Pin It
Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Articles, Countries, Inspirational | 69 comments

This is the reason why I can’t be a nomadic girl forever

This is the reason why I can’t be a nomadic girl forever

Forever travel: this are the tales of a nomadic girl.

Walking through life, I see myself juggling between the love and passion for the open road and the craving for deep human connections.

It’s been over 16 years that I left home and haven’t really settle nowhere. I have to admit: I might not be able to live like a nomad forever.

My promiscuous commitment to the open road and to find fulfilling human connections has been a languishing bi-polar search for something that just can’t fit together: the urgency to go and the craving to stay. I see both forces fighting on a fiery iron fist battle to see which one wins, which one loses.

Yes, the open road has brought me so much. I can basically say I owe everything I am to my lifestyle and I love traveling more than life. Unlike many people, I love being a solo traveler. Actually, I’ve been basically a solo traveler since 1998, because I could never find a buddy to share my adventures with. And I’m too stubborn to sit around at home waiting for the perfect match to fall from the sky. If I need to go, I just go.


Forever travel: tales of a female nomad

Southern Portugal 2014


I haven’t been through many lonely days during my constant wanders. I find friendships easier to bloom and grow with other travelers than at home, where most people live a zombie like life, in constant stress between work, mortgages, daily little problems, traffic… where their availability seem to be so limited.

When I travel, I can see the sense of life in its full glory. I see beauty and perfection that leaves me breathless. And I see misery, poverty and struggles that make me feel grateful for my extremely privileged life. For all the sacrifices my parents went through to give me an education, a safe home. When I travel, I contrast my life with other people’s lives, forcing me to be humble down, live simply and with a smile.

The huge concrete jungles of the world, tempt me into a never ending days and nights of exciting sin, of over stimulation. Lights and colors that awaken and tease all my five senses, flashy encounters with strangers that deviate me from quietness and invite me into many sleepless nights of fun and excitement. I love to get lost in the cities of that never sleep, explore their history and soak all their culture.


Forever travel: tales of a female nomad

Bucharest – Romania 2015


… whereas mother nature always seem to embrace me with both arms on my quiet destinations, soothing any residue of tiredness. She’s sweet and treats me well, whether at a tropical beach in the Andaman Islands, a mud hostel in southern Thailand or a rural road trip through Portugal.

Nature calms me with its soft music of singing critters, making me forget of all the evils of this world. The sound of the waves of a tropical beach, lead me into sweet dreams and quiet meditations. A reflection for how lucky I am to be able to experience so much beauty. How lucky I am to understand the meaning of life, the laws of the Universe, the magnificence of simplicity when i’m on the road.


Forever travel: tales of a female nomad


Traveling taught me about the impermanence of life. The need to grasp and enjoy every little second. That every day can be different and should be lived with gratitude. It also told me patience, when riding a dirty smelly train in India for 17 hours for example. It taught to watch over my back when I was sexually harassed in Malaysia. It taught me to be more flexible and more realistic with life.

All in all, traveling taught me that life, is a journey worth living and cherished with all its ups and downs. It’s a ride that will not last forever, that should be enjoyed to the fullest right now.


Forever travel: tales of a female nomad


Although my wanderlust and adventures on the road have helped me putting my life into perspective, they don’t seem to fill up the void of my most precious need: true, long lasting solid friendships.

When you live a nomadic lifestyle, moving here and there, people will enter and exit your life faster than a monsoon rain. People will simply vanish, to become another facebook friend or another skype chatting buddy. Human relations turn into a never ending series of one night stands, and I find myself always searching for the right ones to stay, but knowing they’ll all leave at the end.


Forever travel: tales of a female nomad

Pai, 2013


And although I crave for a nest, for a place to settle between my forever travels, I have never found it. I have never found the place I could call home, the people I could call family and a situation I could find truly fulfilling,

Am I an addicted to the never ending beauty and poetry that only traveling allows? Can I ever fit into mainstream society living an ordinary life after 16 years of pure freedom? Am I prepared to settle here, knowing I might be missing something incredible out there?

Why is it that I find myself as if walking in two worlds simultaneously? The one I choose to and the one I wish I had?


Forever travel: tales of a female nomad


But I’m getting tired. I’m tired of not having a hug when I need a friend the most, because all my friends are scattered around the world. I’m scared of being in real urgent need and having no one around, like last month when I had a bicycle accident, couldn’t walk for 2 days and had no one to take me to the hospital.

I’m tired of feeling completely alienated every time I return to my home country and see I don’t know basically anyone anymore and the ones I know are too busy with their own lives.


Forever travel: tales of a female nomad

Couchsurfing friends – southern Portugal 2013


I’m starting to get tired of seeing people getting married, have children and forming families while that feels like such a intangible thing for me, specially now, that I’m trying to mend my broken heart of the most stable and solid connection I ever had with a human being.

Yet once more, I’m off…. I’m off to Asia in 4 days with no fix plans, no maps, no pre-conceived ideas, no return ticket. I’m excited to go back to where I feel most alive! Out there in the world. I feel trapped into this masochistic love of dualities, that gives me so much, but leaves me feeling empty and alone in the middle of the night.


