Day 6 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge – Thoughts on Being a Nomad
Freedom! This big word and all-encompassing description of the nomad life is what attracts me to it the most. Freedom might mean something different to other people. I see it as being able to (mostly) do what I want and what I like, to choose the way I live without too many restrictions. I feel free to roam about, explore different countries, travel across oceans, try out different lifestyles, expand my horizons, and focus on what I deem important or interesting. In a way the small budget allows for it, of course.
America has always been “the land of the free”. For starters, I think they mean the United States instead of America. (I don’t think Donald Trump is intending to make the whole continent “great” again.) Secondly, with “the land of the free” I assume they refer to back in the day, when everybody was freely allowed to start a new life in the US, a life free of colonization, a life with rights and personal freedoms in a country that offered a lot of opportunities.
These days, some call the US “the land of the no”. It is a sensation I had when first driving into the States after a year in Central America, or flying back from time spent abroad. Everywhere I looked I saw “no” signs: “No parking”, “No loitering”, “No cameras”, “No smoking”, “No dogs”. For good or for bad (mostly for good, I admit), western countries have a lot of rules and regulations. They are necessary and they increase, because the general consensus of “common sense”, “being sensible and considerate”, “showing responsible behavior” and “displaying kindness” have changed. Unfortunately. But, I am getting off topic now. Compared to many other countries on earth, we who live in first world nations have a lot of freedom. The main reason? Because we were fortunate enough to have been born here.
There are so many choices and the possibilities are endless. It is the beauty and the pitfall of modern society: we are free to choose our paths, but the effect on our senses can be overwhelming. Most people are happy with their sedentary lives and the freedom to plan a successful future for themselves and their family, to be part of a thriving community and to stick to a comfortable routine, doing what they want or hope to achieve within their means. As a nomad, those roots are restrictive. While enjoyable and tempting, they are limiting. They hold us back from setting out into the world. We desire more. We want to explore beyond our comfort zone. We want to travel. We want to experience new things. We want to be really free from responsibilities taken for granted and escape strict rules and regulations. We strive to make up our own minds and our own destinations. And thrive, because of it. To this nomad, freedom means independence on a personal, small scale level, in a big scale territory!
What does freedom mean to you? Do you feel free the way you live your life? How can your freedom be improved?
(I have previously written thoughts about being a nomad, starting with the letters A,B,C,D and E. Tomorrow, it is time for “G is for Getting Around”.)