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Midway through last January, I decided to undertake a creative project: shooting one second of video every day for the entire year. I thought the resulting six-minute video would be a valuable memento of my first full calendar year as a digital nomad.

I used the app 1 Second Everyday (as recommended by fellow digital nomads Neil and Maria), and I set my iPhone to use the Live Photos feature, so any photo I snapped could be adapted to video. Without fail, I found something to document each day — sometimes even shooting two one-second clips (or one two-second clip) a day.

Finally, on January 1st, 2021, I compiled the results of my yearlong effort.

Living each day with the pressure of finding or doing something interesting became tiring, and I committed to making this video a one-off that I wouldn’t repeat in 2021.

Then I watched the above video, and it changed the past year’s entire tenor. Even though the video ends by acknowledging what a shitshow 2020 was, you wouldn’t infer that from any of the preceding clips. While this compilation may be filtered to show mostly the highlights of the year, those are the moments I want to remember. I don’t want to carry the heartache, uncertainty, and stress of 2020. I do want to keep the connections, the discoveries, and the happy accidents.

While there’s something to be said for keeping those memories in our hearts, this video record brings to mind small moments I might otherwise forget. These one-second moments also serve as touchstones to recall entire days of experiences. A single trail at the Grand Canyon won’t replace the feeling of pushing myself farther than I’d ever gone before, any more than a shared laugh with a friend is a substitute for decades of friendship.

I always knew I was in for another year of nomading; now I’m in for another 365 seconds of it, too.

Ken Gagne

Digital nomad, Apple II geek, vegetarian, teacher, cyclist, feminist, Automattician.

9 Replies to “One second of every day in 2020”

  1. Hooray!! So glad you enjoyed it much more after watching it! We share your sentiment exactly: you get reminded of so many moments that you will otherwise forget.

    1. Thanks, Robert! The Apple II is a computer made from 1977 to 1993. I’ve participated in or helped manage a weekly blog, monthly podcast, quarterly magazine, and annual conference about the Apple II.

      These connections have introduced me to many friends around the world whom I’ve been able to visit during my nomadic travels. 😄

      1. Ah! I had an Apple IIe. I fondly remember playing the Olympic games on it. I also remember using it some in high school in about 1996 for some database work for my German teacher. Thanks for explaining the reference. Maybe in 2021 I will get to shout “Apple two”! with you – are you going to repeat the project, or move on to something else?

        1. That’s awesome! I’m glad you have fond memories of the Apple II. 😀

          I’ve already started my 2021 video! No plans for international travel during a pandemic, though…

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Ken's Itinerary

Crescent City, CA

Jan 2, 2021 - Jan 29, 2021

Groveland, CA

Jan 30, 2021 - Feb 6, 2021

Alameda, CA

Feb 7, 2021 - Mar 12, 2021