I love traveling, I will always travel, but I don’t know if I can do it forever.

The forever travel tale has always two sides of a coin…. what are your thoughts and feelings?


  1. Thank you for thoose clear words describing the situation that I was not able to describe. I really share your feelings! Wish you good paths and tell me if you find out how to deal with it 😉

    • Nice to know my feelings and words resonate with yours. It’s not easy for me to find other travelers who passed the first years of honeymoon, when traveling is all about fun and excitement.

  2. hi, just red your article (good writing skills btw).
    i feel touched by your openness of heart and spirit.
    to give you sole context, i travelled a bit, by far not as much as i wanted :)

    i just want to share with you, that nothing in life is perfect. some things are achieved, and new horizons will await. new challenges but also new mental boundaries.
    what works for me, is helping the world around me. giving, in every layer of society. life gives you so much in return in giving it all a purpose. or to find your personal why: why you do the things you do them.

    good luck!

    • Very true Edd and thank you so much for your words! Nothing is perfect and there will always be good and less good things out of everything and every path we choose to take. That’s the duality of life, I guess. I’m now searching for my balance. I’m sure I’ll find it :)

  3. i trawel 2 years now and have similar problem with finding home or place to setil down,i dont want,want to go and go,but i know i lose something in my heart …………

    • We always lose something when we have to take a decision. It feels like we’re taking one path and letting go of all the possibilities the other path offers.

      • Very true!!! We always lose something while we go for the other .. In the end life is always a mystery as we never know the path which we take leads to … Just enjoy the life as if it is the last day … until our body is tired and needs some rest .. I have not travelled much .. but would like to do .. been to Europe for couple of months and I enjoyed every bit of it

        • We can’t have 2 things all at once. But we can try to get as close as possible to having them. Yes, Europe is a lot of fun, you cross a border and there you go…. a totally different culture!

  4. What a heartfelt post, Yara. So moving! I am so sorry you’re feeling this way. I changed countries only once and already felt the mix of excitement of a new place/culture/friends and the loneliness for not being part of my friends life anymore.
    But I do believe that cycles exist and most of them find their closure, their peace in being what they are. Maybe you will find a place to settle, maybe someone will join you in the nomadic journey… I know it is very easy to say it when we are in the eye of the storm, but maybe trust that the Universe will do its magic. She’s been doing for 16 years in your case… <3

    • Paulinha :) Yes, sometimes on the pursue for excitement and happiness we leave behind, or forget that conciliating 2 contradictory worlds is basically impossible. I think I know what I need and I will start exploring that path when I return from Asia.

  5. Hello Yara. Travelling is not limited to moving about on this planet’s surface. One can travel inwardly, one can travel their community’s development, one can travel artistic expressions and, just basically travel outside one’s comfort zone, yet remain within the boundaries of one’s courage at any given time to not stumble. It is a joy for consciousness to reach and embrace ever beyond.

    From reading your article, I sense your need for community is not being met. To not break your travelling momentum, I suggest using your very special set of travelling skills to visit places where you may experience what you seek from many different cultural perspectives. Then later on, when you feel comfortable, you may gradually settle down as the effects of ageing will most likely ask for it.

    There are places known as intentional communities, eco-villages and transition towns where you may find what you are looking for, and there are some in Asia.

    Even if you eventually “settle down”, do what you can to remain in places where travellers may come to you, as I once heard from a WWOOF host (Because There Are Goats documentary).

    It is a delicate act to remain on the chaordic path, where order and chaos intersect. If you travel, go to where you may find community. If you develop community, bring travel to you.

    God speed, fellow traveller :).

    • I LOVE that you wrote this :) I do miss a sense of community and stability and I don’t think I’ll be finding it in mainstream world.

      I have lived at an intentional community called “twin Oaks” in Virginia. A magic place where I met amazing people. I miss that sense of community an belonging. I will definitely look more in depth into communities and eco-villages around. I miss that intense bond between people. It’s funny how this is constantly popping up in my way lately. :) Thank you!

      • You are very welcome, Yara :). I’ve heard of Twin Oaks before.

        If you are interested in understanding the issues of growing intentional communities and eco-villages, I highly recommend the book Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities. .

        If it is the first time you are reading about Transition Towns (a different focus), the In Transition 2.0 documentary can introduce you to it.

        I’m currently a stay at home dad focused on the initial stages of forming an intentional community. If you ever need help scouring for specific information on these topics while on the go, just let me know by e-mail or Facebook. Take care and enjoy the journey of life.

          • Não, sou português ;-). Moro 20 km a Sul de Lisboa.

          • Eu estou em Almada. Sou alfacinha :)

          • Hehe, o mundo é mesmo pequeno. Também sou alfacinha a morar em Pinhal dos Frades (Seixal). Posso-te arranjar contactos de malta e projectos cá em Portugal. Se quiseres, aqui já tens muito por onde começar: .

