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.
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.
… 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.