Designing ‘Oyster Wallets in paradise’ while on the road.

I was asked to write a post recently on how I design oyster wallets as I travel around. The company was a cowork space in Fuerteventura where I rented space for a short time. At the same time as working for CarbonCube Design and taking orders for printed oyster card holders I managed to write this to describe some of the things I’d learnt along the way.

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Look around you and you’ll see familiarity, I guess.

I’m going to assume you’re reading this contemplating dipping your toe into the ‘location independent’ life and your surroundings won’t have changed for a while. Familiar people, familiar places, familiar daily routine, familiar,well, everything. That’s not a bad thing, at all, familiarity is what many of us seek. There is comfort in feeling you know people, places, language, customs, idiosyncrasies, but is comfort fulfilling? I’m here to tell you that warm glow you get from familiar surroundings are precisely the things you need to fight against, but with big reward. Let me explain.

As you gaze at a world map and notice the totality of your physical reach to date, you can’t help but yearn to see what a sunrise looks like peering over the horizon if you are at that spot of solid green ‘earth’, or the sunset over the shimmering expanse of that piece of blue sea, but there’s resistance. Resistance of the unknown, the risks, the fear that you’ll ‘fail’ and you’ll have to go home with your tail between your legs, begging for your 9-5 back and being mocked by your peers. But is that resistance enough to dampen your desire for fulfilment or enough to supress that urge to wonder the globe to experience more.

I won’t bore you with stories of what I do, but rest assured I had the city life. I surrounded myself with things as if my life depended on it, saving my money for brief experiences where I’d touch on the lifestyle I secretly and somewhat unconsciously knew I wanted. Like the want-to-be carpenter knowing that masterpiece furniture was well within his/her potential craftsmanship but the path seeming too obscured and fraught with pitfalls. It was a dream, nothing more.

One thing changed (as is always the case) and my life has never and will never be the same again. I let go of my tight grip on the comfort blanket of UK life and let circumstance guide me – I ‘felt’ the flow. As abstract as that sounds it’s pretty simple – accepting a feeling you have for what it is. Giving it the room to breath in your mind, giving it the space to explore the potential itself, free of the constraints you impose on it with rationality and common sense.

When you allow your thoughts and dreams to run free possibilities widen and the constraints of life become unshackled. Like a firefly in a darkened room, suddenly free to illuminate wherever it’s heart takes, is now able to manifest shapes from shadows.  As your mind is free, like the firefly, it opens up new expanses previously dark and inaccessible. As reality is laid bare such visualisation are less daunting, less frightening, more attainable. The darkness makes the unfamiliar off-putting yet when you can ‘see’ past it, it morphs into something of wonder. Realising at that moment that the familiarity you have felt was merely a result of not being open to explore, reduces the associated fear and manifests intrigue. Now abound with clear understanding of what is within your grasp you want it.

If that realisation is enough for you to abandon your life and jump on the next plain to Fuerteventura is up to you, but it’s worth exploring. Allow your mind to wonder, set it free to explore and together contemplate your journey into a new life. As you visualise it more, it will become.

Now, fours years into this life I can reassure you (in a way) that if you do follow this path the drive for familiarity will contort into a pull for new experiences and diversity. Where once you found solace in the sight of your train station name as you pulled in after a day of work, you’ll gain comfort from the sight of a new landscape before you, as you descend to the platform of the next city.

As I move to yet another destination this weekend I am left to contemplate my time in Fuerte and that of my next nomad location. Fuerte, like anywhere, has it’s good points and it’s bad. I’m not here to give you top tips, you’ve got Google, but I can assure you there is something for everyone here. What’s more, if you choose to start your nomad journey here you will be well placed to transition. Fuerte is a home from home and you’ll not feel such a culture shock. A merry melange of Spanish and island life with a touch of touristic charm, you’ll find everything you need and find people to experience the island with too.

As I look to the next place I still get apprehension, of course, but the excitement and pull of that unknown far exceeds. Both these emotions will remain return each time I (we?) resettle and I for one wouldn’t have it any other way.

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That’s my 2 pence worth from my recent time in Feurteventura. If you’d like to see where I was for the summer and where I was doing all the designing of oyster wallets, check out the hub.

I’ll get back to the business of oyster card holders and how we can promote services and products with this amazing product. If you read these stories and feel your company could benefit from using this product to promote you too then please do get in touch.

 

Looking forward to the next time…

 

James