          • Olha só, somos vizinhos! Eu estou em Vale de Milhaços, que pertence ao Seixal :) Brigado por todas as dicas, vou ler todos os websites que me mandaste com muita atençao. Há muito tempo que andava a meditar em procurar uma eco-vila ou comunidade. Nao sei se sentes o mesmo que eu ou nao, mas Portugal, para mim é dos lugares mais solitários do mundo. ´impossivel fazer amizades, porque as pessoas fecham-se no seu mundinho.

          • Acerca de Portugal e a sua cultura, posso acrescentar algo. Vivi quatro anos (dos 4 aos 8) em St. Paul, Minnesota, numa comunidade de pós-graduados de todo o mundo com as suas famílias. As residências da Universidade de Minnesota. Isso moldou muito a minha infância. Desde que voltei para cá, que só estava a pensar em me pisgar daqui. Lá havia mais inovação, mais espírito de comunidade, aparentemente mais vida. Mas por alguma razão, possivelmente mais pela minha relação de 17 anos com a minha esposa, fui ficando.

            Entretanto tenho prestado mais atenção à cultura e vejo um dragão adormecido (essa conversa dá pano para mangas). Sim, sei o que referes por cada pessoa criar o seu mundozinho e viver nele, eu também já o fiz. Houve um período “negro” de resignação em que me deixei ficar. Felizmente, por a minha filha mais velha ter nascido e estarmos a assistir a várias crises mundiais, me fez começar a questionar profundamente, procurando soluções para poder contribuir para um futuro mais risonho e resiliente.

            Existem já muitas pessoas em Portugal despertas e envolvidas seriamente na vida a estabelecer relações profundas com outros seres humanos e com o que lhes rodeia. É só uma questão de ires aos sítios certos. Entretanto, boa viagem pela Ásia, diverte-te e restabelece-te :-).

    • “If you travel, go to where you may find community. If you develop community, bring travel to you.”
      Very wise advice Pedro, given Yara’s yearning for two sides of her life to become one.

      I think your concerns, Yara, are valid and it’s nice to see it spoken about so openly and honestly. I’m sure you will settle down somewhere when the time is right for you, and with your extensive travels will likely have opportunities to do so almost anywhere in the world.

      We met some wonderful people travelling through the Middle East a few years ago, people we continued to run into from Aleppo, Syria all the way down to Luxor, Egypt over the course of five or six weeks. While we don’t talk all that often anymore, a few of us still have a very strong connection, and I know that we could pick up our friendships and carry on at any time.

      Good luck to you as you sort through both Asia and your feelings.

      • Raymond, I haven’t been to the middle east yet, but I’d love to! I also keep most of the friendships with the people I meet on the road. Amazingly, even the ones who cross my life for a short period of time, but caused a huge impact. On my way to Asia, I arranged things in a way, That i have so many layovers to get there, i’ll be meeting with friends I met during my travels and that are scattered around the world. It will be a reunion along the way and I’m more excited to meet all these people, than to visit the new destinations, to be honest, lol

        Pedro just dropped a bomb on my lap. I had been thinking seriously of returning to a community, since mainstream world doesn’t really provide many deep connections between people and I know, I will have the best of both worlds there. I’ve lived in a community before and had the time of my life.

  6. Hola Yara,

    I’m silently following you and your adventures on the blog and facebook for some time now and always love your honest and open approach to write about your adventure, thoughts and feelings. And once again I can find some of my thoughts in your words. I am travelling for 10 years now but more like: 2 years working here – travelling – 2 years working there – travelling – 1 year working there and so on. I’m in my mid 30s now and still on the road but I know that things will change. I’ll get tired at some point but it will come naturally and gentle.
    When I was in my late 20’s early 30’s I wasn’t sure what I will become when getting older – an old freaking wandering hippie or an old 9-5 office bum. And I was a bit scared just by the thought of it so I pushed it away and left it for later.
    But fortunately and for some reason I am totally sure it’ll be neither of the two. As the years go by I am trusting more and more in myself and the universe and somehow things do take shape. I developed interests and gained experiences & skills on my various jobs and travels that give me a vague outline of how my life could look like when getting older and there’s so many things and projects I still wanna do in my life that I fear it’ll be too short to fit in everything. But I am also totally sure that I will never give up travelling completely. I.SIMPLY.COULDN’T.
    There is definitely a compromise and yes, you can have the best of both, the sedentary and the vagabond lifestyle.

    I really like what Paula and Pedro wrote. I strongly agree that things come and go in cycles and Pedros suggestion intentional communities are wonderful and a very, very real and great possibility. You don’t have to give up on travel completely when you find a place to live though (actually once you are settled you might get itchy feet again), maybe you will start to just spend the winters or any other time of the year travelling while for the rest of the year you stay in one place to work, breath and live. It is only a matter of finding the place and the things you’d love to do. And be rest assured, you’ll find all of these things once you start looking closer into it and be open about and check out your options and possibilities (as you say once you get back from Asia maybe).
    By what you write it’s clear that you’ve already started going this path and and because of that, things will come your way and fall into place. You know how things work with the law of attraction. It’ll be a great, exciting and new adventure or shall I say chapter? 😉

    But first enjoy Asia! I am sure it’s gonna be amazing!

