Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

J is for Joy

Day 10 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge – Thoughts on Being a Nomad

J is for Joy, just like H is for Happiness. But, I wrote about Health when it was H’s turn in this Blogging from A to Z challenge. Joy is its alternative! 🙂

Living the nomad lifestyle makes Mark and me happy, just like a settled life with a family makes most people happy. Joy can come in many forms, in small ways or in big ways. Of course, the “whole lifestyle” doesn’t bring us happiness all the time, just like one can’t constantly be happy. Of the people who do pull this off, if they exist, I am utterly envious! I think being happy is a state of mind that comes in short spurs, not in one long period or an entire life. If only, right?

An "ordinary" sunset from the boat in Grenada

An “ordinary” sunset from the boat in Grenada

The anticipation of travel and, of course, the actual exploring of new areas is what fuels my joy in general, but when I think back at particular moments that brought a smile on my face while roaming this planet (we are temporarily semi-settled on land right now), there are quite a few. And, those experiences are the reason for why we want to “see the world” in the first place. I am talking about magnificent Caribbean sunsets, walking gorgeous bug-free beaches, sitting on soft sand in the shade of a palm tree, arriving at a beautiful viewpoint after a tough – or not so tough – climb, snorkeling over pristine coral reefs (which are rare these days) with rays, sharks and turtles, sailing in perfect conditions over a mellow sea under a blue sky (even more rare!), watching dolphins play with our bow or whales surface in the distance, doing yoga on a flat, shady beach in the morning, meeting new and interesting people, being part of an intriguing culture, hearing the Polynesian drums or marvel at Marquesan tattoos, watching spectacular scenery around us, or just gazing at the horizon… The list is pretty extensive.

While having wonderful memories like this, I am happy with our current choice of life as well. The joy is now in the conveniences and comforts of a spacious house in the quiet woods, in unlimited internet, electricity and water. In being able to just go for a walk outside, take care of a sweet pet and buy whatever we want in the grocery store. In using a washing machine and dryer for our laundry, taking a hot, pressurized shower, stacking dirty dishes in a dish washer and not sweat 24 hours a day.  Joy does come in many forms, indeed. As long as we are happy with the path we have taken and the decisions we make every day (and we are healthy), happiness will follow!

Caribbean beach

Caribbean beach

What does happiness mean to you? What brings you joy? Are you able to create your own happiness and be happy with the choices you made in life? If not, are you planning a different approach?

(I hope you have enjoyed the A-Z blogs on my – and other people’s sites – so far. Tomorrow I will write about K is for Kids in the “Thoughts about Being a Nomad Series”)

10 Comments

  1. We’ve been mulling the idea of housesitting as well; seems like an interesting alternative to owning a place in one place. We’ll be watching to see if it brings you “joy.”

    • 🙂 We wish we would have known about the concept while living on our boat, because house sitting would provide the perfect break from the challenging boat life once in a while, to recharge the batteries with hot, pressurized showers, lots of space and all kinds of comforts and amenities. There’s no risk in trying it out, Jaye and Dan! Go for it!!

  2. Joy comes from my family. Our time together is invaluable. I also get joy from writing, music and art. Travelling to NYC always brings me happiness.

    • To know what brings you joy and make it happen is the right way of doing things! NYC has an incredible vibe with so many (cultural) things to offer. I love short visits to the city as well! I repeat… short visits. 🙂

  3. My husband and I have traveled together for 40 years. Now the trips are slowing down, closer to home, but no less precious with memories shared, as you say . . . “exploring new areas” . . . and what remains but memories of those museums and cities filled with different cultures, the people we met, friends we shared excursions with, and the pictures we brought home to remind us of all. Yes, staying in one place has its charms, but we have agreed not to rattle the suitcases, for we would be out the door!

    • Better hide those suitcases in a good spot then, Beth. They seem to have a strong sense of attraction. 🙂 40 years of togetherness on and off the road, what an achievement! Congratulations. You two must be a perfect team! There is so much to see and do, everywhere… Enjoy!

  4. It’s so true that joy comes in many forms and what brings joy changes over time. In general, I’m usually content and happy with my life, no matter what it brings me or where I am.

    Cheers – Ellen | http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com/2016/04/k-is-for-knot-nancy-drew-investigates.html

    • That’s pretty awesome, Ellen! You are living a great life (to the envy of a lot, I imagine – of course, we all know that the people who are envious have no clue of what the boat life really entails, or don’t realize it is a matter of choice. :-)) and I’m glad you enjoy it!

  5. I love that you specified “bug free” beaches! I can’t think of anything better than dolphins playing around the boat – so beautiful!

    • True, Lucy! I added the “bug-free”, because people who see photos of “perfect” beaches do not realize that a photo is often prettier than the reality of mosquito, nono and ant ridden sands. 🙂

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