The Myth of Perfect Timing
One of the most daunting roadblocks preventing many would-be nomads from making the initial leap into a rewarding lifestyle is when to begin? Timing can be troublesome. I found a comment from April 2017, that focuses on the heart of the matter. Leah, explained that she felt she had waited too long to become a nomad. Would it be too late, now as a grandmother, to begin living a nomadic lifestyle?
It is never too late. In fact, another comment, from Ton, sums up my feelings well. When deciding to become a nomad, life does not stop. Instead, it changes to fit our new circumstances. Ton’s example of living a nomadic lifestyle while also being a grandparent and homeschooling one of his 15-year-old children is proof that while many people believe living nomadically is only suitable for young people, this is not necessarily the case. Having a proper mindset at the outset of a new adventure is a much stronger indicator of success than simply having the “right timing.”
Whenever we decide to shift the direction of our lives, challenges will arise. Challenges of convenience, finance, and comfort may prevent us from fully committing to our dreams and aspirations. For Leah, and other grandparents wishing to become nomads, doing so is certainly within reach. Life is short and as far as we know, this may be the only chance we have to explore our world. Popular culture is filled with myths about perfect timing. All too often, we hear friends or colleagues discussing how they are waiting for “the perfect moment” to begin a new chapter of their lives, only to find the perfect moment never comes. Don’t fall for this myth.
New Circumstances Mean New Challenges
It took me two years from the moment I mentally decided to become a nomad to the moment I physically stepped out on the road. I carefully and rationally planned the next steps I needed to take so that I could sustain myself in future adventures. The first decision is the most important.
Once I decided to become a nomad, the rest of my choices had to fit that model as well. Therefore, each decision I made consciously lined up with my objective of becoming a nomad and pushed me closer and closer to my goal. For me, that involved finishing my MBA, accounting practice, and organizing my first startup, LingoLearn. For others, this may involve organizing family affairs, selling a business, or overcoming fear of the unknown. Importantly, these actions are all part of the path towards a nomadic life. They are departures from our habituated lifestyles and will provide the momentum needed to take the next step. There is no roadmap to becoming a nomad, instead, the journey begins once the initial decision to pursue a nomadic lifestyle has been made.
With this in mind, it is important to highlight that living a nomadic lifestyle is not always easy, and may not be exactly what you expect. Consistent travel is filled with unexpected situations and opportunities. Deciding to become a nomad does not mean all of your challenges will disappear. Instead, you will swap some for others. Erick mentioned in his comment from January 2016, that he and his girlfriend decided to pursue a nomadic lifestyle after recognizing that their weekly grind was stifling their creativity and negatively impacting their outlook on life. However, Erick also identified that making money to sustain a nomadic lifestyle would be difficult. His challenges shifted as he moved from a static environment to a more dynamic environment. Pursuing a nomadic lifestyle is not about a living a perpetual vacation, it is about living a purposeful life that aligns with your values.
Go For It
To conclude, I’d like to reference a comment, in all caps, from 2015, by Barry. After encouraging fellow nomads to “GO FOR IT,” Barry writes “YOU CAN ALWAYS GO BACK TO BEING A SLAVE TO THE GRIND.” Importantly, each and every one of us has the ability to think, reason, and decide the course of action that best fits us. There is no reason why we cannot live a nomadic lifestyle and then return to build a new home in the future. Different periods of our life can be defined by different lifestyle decisions. What is most important, is that we live the life we want to live. Seneca, the stoic philosopher, once wrote the following lines to his friend Lucilius:
“Say to me when I lie down to sleep: ‘You may not wake again!’ And when I have waked: ‘You may not sleep again!’ Say to me when I go forth from my house: ‘You may not return!’ And when I return: ‘You may never go forth again!’ You are mistaken if you think that only on an ocean voyage there is a very slight space between life and death. No, the distance between is just as narrow everywhere.”
Our time is too short to live a life that does not enthrall us. If you want to be a nomad, regardless of age, occupation or circumstance, actively decide to begin your journey; that decision becomes your first step towards a new life.
Leah: “Hi you people make me feel so jealous, I wish I had the courage to live a nomadic lifestyle, unfortunately I feel I waited to long had five children and now three grandchildren.” – April 11th, 2017
Ton: “It’s never too late to follow your heart. I raised 4 kids, one of which is 15 and travels with me. I homeschool him so it’s a great learning environment. I have 3 grandkids, and two more by the end of the year. I say, Go for it!!!!” –April 11th, 2017
Erick: “I find it interesting to hear a few of you specify a timeline of about “3 months.” When I look back at my life and think of all the times I was happiest, they do seem to be after a major environmental change has happened. The in-between parts seem to dilute the overall richness of my life. I’ve alway done almost everything I was told to like focus on my college education and career. At 31 years of age I am now a successful Graphic Designer stuck in the same company doing the same exact routine every month. At this rate I will never be able to dig myself out of the debt school has caused. My creativity is stifled here, and I realize that on this current path the in-between period for me will be for the next few decades. It feels like looking down a gun barrel with someone else’s finger on the trigger. My gf feels the same. She has always moved around her whole life and loves adventure. Between the two of uswe make nearly 100K. I’ve been poor, seen hunger and know how hard it is to make money when you have none. I also know that in the long run it doesn’t make you happy. So, we’re getting rid of our stuff and loading up our recently purchased used travel trailer to start out on the open road. I’m not sure what we will do for money, but I know better than to worry about it. There are many resources out there. We’re both smart, young and opportunistic. Life is very short and precious. I’m not going to wait until I’m almost dead to start traveling and enjoying my short stay on this planet. These past few months I have researched what it would take to become nomadic and I believe this is the perfect resolution for us to get what we want out of life. Quite frankly I keep kicking myself for not coming to this realization sooner. I hope to see you guys on the road somewhere…” – January 4th, 2016
Barry: “GO FOR IT….I FELL EXACTLY THE SAME.. MOVE ON YOU CAN ALWAYS GO BACK TO BE A SLAVE TO THE GRIND.” – October 28, 2015
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