    Love from Chile

    x Irmela

    • Hola Irmela, que tal? Wow, de Chile! Es uno de los paises que quiero muchisimo visitar en 2016, si estás por ahi el proximo ano (y si yo tengo la posibilidad de ir) nos encontramos, que dices?

      I’m coming to the conclusion that i just need to surrender to what is and trust that the Universe will show the right path, when the time is right. My life just got into this insane crossroads this month, with terrible losses and a huge void for what is the most precious for me; human connections and interactions. Although the road is a very romantic lifestyle, it’s extremely deprived of solid friendships, everything changes, everyone comes and goes at a frenetic rhythm. I’m amazed Pedro suggested me into looking at Eco-villages and communities, because I’ve been seriously thinking about exploring them one more time. I lived at Twin Oaks in the USA for 6 months and it was a life changing experience.

      I think an intentional community can offer me that intense human connection that travel alone and the mainstream world can’t. Actually, im planing on going back and staying for a month at the “clayzy house” a wonderful hippy commune by the beach in Koh Lanta – Thailand. It’s my fav. place in the world. You’d probably like it too. When i return, I’ll start my search for a real community. Ahh, another funny think, Pedro is my neighbor, hahaha

      • Yara, it really is a curious coincidence we are neighbors. I did stop believing in coincidences like this one, though. It is more like providence, on both ends it seems.

        Regarding pushing through on the spiritual path (ending the identity search), if you ever need an experienced living guide and company to visit, Mooji is living in Odemira, Portugal, and is there most of the time.

        In this body, I “got it” when I listened to some of Alan Watt’s recordings back in late April 2013 (the Out of your Mind compendium). I (re)discovered an inner connection to the heart of being, something that couldn’t have ever been removed in the first place. I wasn’t consciously searching for that at the time, it just happened because the time was right. I was also at a crossroads, interestingly enough.

        In Northeast Odemira municipality, besides Mooji, you’ll also find projects like Tamera, Projecto 108 and Aldeia das Amoreiras (Centro de Convergência). The area is a very interesting hotbed of community innovation, which is happening right in our “backyard”.

  7. I seriously feel so touched by this piece of writing, i feel so much identified, and i am sometimes worried that i wont ever change, there is a strong force named desire that pulls my life along…and the desire for excitement, unkown, leads me to never have one solid partner in love. I dont know what is worst though. Thank you for this….and it inspires me to maybe write more as well..

    • Joelle, thank you so much for your message :) When i read other people feel just like me, it feels like a relief. I thought I was the only one having this terrible ambiguous feelings.

      I live a very unconventional life since I was 18, when i left home. I move from place to place, at a slow rhythm, but i always do. my life is so crazy and everything changes so fast all the time, that at least on the love department I’m extremely solid and stable. I had a very strong, monogamous relationship for almost 14 years. He was my home to come to, my pillar :) I don’t usually get too attached to anything, but I am extremely loyal with friendships and I crave for those strong, almost impossible human relationships in a way, very few people can understand. I’m going to meditate on what i want for my life during my time in Asia.

  8. Hola Yara. I am so unbelievably grateful for this post. You know I don’t even believe in coincidences anymore… simply synchronicity. I have been feeling this way ever since we arrived back in the US after almost 15 straight months of international travel. I feel so torn right now for a place to nest and plant my roots but crave the unknown and excitement of exploring foreign lands (even if it is just another state in my home country). I am loving being close to friends and family and realizing how important it is to nurture those relationships. I, too, am witnessing most of my friends either marry, or continue to grow their families… It is hard, as a 32 year old single person (in a committed relationship), to watch it happen while I feel like a bit of an outsider. All the while I want those things sooner than later, too, and am not sure when it will happen. Which then leads me to…. trusting in the process. Every experience and event in our lives leads us to exactly where we need to be. And really, it’s just all about creating balance, isn’t it? I hope you’re healed from your bike accident and take some time in Asia to reflect even more. I’m always here for you to chat with – anytime. :) <3 (anne from the yoga nomads)

    • Thank you for your message Anne :) It must be so much easier to have a travel buddy, specially when that travel buddy is your partner in crime. You are very lucky!

      But yes, I hear you! I’m also on my mid 30’s and see everybody starting their families, marrying, having kids, and I feel like an outsider who didn’t really become part of that process with them. Just as you said, you can find a nest to go back to while you travel for shorter amounts of time on your own country, closer from “home”. And wow, the US have so many amazing and diverse places to visit!

