How I Got Ready for My Nomad Adventure
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I’ve always had the soul of a nomad. I’m rarely happier than when I’m wandering around in unseen places, and the older the better. Oceans, rolling hills, towering mountains, and cobblestone streets winding through villages that are unimaginably old feel like home to me…for a while. When things get familiar, new places begin to call…to lure me in like a sailor to a siren.
There was some stuff I had to do first.
But I couldn’t just pick up and leave. I had belongings to sell, adult children to get settled, and memories to pack away and store for now. I have family members to visit, repeated explanations why this is something I must do, and, I expect, some tearful goodbyes.
Getting ready to go nomad has been a 6-month undertaking of planning, packing, and parting with things I’ve had for ages. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the support of my daughters, strong young women who are enabling me to spend time roaming the world and answering the call of the places I have yet to see. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the unfaltering encouragement of my dearest friends.
I turned 50 this year. I left the day I turned 50 and a half. It’s a new half-century and I’m just not ready to settle down. I don’t even know what to do while my babies fly the nest if I don’t do this. There’s a whole world out there to see.
Planning a Nomadic Journey
How do you plan to do something you’ve never done in places you’ve ever been? Well, the internet makes it a whole lot easier. I’ve bookmarked AirBnBs in my first few destinations, set up boards on Pinterest for the sights I want to see, and dealt with accountants and lawyers to organize my business affairs.
I’m fortunate to work online. My income won’t stop when I head out to wander the world. I have wonderful writers, tech support, and a managing editor to keep things going when my internet is iffy (which I expect to happen.)
As I wrote previously, the expense isn’t as outrageous as you’d imagine when you compare it to life in an American city. The major costs were getting the right luggage (more on that in a moment), some specific travel supplies, and buying a one-way (gulp) plane ticket to Athens.
I like to be spontaneous, so I only have a general itinerary. The joy of staying in a place for a whole month is that I don’t have to cram everything I want to see, do, and eat into a one-week vacation, minus 2 full days for travel. I booked my first stay and after that, your guess is as good as mine where I’ll end up next.
I know some people are very uncomfortable with the idea of wandering around with no real route in mind. I have always been this way. When I was 21, I took off with my car and my dog and drove around the US and Canada until I met my former husband, the father of my daughters. Sometimes the road takes you where you need to go, even if your plans say otherwise.
Going Through All My Things
I think the hardest part of this…what made it real…was helping my youngest girl get set up in her first apartment and going through all of our things together.
There are things that I put in storage during that long-ago road trip that lasted for 3 years so I’d have them when/if I finally settled down. There are things from my childhood that my mother saved for me, and sentimental things that belonged to my father and his family. I carry his pocket watch with me. I’ve gotten my personal possessions down to 4 boxes, my antique typewriters, and my books, which are in good hands with my daughter.
Then there are the things I’m selling. There are the jeans I wore shortly after I got married, the high-waisted mom jeans that are actually back in style again but not the right size for either of my daughters. There’s the purple cocktail dress I wore to a friend’s wedding. I am selling a blue sundress I wore to my dad’s 80th birthday party. It wasn’t very flattering, then or now. And who knew that I literally had 43 pairs of shoes and only wear 5 of them? Don’t even get me started on the purses.
I figure my decor style will change by the time I have my own kitchen again so I’m parting with many of the things that decorated my past four cooking spaces. A set of dishes goes to each daughter (they’re not fancy heirlooms or anything) and most of my furniture falls under the category of “everything must go.”
Wait…are those the curtains that hung in our kitchen in Canada? And is that my duvet cover from my bedroom at the farm in California?
That’s the thing that makes it real. Going through everything you’ve kept for your entire adult life and deciding what makes the cut and what doesn’t.
I’m ready for adventure…sort of
So, after settling my daughter and dog in a new apartment, packing my bags, and getting ready to head out, my feelings, while mostly good, are mixed.
I’m pretty excited about heading out on this grand adventure.
But at the same time, as with all grand adventures, there are misgivings.
- Will my adult children be okay without me?
- Will my family (aside from my daughters) forgive me?
- Will I be lonely in strange countries where I don’t speak the language?
- Will I have the things I need with me?
- Will I be inspired to write?
- Will my business be okay?
- What will my readers think?
- Will my dog be okay? Even though she has lived with my daughter every day since puppyhood, will she miss me too much?
- Will this be an epic adventure or an epic disaster?
There’s a quote by Robert G. Allen, the co-author of The One-Minute Millionaire
that says, “Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.”
If it’s there, I’m off to find it.