Freedom from Being Defined by Others (and Yourself)
Nobody knows you when you are on the move.
One of the reactions you can expect to get from relatives and friends when you travel often is envy. The question is: why is this reaction so common when people are well aware that a nomadic lifestyle is not always fun and easy?
I think one of the many possible answers to that is envy of the freedom it allows you to have. One might say that we’re all free, even if we stay in the same place, but there is some kind of spiritual freedom that can be achieved more easily while traveling.
THIS FREEDOM ACTUALLY HAS A LOT TO DO WITH JUST TWO MAJOR ELEMENTS: THE WAY YOU ARE DEFINED BY YOURSELF AND THE WAY YOU ARE DEFINED BY YOUR ENVIRONMENT.
If we ask a crowd of people to define themselves in a few words, we will probably hear the same thing over and over. For example, “I’m just a guy… christian, an accountant, with two kids.” This definition is very comfortable and stable – though not very deep. Most of it is actually describing our stable environment and doesn’t really describe who we are. We find it comfortable to have a clear and fixed definition of ourselves without often challenging it. Usually this definition is aligned with the way society or our environment defines us.
In a way, we are now trapped in a situation where these two major forces have established a clear-cut definition of who you are that is very hard to change. One of the reasons we avoid change, or find it so difficult, is having to explain it. We not only have difficulty explaining the change to those in our environment but to ourselves as well (often an even bigger challenge). We find a lot of comfort in our fixed definition and can be distressed when this definition changes.
…but this exact issue is one of the biggest advantages of being a nomad!
Since a nomad changes location so often, he is not binded to society’s view of him – because society keeps on changing. In a way, a nomad can create a new definition for himself every time he changes location. This blesses you with a certain degree of freedom that people who stay in the same place can never get to experience.
A nomad can be a spiritual beggar on the bank of an Indian river and later become a business man in London in a matter of a day.
In the Jewish tradition, the holiest day of the year is Yom Kippur. This day is filled with many rituals and messages but one of the most important themes of the day is that of having a clean start. This day allows you to redefine yourself and liberates you of all of the promises you’ve made to god in the past year. This allows you to establish a new idea for who you are and who you want to be.
BASICALLY, IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU NEED A FRESH START (AND YOU’RE UNABLE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN IN THE PLACE YOU LIVE BECAUSE OF THE WAY THE ENVIRONMENT DEFINES YOU AND THE WAY YOU DEFINE YOURSELF) THEN LIVING A NOMADIC LIFESTYLE FOR A PERIOD OF TIME WILL ALLOW YOU TO EXPERIMENT WITH THE CHANGE AND REALLY CHANGE YOUR LIFE.