      A warm hug from sunny Portugal <3

  9. Olá Yara, Sou o Carlos, vivo em Sintra, Portugal e tenho este presente possivelmente estranho para ti, e provavelmente o mais libertador que é possível oferecer a alguém… e queria apenas dizer-te que tudo é perfeito na Vida :) tu és perfeita e todas as circunstâncias o são :) boa viagem para ti e aqui deixo um link que podes ver e consultar outros semelhantes do mesmo autor. é encorajador, libertador, é … isso mesmo, simplesmente é … como tu , lindo :)

    • Olá Carlos, Sintra, que lugar mágico! Adoro! Brigada pelo video, adorei. Deu-me muito em que pensar.E sim, tudo é perfeito na vida, tudo acontece por uma razao ao seu devido tempo e cabe-nos a nós estarmos atentos para entender essa mensagem.

  10. Began my journey in ’94, and have since learned that death is the only conclusion to travelling. In the end we will find eternal rest, – I hope. Meanwhile I lay my hat here, leave behind a bit of my heart there and just “keep on moving along with no time plant my feet”. There are many great temporary resting places, a bit of rooting to be found, but at the end of the day, happiness is all about community and other people – enduring friendships, love and whatever else mother earth has to offer. Those things are difficult to find and maintain without stopping for longer spells along the road.

    • Absolutely, happiness is all about community and other people, love and all the other good things of life. That’s my believe too. I don’t even travel to see monuments or museums, but to engage into the beauty of community and meet people I’d never meet back home. In the mean time, I’ll be searching for a base between my travels where I can build a solid sense of belonging.

  11. Sempre acreditei que Portugal não era a minha casa,ainda assim levou 25 anos para que passa-se as portas de embarque no aeroporto da Portela,na Holanda projectei que iria encontrar um lugar magico onde ai sim estaria em casa,onde o meu chacka da raiz se sentiria conectado e com as suas raízes firmes,onde havia liberdade e se podia experimentar de tudo,e assim foi ate que de novo ele se manisfestasse e me trouxesse para Portugal depois de 6 meses.

    Dai em diante muitos outros países visitei e sempre voltei.
    Foi no nepal que houve uma história mas nunca a compreendi em experiencia propia,apenas no intelecto.

    Havia um monge taoista,que sempre que lhe perguntavam onde era a sua casa,ele sempre respondia apontando para a sua barriga,aqui ‘e a minha casa,aqui ‘e onde eu vivo.
    Passados 7 anos e chegando outra vez a Portugal agora o entendo,não importa onde estejas ou com quem,o teu templo sagrado seras sempre tu,ai ‘e a tua casa,e todos os alicerces que a sustentam,compreendo perfeitamente quando falas do vazio de nao ter alguém ao teu lado quando precisas de receber um abraco ou um sorriso,mas ‘e mesmo por essa razão que nos conseguimos abracar e sorrir:).

    Havera o dia em que no físico encontraremos a nossa casa,a nossa alma gêmea que foi forjada da mesma estrela donde viemos,mas não antes de a encontrar-mos dentro de nos.
    Pelo meio do caminho fica sempre o desejo de ter com quem partilhar a vida a tempo inteiro,tanto os bons momentos como os maus,as duvidas de teres tomado a decisão certa ou errada de ficares num sitio pensando que ‘e a tua casa e perdendo o resto das aventuras que o mundo tem para oferecer.mas nada se perde neste lugar magico que ‘e a terra,mas sim tudo se transforma,se o vemos como positivo ou negativo já ‘e escolha nossa.

    Agradeço-te imenso a tua partilha e o facto de me pores a escrever.

    Desejo-te uma meditação bem profunda ate ao core do teu ser aonde possas dissolver a dualidade,e te centrares no que mais amas neste mundo.

    • Leoj que lindo! Brigada pela tua mensagem, foi a primeira coisa que li ao acordar e deu-me imenso que pensar :) Estas em PT?
      Sem duvida que a nossa casa, o nosso tempo está em nós. Enquanto nao estivermos cientes disso, buscaremos sempre por algo fora do nosso ser, o qe é errado. Eu adoro estar sozinha comigo mesma, ou com os os meus caes e noto que esse tempo é muito beneficial para me encontrar como pessoa. Posso ficar 100% sozinha sem falar com ninguem por 30 dias e manter toda a boa disposiçao.

      Como eu dizia ao Pedro, noutro comentario, somos animais sociaveis e tambem necessitamos do outro. Acho que o meu maior problema é mesmo Portugal. Sem duvida um pais cheio de belezas mas de uma solidao e alienaçao impressionante, especialmente na area de Lisboa. As pessoas vivem no seu mundinho, da casa para o trabalho, rodeadas dos seu probleminhas e sem uma cultura de interaçao, que por exemplo é muito tipica dos nossos vizinhos espanhois. Eu estive muitos anos fora de PT e sempre que volto, acabo deprimida por essa razao. As pessoas que conheço, moram pertinho de mim, mas é impossivel arranjarem 30 minutos para nos vermos.

      Poxa, adorei a tua mensagem. A ver se um dia destes nos encontramos para um chazinho e uma boa conversa. Eu adoraria.

      • Foi a primeira vez que respondi a um artigo que li na net,o teu sharing ]e de grande coragem e autenticidade,que não resisti a responder.

        De momento estou por perto de Lisboa,e sim seria agradável continuar a conversa com um belo chá,adiciono/te no face e podemos combinar melhor.

