Enchanting Prague, Czech Republic 2015
When I first left The United States in search of a more location independent lifestyle, I cried for over 24 hours and I literally could not take a phone call for about 48 hours because I had lost my voice. It was the hardest decision of my life, but I knew that I could not continue as I was. I strongly believe that change happens when the thought of staying the same feels more threatening than uncertainty. I found myself leaving behind everything that I knew and everyone I had known for complete oblivion. I had seen travel bloggers with their perfect outfits and seemingly sitcom worthy romantic relationships, but that was not my story. I was not about to travel the world with the love of my life or with unlimited funds. On the contrary, I needed to work and travel simultaneously. I arrived in Prague, a crazy beautiful city, but I was scared and doubting my decisions. I was on the other side of the world without a friend or a language I could decipher. However, that would quickly change when I walked The Charles Bridge for the first time. I finally realized that I was starting an adventure.
It sounds ungrateful to say anything negative about my life. After all, I live two blocks from the Caribbean, my rent is one/sixth of what I used to pay in the USA, and my lifestyle is full of freedom. However, I like to give an honest opinion of what it feels like to live a nomadic life. It is not always endless drinks at the beach or romantic sunsets. There is a lot more to this story. I gave up things for experiences. Gone are the days of extensive wardrobes when all I wear are the same five outfits. Simplicity and minimalism took over my previous life of material belongings that didn't add anything to my life except bills and clutter. The physical baggage was easier to unload than the emotional one. Years of emotional clutter and heartbreak had done its damage and I needed to break free. From the outside looking in, it might have looked like I was running away. On the contrary, I was facing my demons straight on without the usual distractions. I was about to give myself the greatest gift beyond world travel or exotic foods and destinations. I was giving myself the gift of meeting myself without the labels the world had imposed on me from the moment I was born and any other I had collected along the way.
The nomadic blues hit all of us in one way or another. We are surrounded by beauty no matter where we go, but we are also surrounded by emotions that surface when we least expect it. Perhaps we see a couple holding hands along the Seine in Paris. Other times we may notice the new bride getting her professional pics taken along the banks of Venice. All of these triggers remind us that we are somehow alone in this great big beautiful world. The nomadic blues surfaces when our old belief systems meet the new one's that we have not yet defined for ourselves. We are told that by a certain age, we should be married, have a mortgage that has locked us in for 30 years, and kids that we are working hard for. What happens to your mind when you do not have any of those things? That part of you that comes from that predictable world is now face to face with this new world we have created for ourselves and we are being judged. The irony is that it does not matter who is judging us from the outside when in reality we are in a battle between our older selves and our present selves and we are not quite sure what our future selves will look like. It sounds exhausting doesn't it?
How do I get over it sort of speak? I fully acknowledge my feelings and I do not follow this dogma of thinking that all is well with me all of the time. I do not think that is possible with anyone nomadic or not. I have my moments where I cry myself to sleep. I have my moments where I turn off the phone and do not wish to hear from anyone because I am focused on my writing and my work. The job itself requires isolation and concentration, but it is this same solitude that creates a plethora of other emotions. I am in a constant state of letting go and creating anew. It does not end anywhere and there is not some point in the future that I will no longer feel this way. It is all a part of the journey.
I have also come to realize that we ALL feel this way at one point or another. You do not have to be a nomad to feel lonely, have feelings of isolation, or feel sad at times when there is so much to be grateful for. You can be married with the house and the kids and still feel all of these transient emotions. I remind myself that while my surroundings are different, that my internal life will always follow me no matter where I go. The best way to beat these nomadic blues is to remind myself that I have a wonderful life free from a lot of the previous walls that I used to live in. I have the privilege of getting up in the morning in my pajamas and being able to work from anywhere there is an internet connection. I have the blessing of being able to meet people from all over the world and being able to share memorable times with them. I almost feel like I should not have a right to say anything negative about my life because I have created this. I made this happen. It isn't always picture perfect, but it is my life and we all have the ability to make the changes within ourselves to create a reality that works for us. Flying to a cenote like Tarzan in the middle of the jungle? Yes, please. It sure beats my previous Sundays working for the very "things" I never had time to truly enjoy.