Landscape offers a canvas for the imagination. For professional nomads, it’s not a thing to tame or conquer but something with which we connect and develop a relationship. Artificial environments don’t cut it. We seek an authentic, full-sensory experience that envelopes us in the moment within our environment. Our landscape is our playground. We learn how to fit into the environment and as our minds and bodies mature we keep the childhood wonderment but up the ante, push the limits, and redefine what we are capable of. The land becomes a part of us and we’re a part of it, for we’ve learned it is not harsh, but hospitable. We blend with the landscape itself—a purpose that fulfills us, mind, body, and soul.
In this moment, the laws of nature are all that matter. We tune into our environment; the sailor senses the nuances of the wind, the winter backcountry enthusiast deciphers the composition of the snowpack, and the fisherman learns the ecosystem of their local fishery. The more we learn about an environment, the more the landscape gives back and enhances the experience. Through this we develop a quiver of tools that extend to other life experiences. Our playground becomes a source of strength for life’s curveballs—countless metaphors for perseverance and a refuge for healing. Time in our playground fortifies the soul.
We asked you to “Show Us Your Playground!” and you responded with oceans, mountains, rivers, lakes, and skate parks. Thank you! Because of you, this collage represents six countries, ten states, and one U.S. territory. It’s tied together by contributions from four Professional Nomads previously featured on this site, as well as one to-be-featured ProNo, Mike Boyce (see the sailing in Greenland photo). Many of us have built a community around our playground, but something greater continues to draw us in. The landscape gives us a sense of belonging while empowering and humbling us simultaneously. Focused completely in the moment, what happens next depends solely on us. Here, we connect to something bigger than ourselves, amidst a raw canvas that beckons the imagination.
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Stay tuned to Adventures in Aperture! Next week we’ll reveal details for the next open call for submissions. We want to hear from you!