        Desejo/te um bom dia e agradeço/te uma vez mais por tao lindo e rico artigo que nos mostra que afinal andamos muitos no mesmo barco,que a esta altura ja tem de ser }e mais uma Arca de Noe,

        • Eu parto amanha de manha para a Bulgária e depois para a Asia, mas quando voltar, temos que tomar um cházinho :) Fica combinado!

  12. Amazing! I can’t believe I found this page! I’m smiling right now that I’ve finally found others who feel the same as me and Yara you described almost exactly how I feel and have been for a long time! Pedro I am also very interested in what you’ve been advising Yara on.

    • Robyn, I was also amazed so many people responded so well to this article. I’m amazed so many people relate and identify with my struggle. It shows very clearly that some of us are made to live a less conventional life, but always and above all, we’re social beings who need to belong, who need a support system and deep human connections :)

  13. It is hard to find those ever-lasting friendships even in a ‘normal’ lifestyle. In today’s society people are always in a rush for something, plus they tend to forget or ignore you, once they no longer find something useful for them in you. That’s why when you managed to find those amazing people who will stand by you during good and bad times, you will appreciate them more.

    Whenever I travel or spend more time living abroad, I miss those people who have known me for years. I miss remembering and laughing with them about those crazy times we experienced together. But at the same time, I noticed that my rhythm of evolution is faster than theirs, because they are living a ‘normal’ life, and with every day that passes we might get to that point when we no longer have things in common, just some past memories.

  14. i really love this post ! i too feel a little bit the same. i am the only one out of my friends that doesn’t live the standard life back home..

    then my younger sister had a baby, and i second guessed my choices again..

    but no, i am doing what i really want to do in the moment, and i have no regrets ! I am sure you have no regrets about your one way flight to back to asia ! :) great post !

  15. I guess we are many in this situation. I’ve been “on the road” for 6 years now and I am also quite lost as to how to change my way of life to match my new self but without losing the things traveling gives me. Many long term travelers I meet out and about are in the same situation, some only after a couple of years, some, like you, after 10 or more.

    I think relationships play a big part here but are not all. Like someone said above, it is the sense of community, a deep human need, that is also lacking. That is why, I think, we make our little community of travelers and tend to gravitate towards the same people over and over. After some time in a region, you get to know many of the long-termers and, not surprisingly, they also know each other.

    I also have problems in the practical side. I find it hard nowadays to deal with hotels and restaurants every single day. And moving around and getting along is less challenging than before, as I am more experienced, so part of the thrill of moving is lost.

    I now usually prefer to stay in a couple of places each year, maybe 3-4 months in each, and the rest of the time travel, visit people or explore new places. I also find myself returning more and more to the same places, a clear sign of the need for community and familiarity. Staying a few months in a familiar place gives you the chance to get fast into the community life through your friends and acquaintances, and gives you enough time to join a team, learn something, take a course, participate in some project. I rent a house/flat, cook for myself, get to know my neighbours, plant a few herbs, etc, etc.

    Still, it feels like not enough to satisfy my craving. I was thinking maybe choose ONE place to spend some time every year, say, 3-6 months. Maybe try to buy a small piece of land or house to give yourself some root, a place to come back to, to build your sense of community. Even though you would not stay there the whole year, it is a way to get a bit of both worlds.

    Another big problem is language. It’s OK if you go a few months without understanding much of what is being said around you, but a few years??? Another reason to have a “base”, or, at least, to return to the same places part of the time so you can become familiar with the languages.

    I could go on forever. Maybe we could make a FB group for long term travellers with “mid travel crisis”. The NOMADS group is fine, but we have other issues than whether to spend a day in Vienna or Bratislava in our upcoming backpacking trip 😉

  16. Wow, so many great opinions and comments here. I really like your commenting community Yara! 😉

    I like Tomazs term “mid travel crisis” and I totally agree with the idea of having a base. I want that too! A place you can call home and can always go back to. Maybe a tiny off grid home on a small plot of land or a bought flat in ones favourite city could be the answer?! 😀

    Human connections are the most important of it all. They can be very intense but are mostly very short lived when being on the road (even if you stay in touch in the digital world). So a stable and caring social environment can be important to a healthy and happy life.
    I’ve read quite often that people nearing the end of their days said that, when asked about what was most important to them in life, it was about the people – friends and family and the great times they’ve spend together which was what they remembered most. And I can totally relate to that. My fondest memories are about what I experienced with all the great people I’ve met and how I felt at that time.
    I do find communities pretty interesting (the clazy house looks amazing!) but I also like when friendships and communities grow around me organically, though the older I get the more difficult it seems to become to connected and find real friends because many people have found bonds and families already.
    Still I love to get to know the neighbour family with their sweet dog, the lovely lady that sells you her homemade bread at the bakery, the friendly lad at the post office who always has a joke in store and the quirky and funny stuff at your fav tea house. (Oooh this makes me miss Edinburgh, my last home of 3 years before travelling to SA). But as I mentioned I find it increasingly difficult to make new friends but it also depends on your personality, place and situation you are in.

