that reassures, that praises, that admires. A smile with the eyes, and at the same time a laugh, a kiss, a hug.

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A FIFA World Cup Boycott

Having been a rabid football fan for as long as I care to remember, following my infection as a child, the FIFA World Cup has almost always been something to look forward to. The greatest sporting spectacle on Earth.

I remember “staying up late” to see an 18-year-old Michael Owen charge through a helpless Argentine defence, that David Beckham petty kick and resulting red card, and England’s eventual loss on penalties in 1998.

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The Admission

My dad died when he was 50. Apparently, he was the third generation to pass at such a landmark which has prompted my mum to encourage me to see a doctor to see if there is any underlying health condition which are causing us male Viponds to expire so prematurely.

If I am to reach the half century, then my mid-life crisis should have occurred at 25. But instead, it seems to have occurred at 30. Perhaps I am destined for a decade longer on the planet than what I am due.

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