“Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien
When was the last time you lived a nomadic lifestyle where you were constantly on the move with scarcely a moment to rest your head in the increasingly familiar place you fondly referred to as home? A good guess would likely revolve around the last time you moved from one place to another. Perhaps it was moving out of your parent’s house when you left for college or when you finished college and moved based on a (hopefully) a great job. Or, if you have no roots, maybe you ARE a nomad and you call is your home!
Whether you are a nomad or a not, the key is to be content with the lifestyle you lead. If you are always living out of a suitcase as you hop from place to place out of necessity, and not choice, you are likely to feel unhappy and continually uprooted. Of course if you choose to be a nomad and staying in one place for too long feels icy hands around your neck that slowly squeeze the life out of you well that is equally discomforting as being an forced nomad.
Living the good life, however you define it, needs to revolve around choice. All of us are conditioned to want control over our own lives and being able to have it allows us freedom–why else did you rebel against your parents? It isn’t always easy to be in full command since love, family, friends, jobs (ahem, MONEY) and other desires/circumstances impact your life’s direction but what is? Seize control, wield the power whenever you have it since you never know when, or for how long, you’ll be somewhere.
If you’re like me, you want the best of both worlds so hopefully you have opportunities to be a temporary nomad while always having a home to go back to—if you’re lucky. I think Tolkien understands me but if you’re like my wife, who does not prefer the nomadic life, you’ll probably connect more with following sentiments:
“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese
Be you Kwai Chang Caine or Mr. Rogers, all the best on your journey!