I am not a nomad, though I am a traveler. Simple and succinct, but also true. I crave peace in my own place too much to be on the move all of the time.
Although I admire them, I am not interested in becoming an eternal nomad that travels from place to place eternally. I want time to rest and feel at home. If I was even to contemplate that movement lifestyle, it would have to be very slow. As in several months in a place. I need that time to let my mind absorb everything and let the creative juices flow in purposeful directions instead of outward everywhere.
Peace and quiet in the physical realm does not mean for me to stop thinking either. I am constantly in motion mentally. It is one of the reasons that things overwhelm me. The mind overheats and spins too fast. I seek out quiet to let that spinning take in everything. So after a few weeks of high octane experiences like travel, I need some time to just sit and absorb what has stuck. To contemplate that which has been seen.
My mind is always moving and going in usually a dozen different directions. This is true even on routine days. Travel fuels this to an extent. There is something wondrous about walking through a completely overwhelming thing like the spice market in Istanbul. Though it runs the edge of getting to me. That edge gets too keen sometimes. So that always-on mind needs a time of routine to cool off and allow the new ideas to be worked through.
I definitely fall on the introverted side of the line and need my quiet and space. I find that I crave that peace. Not just that I get overwhelmed by going to a new place, but that once I get settled, I kind of regret moving on before I can dive deep and really feel connected to a place. To get to know the people there takes time.
This is not to say that I want to stop traveling. Of course not, that is one of my life’s passions. Ali shares this passion and we enjoy traveling together a lot. So we will still strive to go out and see things, break up the pattern and experience new places. We will however likely always keep a home base somewhere. A place with a comfortable bed and a solid wi-fi signal.
And this leads back to Expat
One of the main things I like about the expat life is that I have a home base and have carved out a refuge to be in. And yet the travel and the new experiences are just outside of my door. I need the fuel for the ideas as well as the time to let them grow and lead in good directions. The balance is the thing as always though.
This post came up in my head after some reading other posts this past week.
- One of my first and favorite guest posts was at Dangerous Business. Stability versus Freedom.
- Justin wrote about the Need to Travel and starts out talking about how routine vs excitement work out in the brain referring to another interesting article.
- I met Juno in Hong Kong last winter and ran across one of her older posts about when did it get so hard to find silence.