Day 21 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge – Thoughts on Being a Nomad
The nomad lifestyle is not only adventurous and an embodiment of freedom, it is unique as well. In the United States, where usually only two weeks of vacation time is granted, people are not used to traveling far or frequent. Most Americans don’t have a passport (and, as I learned recently, millions don’t even have any form of ID!). So, while few people travel abroad, even fewer do this long-term. I can’t blame them, the US is huge and there are a lot of amazing places to visit. They are missing out, however.
In Europe, the travel bug (and vacation time) is a bit more prominent and some graduates celebrate earning their degree with a year of backpacking. But, once couples are settled with their mortgage, yard and pets and/or have started a family, they remain home bodies. It is rare to have a friend or family member who roams the world years on end (call yourselves lucky :-)). Yes, this is a unique life.
Of course, being unique is good and bad. “Special” can have many meanings, and while some might call us crazy, let’s just stick with different. Mark and I have an unusual perspective on many things and that influences our personality. We have our priorities, like most people, only they are not in line with the ideals of the majority, and that is fine. While, many years ago, I felt that “nobody” understood my desires, now the tide has turned, or I just care less.
So, what can be “bad” about this lifestyle? Apart from not having any roots, enduring discomforts, forgoing certain luxuries and missing good friends and family, the logistic and administrative side of things can get confusing and annoying. When someone asks “Where do you live?” do I give my mailing address in the US or in Belgium, or do I explain where we currently rest our heads? (I have gotten in trouble with US immigration about this one.) When asked on a form for my phone number, do I leave it blank (I don’t have a phone) or do I write down someone else’s? (Who does not have a phone number, right?) And, what do I enter as my profession? (Teacher? Freelance writer? Unemployed? Am I even allowed to have a profession on a tourist visa?) Imagine my sense of not fitting in at the doctor’s office, when the nurse doesn’t understand my blank stare after asking my previous height, weight and blood pressure. While, all I am trying to do is prevent her from feeling awkward if I were to give her the metric measurements I know…
Do you know any long-term travelers? What makes you unique? Which unique lifestyle would you like to try out or do you dream about?
Less than one week left in the A-Z blogging Challenge! Thank you for swinging by our site, leaving a comment underneath or a like on Facebook, and checking in tomorrow, for “V is for Variety”.