Nomad/Traveller; the one glamorized word which gives people the imagination (thanks to social media) that we float around, frolicking carefree on sandy beaches. With perfect tans, awesome dress sense and perfect timing. Sunrises are our wake up call and we are always in the most incredible view-point for sunset. Our tents look out to the most beautiful views. Hiking is done in dresses and no one breaks a sweat or is ever stressed. We have perfect skin, don’t gain weight and Fall in love but continue to roam with a constant smile. Answering to no one, the days become nameless and time isn’t a worry. – Oh, how I wish it was like this all the time.
‘You’re living the dream, I wish I could live like you do’, Is the go to words of praise whenever I talk to people back ‘home’.
But the gods honest truth is, I wish I could live like you do. Sometimes.
Travel is more than my dream, it is pretty much my calling. Itchy feet isn’t a saying, it’s definitely built into my DNA. I can’t stay anywhere for a prolonged period of time without beginning to feel the pull of somewhere else. It’s an impossible pull, one which will start faintly showing the smallest sparks before it catches. It may catch onto a fixation of a specific place, or just the dying need and urge to leave.
Signs of the impossible pull are what all wanderers will recognise:
- The appearance of being uninterested/not present but really there is a plan/battle happening inside my head. – the battle of staying where I am vs leaving to whatever is calling me.
- Skyscanner is constantly open on my laptop with the ‘everywhere’ and ‘one-way’ option selected.
- Looking at GoogleMaps and planning insane journeys. Putting together all means of itineraries before becoming full fixated on the one captivating idea. Nothing excites me more than sitting down and planning it.
- It’s all I can talk about – I’m sorry – but it’s always changing, there is never a fixed plan. – and I’m sure, my friends just want me to stop talking about it and make up my F*cking mind.
It’s both exhausting and exhilarating.
Don’t get me wrong, I undoubtedly, unquestionably love travel and my life as – what people are starting to describe me as – a wandering nomad. But sometimes I yearn for a place to call ‘home’.
I have found little pieces of ‘home’ in unfamiliar places all over the world. Leaving little pieces of my heart there to prove it. I know I would be welcomed back with open arms but equally it was never enough to make me stay.
If you want to trade you can have my backpack, and I’ll have your keys. But just for today.
I yearn for a place I can go back to, dump my stuff, flop on the bed and smell the familiar smell of home (you know what this means). To wake up and not have the desire to leave. To feel comfortable and enjoy where I am knowing that this is where I’ll be for – at least a long period of time to know what’s around the corner – a long time.
As much as you think my life is the dream, sometimes I think you’re the one holding the Golden Ticket.
Sometimes I crave your career, stability and credit card balance.
I am independent, I’ve had to be for so long – not just in the travelling sense – and I’m (finally) at a place where I can say I enjoy my own company. This doesn’t mean I don’t miss you all. The endless stream of ‘temporary friends’ is exhausting. The same conversations, ice breakers and travel chat is becoming dull but what’s worse are the Goodbyes.
‘Why do you still get sad at goodbyes, surely this is normal for you’. Would you ever get used to saying goodbye to people who meant a lot to you?
I’ve met incredible people and bonded with them as though I had known them for years after just a couple of days. So some goodbyes are hard because, realistically, I will probably never see this person again. For me, it’s a little heart bruising each time. Which makes reintroducing yourself to the possibility of more incredible temporary friends even harder because of the Goodbye.
Sometimes you just need one person who you can say ‘catch you later’ than give the awkward, i’m-never-going-to-see-you-again Goodbye Hug.
Some days I want to be able to answer the question of where I will be in 5 years time. – I’m pretty sure a few job interviews have been sabotaged because my honest answer of ‘I don’t know, I don’t really have a plan’ doesn’t cut it. – I want to be chasing a passion, making some money, getting myself out of debt and having a place to call home.
But most days I wake up, not even thinking about what’s happening tomorrow. Most days I’m thankful that I have the freedom to lift up everything I own (literally) and move to (pretty much) wherever I want and live this way for a while. That I have absolutely no ties to where I am. I’m travelling Solo and have no compromises to make and no responsibilities to leave behind.
I can chase my ever-changing dreams as much or as little as I like.
But some days I will wake up, maybe one day I will really, truly wake up and say; I don’t want to be a traveller anymore.
When these days happen, please don’t think of me as ‘spoilt’ or ‘unappreciative’. Just imagine me saying those words from your shoes, craving a life which may be one in which I will never lead.