    Travelling is an amazing thing, it is a privilege and a gift and I am forever grateful for that (we are so damn lucky!) but as with many things it is a transient one. Life is a constant change and so are we. I get tired of things that I once loved so dearly because I know and experienced them.
    And to be honest there’s a whole lot more things out there that I would like to do too.
    While travelling is a most wonderful experience I also like to create things (i.e. I’m making jewellery), study and learn new skills(I wanna be a silver smith at some pont in my life) and pursue some hobbies (i.e. cooking with friends, doing a long term yoga course with your fav instructor) and other activities that give life meaning and purpose which (mostly)I can only do when living in one place.
    As Pedro (funny enough that he is you neighbour) already mentioned there is this actual physically travelling thing and the journeys within and into other subjects.

    And hats of to your article and once again all the valuable comments of your reader ship – these are very interesting thoughts and kind words indeed.

    love Irmela

  17. Thank you for beautifull and so honest article.
    I feel myself sometimes, like to persons inside me struggling for settling down, other for traveling and being always nomad .

    My experience of livin in a community and visiting some, shows that it’s really a not easy way, many eco vilages in their time turning to be an “ego villages” as i call it.
    People are still searching for sustainable life, and every picture in one’s head are different in a small details…

    One should sacrifice one part of himself ( interests, energy, habits e.t.c.) to the community. I start to feel myself that community needs me more, than i really need this community after some time.

    Also travellings can just be a run from something…
    as one of my friends said : ” i ve understood that whole my life i were running from something, or to something…and i want to stop” . I even don’t know is it really possible for one to stop this run if you ever started…

    By the way, what do you think about rainbow gatherings family community?

    • Alexey, that has been my experience after living and visiting communities, they can turn into Ego factories. I’ve lied at Twin Oaks in Virginia, one of the oldest communities there and there were some serious power dynamics going on. I’ve squatted for over 9 years, and that has been great for most of the time. I’m not squatting anymore, but i really miss having people around. Our society values isolation and individualism, which for me, it’s not the way I want to live.

      I’ve ben to an ecotopia meeting in Portugal once, didn’t like it….. Haven’t been to any rainbow gathering yet :)

  18. I get it. It’s definitely a mixed bag. Eventually you’ll find the sweet spot.

  19. Honest blog, draw many similarities and eventually gave up my nomadic lifestyle a while ago for the same reasons. Have partner, cat and mortgage and you know what, it’s not that bad. Still travel a lot but always nice to come home. Enjoy Asia
    The Kiwi Has Landed – Iain

  20. Hey Yara, this is the first article I have read on your blog since I met you at TBEX. And I echo your thoughts totally. I guess all travellers like us have a similar story of juggling between the excitement of discovering new lands and their people, and getting real solid relationships. Somehow, it becomes a reality for us that the other person will leave eventually. It might be a reality for the other person also :) Welcome to Asia. If you are planning to come over to New Delhi, do let me know. :)

  21. Preach! So many of us can relate. Is it that we need to tame the “grass is greener” syndrome?

    • The grass will only be greener wherever we decide to water

  22. Hi Yara,
    I can definitely relate to the pull of the road versus the pull of a more stable life. About five years ago I thought I was ready to settle down and stop living out of a backpack, so I took a 9 to 5 job here in Switzerland, a great job in a beautiful a part of the world that still allowed plenty of time for short trips and explorations. And yet, it’s not enough. I’m getting that itch again. Travel is what I was meant to do. It’s how I interact with the world, and it’s what gives meaning to life. I think I will soon be joining you out there on the road looking for new adventures!

  23. Hi Yara,

    It’s an amazing achievement to have lasted so long on the road; that sense of permanence you described is exactly the reason we began to travel in the first place. We have learned that ‘home’ is people and not a place. Recently, we headed back to the UK for the first time and saw those friends still leading the same lives they had when we left. In one way they represent a safety net; in another, they represent the stress we put behind us. What travelling has done for us is open up the possibilities. It has given us the confidence to push our own boundaries, and no matter what life has in store for us, I thank our maker that we have seen so much of this beautiful planet.

    • Yes Mike, that’s the same thing for me, HOME is people not a place. It’s really hard to explain that to people who don’t usually travel much or live a “normal” lifestyle, but I find peace and a sense of home around friends.

  24. Great read, finally some perspective on what people imagine is the best thing to do. Yes of course, travelling is beautiful, been there, done that, and not planning to stop yet. But I definitely agree with the issues mentioned in this article.

    On a sidenote, the grass always looks greener with the neighbours. So even if you find your soulmate, build your family, etc., don’t think it will bring you the happiness you are looking for. Happiness comes from within, no matter how cliche it sounds.

