I now see that one decision can change everything. Everything has a consequence. A single word can determine the course of your life. At least it did for me. I didn’t realise it at the time, all I knew is that it felt different. Unfamiliar, yet hopeful, boundless in its possibilities. ‘Yes.’
It was Grind Camp that I said yes to. Nearly two months on, I’m still finding it hard to articulate what this experience was. While labelled a ‘free, co-living experience for remote workers, freelancers and online entrepreneurs’, this lift pitch doesn’t do it justice.
I’m always semi-lost for words when something soulfully impacts me. Maybe part of what made this experience so pivotal was that I came with no expectations.
I think this is the secret ingredient to life. Not in a ‘I don’t care’ kind of way, but by not adding layers of ‘shoulds’, ‘woulds’ and ‘what ifs’ to a situation. This is where a lot of things go wrong in life. You can’t see something for what it is, distracted by how you think it should be.
But, I digress.
If you want to get to know yourself well, live in a house with 20 people. You’ll discover more truths in that short time that you have in years. There’ll be love, disagreements, alliances, politics, fun, and pain. This is natural when there’s a group of people put into one small space.
While we all shared the title of business owner and had similarities (some more than others), we were polarisingly different. And when you’re surrounded by such an eclectic mix of personalities all-day, every day, you become an observer.
Some of us were up at the crack of dawn while others worked late into the night. Many of us liked to go out for lunch, leaving our ‘cave.’ Others were recluses in their rooms for the day. While two people were at the gym, another person was drinking beer.
It was in this contrast that I learned the most valuable lesson. That there’s no right or wrong way to live this life, as a nomad, or any life for that matter. This brings us back to one of the most fundamental things we’re taught as a kid – don’t compare yourself.
When we’re out there in the ‘real world’, it’s easy to think we all should be doing something a certain way or acting another. Grind Camp was a reminder that there are no rules to this or no wrong turns. Each of us followed different paths but somehow, found unification and a common ground. Watching the variety of schedules, working habits and the daily tasks we all focused on was essential to the growth I experienced.
But when I look back on Grind Camp, I can’t help but smile.
And it’s because of the people I met. Never have I connected so quickly and authentically with a some of the people in that group. Our backgrounds, culture and languages were barriers to connection, proving that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from – it’s that common mindset and appreciation for each other that matters.
We proved that you can, in fact, have it all in life. We’d work in the day, enjoy drinks and parties at night, and planned adventures for the weekend. It was like a modern nomad family.
I vividly remember one night I decided to stay in. The guys were all out at a local surf bar and I felt compelled to please my introvert – bringing my notebook up to the rooftop to journal and process my emotions. I ended up spending three hours discussing my book idea with Payet, another ‘Grinder.’ Five pages of notes and two coffees later, I knew I had found clarity on my theme, detachment as a long-term traveller.
I remember laying in bed for hours that night, unable to sleep because I was so wired and motivated. Moments like that don’t come around often. These organic conversations happened all the time in the house, some more profound than others.
This became Grind Camp for me. Small but purposeful moments of support, challenge and newfound perspectives. Again, I’m still trying to find the right words to explain Grind Camp succinctly. I think I’m still searching but I sure know how I feel. I still find myself going back to moments in my mind, so the lessons don’t stop even after the experience has.
And it’s that inner transition that matters the most.