As I stand looking out at the sweet little Mettowee River, my backyard view for the last 5 months, I feel a familiar pang of sadness.
It’s time to leave.
I’ve spent the summer in the North East, camping in the Adirondacks and *moochdocking in my families backyard overlooking the Mettowee river … and this is the hardest part of nomad life for me… once again I’ll be leaving behind my kids, grandkids and siblings to go on my nomad way.
Tomorrow starts my 10 day trek across the U.S, traveling back to the sunny SouthWest, and it’s bound to be a wild time traveling during a pandemic, an unprecedented election season, and general civil unrest.
So, why do we do it?
What have we given up to become nomads?
Looking in from the outside it looks like a lot:
- Living Space.
But here’s the thing.
Yes, we’ve given up the security of four stationary walls, but we’ve traded that in for the adventure of really living IN the world. Personally, my brain really digs the novelty living as nomad brings. And yes, we give up comfort and ease, but end up growing in self-sufficiency and confidence as we realize what we’re capable of. We give up rootedness and familiarity, but replace it with mind expanding vistas and fascinating people living unique lives.
We give up houses that serve as place holders for our “stuff”, but we gain a priceless knowing of what we really need to give our lives meaning.
Maybe instead of what we’re giving up, we can rephrase it to letting go.
There are a thousand little adjustments in becoming a nomadic free spirit, with changes happening on deep levels as we move through those adjustments. There’s an essential re-wiring of our brain and body when we go from a sheltered stationary existence to living out in the world as a nomad.
“By letting go of what we’ve already lost we open our arms to what’s trying to reach us.”Martha Beck
To live the life of a nomad requires letting go deeply on physical and emotional levels.
When we go through the process of downsizing, it becomes an opportunity to ask, “Without these material possessions, what defines me … and who do I want to be in this world?
As we let go of the physical, it allows us to release the emotional, and to finally let go of our story of the past. When we can do that, it frees up the physical, mental and emotional energy that allows us to create a better, more life-affirming story.
Most humans just want to feel secure, at ease, comfortable, connected … and there isn’t one of those feelings I can’t create in my nomadic world.
But why would I want to risk such a life-altering change, giving up my cozy apartment and most of my material possessions?
For most of my life I felt like I was missing something, staring out windows and daydreaming of the world beyond.
Now, I may be missing my family, but I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I feel like I’m a full on participant in life.
I feel full … INSIDE.
Above all, I feel ALIVE!
Yes, nomads give up a lot …but we also experience the rush of absolute freedom and joy on the road, of seeing the world as we’ve never seen it. I’ve stood on an ocean beach far from my home of origin, with my toes curled in the frothy waves and the sun and sky and cries of seagulls filling my senses. I’ve had my mind blown looking down from a high mountain peak on a psychedelic orange sunset, and met fellow nomads who’ve inspired and challenged me, giving me encouragement and support at just the right moment.
I gave up living full time near my family, but it makes our time together even more precious.
Today I’m letting go of the cold, wet weather of the North East, ready to soak in the warm healing climate of the South West desert and gaze upon that wide open sky that so mesmerizes me.
Getting to the next level always requires ending something, leaving it behind, and moving on. Without the ability to end things, people stay stuck, never becoming who they are meant to be, never accomplishing all that their talents and abilities could afford them.”Henry Cloud
Excerpts adapted from Wild Women On The Road: A Women’s Guide To Nomadic Freedom In The Modern Age. © Mary Ellen Telesha. Amazon publishing.
* Moochdocking: Camping for free on someones property, usually a friend or family member.