  25. Hello Yara!

    I can definitely relate to your article! I read yours a month ago, last week I stumbled upon Leah’s and now I’m back here reading yours again.
    While I also have nomadic tendencies, I start to get homesick after a few months (alone) on the road. Landscapes start to feel similar, conversations with people too. Then I know it’s time to go home, to recharge a bit and ideally in a few weeks I could leave again. In reality it mostly takes a couple of months before I can actually go again.
    I deeply understand your need for a homebase. But as many people have pointed out, you can develop a homebase anywhere in the world. When you discover a great place with a lot of like-minded expat it could become your future home. Maybe you should go back to Koh Lanta after a while, and try there? Or what about Chiang Mai? I’d like to be there in october-november. Though I read there’s also a lot of coming an going in Chiang Mai.
    So OK, maybe now you have no idea yet where you’d like to settle for a while, but I’m sure you’ll come across places. And what do you think about the area of Auroville (India) ? There’s a project called Sadhana Forest where people volunteer for a long time, and the food is vegan. Gokarna in India as also a great place with a lot of “seasonal expats”. Actually, there are so many great projects in India, but I’m sure there are similar ones in other countries.

    Anyway, it looks like you had a great time in the Philippines. And I can only add that maybe you’ll also miss your crazy travels if you do find a community? The ideal situation is of course when you can travel with people who are equally passionate about traveling. I’m also on the lookout for them 😉

    Meanwhile, enjoy the road and freedom! xxx

    • Hi Sigrid, nice to hear from you :) I’m on my way to Koh Lanta. I’ll be there in just a few weeks. I’m excited but nervous, people say we should never return to the place we’ve been the happiest because it might destroy the good memories. I’ll risk it anyway.

      I really want to nest somewhere. I feel at home in Spain, that will probably be my base in the near future :) By the way, I love Leah’s post, seems like there’s a few of us going through the same feeling.

  26. 5 years ago i met my partner and we now have a little kid. Although we are not always on the road line you i do find we are some kind of a nomadic family. We settle in a city or town. We make our home, get involved in the life of the place (mostly me and kiddo since my partner has jobs). Then we are off again. We might change house and neighbourhood or might hop a plane or train and change countries altogether. In these 5 years we were home in 4 different countries, 9 or 10 houses. We have been in Italy for a year and a half now, 2nd house here, and are already looking for a new wave to take us to either a more suited house or continent if it needs be. Suited for what? This is where the thoughts of this post of yours here clicks with me: none of our facebook friends live anywhere near. But we now live in a place that most friends would want to experience. What if we found a place that is as beautiful, where we could live and work seasonally like here, but that has a different kind of culture my kid could absorb, where we could nurture friendships with people around, where nomad friends could stop to stay with us often.. and then the rest of the year.. that would still be free for us to spend roaming… ?? kind of like we already have??.. (confused)
    Dear nomad 😀 i guess that we have been doing it right all along, both us and you :)
    One day while staying in that one place for a while you will meet that one person that feels like roaming with you and you with them. Things will then be more cosy.
    As someone told me on my birthday the other day “keep on keepin’ on” :)
    See you around the globe somewhere some day! 😀

    • Ray, I really enjoyed reading about your experiences. Slow travel is the way to go and the best way to trully get to know a new culture.

      I love the fact you’re living proof that a family with a kid can still live a non sedentary life and have fun. One day, I hope I can do that too. 😉

  27. Great post. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.

  28. felicitaciones, como haces para viajar tanto, conoces colombia

  29. congratulations , as do for traveling so much, you know Colombia

  30. It feels like you described everything I feel in this post. Thank you. My love affair with being a nomad started as a way to escape real life when I was 16. And now it turned into a lifestyle that left me wanting more and more. The moment I settle, I want to leave again. The moment I travel for a while, I yearn to have a base and grow some roots and finally call a place ‘Home”. I don’t know what ‘Home’ is anymore. Thank you for pouring your Heart into this post.

  31. I grew up in a traveling family, lving in a different state or country every 2 years by choice, not work. Now i have been out solo for 3 1/2 years and I dont ever want to go “back,” but how to maintain worthwhile real relationships while wandering. Delicate balance and for me moving between the seeming extremes feels ok. I agre with your post and ithink eventually I may choose one or two places to move between. Maybe that means continents but this is ok.

  32. Hello Yara, I bumped into your site this morning, very interesting and beautiful. My experience is that everything is temporary including a desire to find permanent relationship, so enjoying the moment without hindrance of the desire is the way to go, just my 2 cents – John


  1. This is why I feel so jealous of the Filipinos - Heart of a Vagabond - […] The strongest sense of community I got to experience has been among the crowds of other long term travelers…
  2. Nomadic News: 2 August, 2015 | - […] This is the reason why I can’t be a nomadic girl forever […]
  3. Nomadic Information: 2 August, 2015 | Posts - […] This is the reason why I can’t be a nomadic girl forever […]
  4. 17 Travel Bloggers to Follow in 2016 - Hippie in Heels - […] Yara is as real as it gets, and writes from her heart. She left Portugal at 18 and now,…
  5. I can't write about traveling and fun while half of the world is starving - Heart of a Vagabond - […] with strong emotions like the “How Malapascua island restored my faith in humanity” , the reasons I can’t be a…

Leave a Reply to Tomaz Cancel reply