“Are you running from something?” they ask me, quizzically, after learning that I’ve been traveling the world for two and a half years as a full-time nomad and solo traveler.
“And how long until you settle down and stay in one place?”
I guess I should be thankful I caught a break; at the beginning of my nomad life journey, this question was far more prevalent — either people have started to understand the appeal of a life on the move, without a set home, and wings spread wide, a lifestyle made more popular by the shift to remote work… or they just stopped asking me.
Sure, I left a perfectly good life in Arizona, sold a perfectly good house, and quit a fully remote job that I enjoyed… so I can see how people might wonder: I had all the stability and security and comfort in the world, and I gave it all up.
I wrestled with my decisions for a really long time, and I ran through scenarios, numbers, and options. Sure, maybe it didn’t make logical sense. Who would throw away a money-making asset such as a house? Why leave a job that more than paid the bills, that allowed me to live nomadically and travel the U.S. while working remotely? Who would drive to Mexico, leaving her family, friends, language, and way of life behind? And who would do this for longer than a beat… because surely, one day, that person will want or need to be “normal” again?
But I’m not running from anything.
I’m running towards.
These past two and a half years, I’ve been running towards excitement, joy, adventure, independence, strength, love, courage, and a challenge — a full and fulfilling life.
And I’ll keep going as long as it suits me.
Are nomads escapists, running away from their life?
An escapist is a person who is unable to face themselves and their choices, and instead of dealing with them, they run away — in search of a grass-is-greener life.
The problem with that is the common denominator — wherever you go, there you are.
While I’m sure some nomads could be escapists, the two are not mutually exclusive. And speaking for myself, I’m not looking for “better” experiences. I’m in search of different and deeper experiences and broader perspectives.
Sometimes, it could mean better (and it often does). The nomad life is full of joy, self-discovery, and accomplishment. But it includes the challenging and character-building: trials, disappointment, problem-solving, and discipline.
Being alone with yourself in unfamiliar places, a lot. Understanding and being understood, in countries where the language and customs are different. Dealing with things that go wrong and making do with inconvenient situations at hand. And getting through it all.
Why I solo travel, full-time…
I went nomadic because:
- I’m curious and I like to learn
- I know myself and my convictions, but I want to be stronger and more confident in them
- I want my reality to be as broad, unique, worldly, exciting, uncomfortable, nonconformist, emotional, and as formative as possible
- my eyes and my body weren’t meant to see only one place and to do only one thing
- I’m prioritizing myself; giving myself this precious GIFT
And I am traveling NOW because the future is not guaranteed.
If I *was* running from something… I’d say it’s the status quo — and if I *was* looking for anything, it’s to know my truest, most honest, barest self, which solo travel helps bring to the surface.
And my question to you is… what are you running towards?!
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4 thoughts on “I’m a Nomad: But Stop Asking Me What I’m Running From”
The world is too big to stay in just one place. Life is too short to do just one thing.
I’ve been a nomad since 2014, but I’ve actually never gotten this question! I get “do you think you’ll ever settle down someplace?” a lot, and I often get asked if I have family, but not if I’m running from something. But, I’m also always quick to mention how i don’t like being in the same place for too long, so maybe that preemptively answers that question and that’s why I don’t get it as much.
Maybe! That’s another “popular” question too. And also, sex and age could have something to do with it. Women in their mid-30s nomading may be more shocking to people’s sensibilities 😉
It’s funny when people ask that. I always saw it as going toward something – rather than running away from something.