After six years of travelling the world, I’m dropping anchor for a while.
After six years of living out of a suitcase, and constantly searching for a Wi-Fi signal, I’m done.
After six years of being jobless and homeless, I’m turning my life 180˚. I bought a home, and I’m starting a business.
I can’t wait to wake up in a bed only I have slept in, drink coffee out of my cup that only my lips have touched, read the paper in my language, not worry about where to find a Wi-Fi signal, eat breakfast when I damn well please, not search the room to make sure I’m leaving anything behind, make friends I’ll see again, and surround myself with my touchstones.
When I read articles about how to live the nomad life, I get angry because they are selling a dream, it’s not a reality. They are confusing living a vacation lifestyle with the truth of disconnecting. They assume so damn much and that’s because dreamers, not doers, write most of those articles praising the detachment lifestyle.
So, without further ado, here’s the actuality of the nomad lifestyle from a certified doer:
➤ Prepare to miss your people. A lot. Skype, text, FB doesn’t cure it.
➤ Prepare to miss holidays, funerals, and weddings.
➤ Prepare for people to detach from you, without your permission.
➤ Prepare for a lot of loneliness, which is different than being alone.
➤ Prepare to never feel grounded.
➤ Prepare to appreciate you can never return home again. You WILL change and nothing will ever be the same.
Prepare to be frustrated on a regular basis.
➤ Prepare to drop your English language skills to a Grade 9 level; the level most people with English as a second language speak.
➤ Prepare to understand that no one wants to hear about your travels (other than surface information you can fit in two sentences), no one wants to see your photos, no one wants to hear how you have grown, and mostly, they aren’t interested in how you’ve changed.
➤ Prepare to return to being out of step with people back home. The local news stories, the new TV show, current movies, food and clothing trends, and so on. Your worldview doesn’t fit in your hometown.
➤ Prepare to miss having a schedule.
➤ Prepare for other people not to know what a Coach purse is and the value of said Coach purse. For all they knew, it was a $9.99 special from Walmart, but they don’t know what a Walmart is, either. Ditto when you return home.
Prepare to miss things you thought you would never miss.
★ Prepare to miss going on a vacation. I haven’t been on a proper vacation in five years. Yes, I’ve travelled, but travelling is different than a vacation. A beach vacation or a cruise where you have no cares in the world, save for your drink running empty. The next time I pack a suitcase, it will be to go on a vacation.
When I sold everything, except for the precious items stored in a sea can, I thought I was free. My life was going to be wonderful, fluttering around the world with two suitcases and a dog. Well, truth be told, we are never free; our passports, our travel visas, our money can, and will, still hold you hostage.
You still have to pay to sleep somewhere, to eat something, to move. Free is not free. You still have to wash dishes, they just aren’t yours. You still have to fill the car up; it’s just not yours. You still have to vacuum and do laundry. You still have to pay for mobile phone service; it’s just a different number now.
I’ve seen so much, learned so much, had so many amazing experiences. Guess what? No one cares.
None of these experiences matter if you have no one to share life with; and not just anyone, your person. It’s a thin line between freedom and loneliness.
Which brings me to the real reason I’m dropping anchor. It’s time to find someone who cares, moreover, wants to experience all the beauty of the world with me.
It’s time to stand still long enough so my person can find me.
I miss so many things; from my stable life and from my travelling life – but none as much as sharing a life with a partner.
➤➤➤ I have stopped running away and have started running towards. And it feels good.