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.