MY AMAZON PRIME LIFE

In my Amazon Prime life I wore pants.

In my Amazon Prime life I had two different shades of make-up foundation.

In my Amazon Prime life I ordered my burgers without pickles, and usually got them that way.

In my Amazon Prime life I hosted a weekly viewing party of The Bachelor.

In my Amazon Prime life I had 63 pairs of shoes.

Today I am six months into my year long trip around the world with Remote Year working as a digital nomad for NetSuite / Oracle. I write this poolside in Costa Rica from my 15thcountry so far this year.

I often catch myself referring to my “old life” in conversations with friends, the life I left in Boston when I sold everything and packed a bag, the life I nostalgically call my “Amazon Prime Life.” By my Amazon Prime life I mean that I was living a version of the American Dream. The version where you have the rent-controlled apartment downtown, and the job where you get to travel to NYC once a month and SF once a year while your stock options vest, and weekly girls night where you drink wine and gossip about your Tinder dates, and anything you could ever want any time of day during any weather can be delivered to your door.

These are some of my reflections since beginning a different version of the American Dream, the version where you work remotely from a new, exotic location every few weeks to prove the 9-5 cubicle rat race doesn’t have to be your reality.

In my Amazon Prime life I wore pants.

I have learned that 99% of my meetings can be held remotely. I focus more on the content of my presentation and making sure I have a quiet place to take a call, and less on what I wear to the meeting.

In my Amazon Prime life I had two different shades of make-up foundation.

In my old life in Boston I only saw the sun a few months out of the year. For much of the year I’d get to work before the sun came up and leave for home after it had already set. This resulted in my skin actually changing a few shades in my make-up every 6 months. Now if I wear make-up at all, it’s always the same shade because I spend almost all day every day outside and take a quick break to see the sunset daily.

In my Amazon Prime life I ordered my burgers without pickles and usually got them that way.

It amazes me how specific you can be when you order food in the US and usually get it that way. I don’t even know how to say “pickles” in the dozen or more languages I have encountered this year. Now I just hope my meat is close to the animal species I intended to order. I’ve learned to find the fun in the surprises when you get ice cream in your iced coffee or a mojito at 9AM on a Tuesday when you thought you ordered an iced tea.

In my Amazon Prime life I hosted a weekly viewing party of The Bachelor.

I love television. Like many Americans, my evenings were spent with a couple hours of TV to relax before bed, and of course to catchup on reality TV gossip to discuss at the water cooler. I don’t have a water cooler anymore and I also don’t have access to American television programming. But more importantly I find that I don’t have much time for it either. My evenings now are spent crashing an Italian Wedding, or attending a Brazilian Dance class, or signing up for Czech Speed Dating, or accidentally ordering a couples Thai massage with a friend, or joining a Serbian parade, or coming in 4th to last place at a Portuguese trivia night.

In my Amazon Prime life I had 63 pairs of shoes.

It’s amazing to learn how little you actually need. I only have 3 pairs of shoes now and everything I own fits carry-on only on a plane. In my old life I could imagine anything in the world I wanted and have it delivered to my door in a matter of hours- custom hardware pulls for a vintage dresser I was restoring, a soup ladle that looks like the loch ness monster when emerged in a pot, a pizza with onion rings as the topping (all things I actually ordered in my old life.)

Some days I dearly miss my Amazon Prime Life and how easy it all seemed to be. I have nights when I dream about Kraft macaroni and cheese or JIF peanut butter. I have days where I have to remind myself that I have two bachelors degrees as I struggle to unlock my door with a foreign key and then consider sleeping outside after taking a break to cry. Despite all the challenges, the rewards are clear. One day when I return to my Amazon Prime Life I’ll appreciate it so much more, and until then I’m collecting stories for my memoir and enjoying life as a digital nomad!

Originally published by Sococo

Kelli Lampkin

Kelli Lampkin is a writer, traveler, comedienne, and entrepreneur.

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