Ever since studying abroad in college, I’ve been moving around. At times it’s been for school or work, sometimes it’s been for a relationship (insert slap your forehead emoji), and more recently its now for my journey of self-discovery.
Be very clear, self-discovery can take place in your own backyard and people tend to know that and put a damper on folks who choose to travel in search of a brighter self. Whatever avenue you choose to find a brighter you, know that it doesn’t have to be in one place for the rest of your life and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Accepting a nomadic way of life is not as taboo as it used to be as many have given up the conventional concept of working a 9 to 5 for 20 to 30 years in order to find economic stability.
My family has become more supportive of my need for travel. In my family, I’ve been labeled the nomadic one. I used to be very uncomfortable with this designation as it signaled a negative connotation of being unstable or not overly vested in a job or relationship. For a while these negative stereotypes affected my outlook on self. People, for the most part, only see the social media persona and can be just as clueless as close family and friends when it comes to your life.
In this day and age of traveling, people are way more organized about living a nomadic life. Using myself as an example, people tend not to consider and overlook many factors that contributed to my life’s decision to be nomadic.
First off, I’ve been traveling for educational opportunities since my teenage years. Secondly, after receiving an undergraduate and graduate degree in English I’ve been building a career as an educator for the past ten years. Moreover, I’ve become interested in blogging and vlogging and being a creative person and started Nomade en Noir, LLC. Financially speaking, I’m aggressively saving towards retirement through my 401 K and recently moved into gaining other assets such as real estate. I’ve learned to be more of a minimalist and curb unnecessary spending. I’ve been in a long term, and at times, long distant relationship built on a level of trust and understanding that envisions spending the rest of our lives in a beautiful home with our dogs. This relationship has been my healthiest to add.
In short, I haven’t just been living a nomadic life and aimlessly wondered in search of some existential answer to the big questions of life. I’ve been actively engaged in making life more stable for myself, but on my own terms and have worked hard to obtain the education and background that affords me the opportunities to do so.
As an educator I have used my vacation time to travel to places for a longer period of time and travel to more destinations and explore more places. So, I am not aimlessly wandering this earth folks. Now that I am in pursuit of self-discovery, I wholeheartedly believe in being rooted in my personal relationships and in my profession and finances. I cannot begin to tell you how hard this has been as many only see the outward images of my life through social media and assume things.
I’ve lost friendships over this, as I’m tired of answering questions or helping people reach a level of freedom that matches mine. Truthfully speaking, I don’t have all the answers and I’m lucky to have gotten this far and see as much as I have already.
I encourage anyone interested in living a nomadic life to fully understand that they can still be rooted and stable in life and don’t have to give that up to travel extensively. You just have to figure out what works for you and communicate this to the people in your life that matter the most.
Choosing a path of your own means that many times in life you will be alone and it will be scary and awesome! You have the sole responsibility to look at life and its conventions and traditions and pick and choose which ones matter to you and create new ones that work better for your mindset. Undoubtedly, you’ll be judged at times for it.
Staying rooted in the pursuit of a good and fulfilling life will help with the anxiety of being different. Years from now people who looked at your life quizzically, will look back and say: “He/She really did live a great life, and having done so, built a great story.”
I’m reflecting on that story now by journeying back to where it all started, St. Croix, USVI.
I Dare you To Find Yourself!