This life of picking up and going wherever and whenever we choose is amazing. Seeing new places, visiting family, or simply exploring–all of it feeds my personal need for nomadic roaming and calms my inner restlessness. It’s exciting to wake up in the mornings to look out the front window and have to remind myself exactly where I am on any given day.
There are challenges, however. When we visit family and settle into a routine of frequent interactions, it’s sad to leave. We recently stayed in a Ohio campground close to a large portion of my family. I loved it when my nephew would stop by on a whim to say, “Hi,” after he got off work. I accompanied my niece to a doctor’s appointment to offer comfort and comic relief. My sister and I took a morning drive through Amish country and talked nonstop. I surprised my mom with dinner a couple of evenings. We celebrated a graduation and had family potlucks. We participated in last-minute, spur-of-the-moment plans simply because we could.
Then, we left for the next adventure. We headed up to Michigan to see my Dad in Alpena. I was excited about that trip, too. I couldn’t wait to visit him, but it was sad saying goodbye to my Ohio peeps. It takes a slow minute to adjust from one place to another, but I settled in quickly and started to enjoy the moments with Dad–until it was time to leave.
It’s not just family visits which cause a myriad of emotions. We often meet friends on the road and share fireside chats. We bond quickly and develop friendships, and then drive off in different directions. Thank goodness for social media and being able to keep up with the journeys of our new and old friends. It’s a joy to accidentally run into them again in unexpected locations.
The scenery and places we visit cause lots of feels, too. A few months ago, we were enjoying the beauty of Sedona, Arizona. It’s a place which can bring me to tears by the sheer wonder of the scenery. I felt such a peace and quietude in my entire being among the unique landscape. As we departed and traveled toward the next destination, we got stuck in unavoidable traffic grid-lock while driving through larger cities. That’s where I lost my sense of peace and felt the stress and lack of personal space. It felt as if all of the oxygen was getting hogged by the masses and made me gasp for fresh air.
I shed tears at the goodbyes and wipe the wetness from my cheeks as a brimming excitement bubbles up while looking out the front window toward our new destination. I often cry and laugh at the same time. Yes, I’m a crazy woman.
Nomadic life is an up and down emotional roller coaster. The excitement builds, the hills are thrilling, and the low points are quick and easy to overcome. It’s a gripping ride, but it does have its unsettling moments. Traveling is a life of give and take. It’s full of unimaginable beauty as well as entrapment by temporary grid-lock (or repairs–our current situation). There are joyful moments of reuniting with family and then having to say goodbye. It also offers my personal favorite–a lonely road surrounded by the sights and sounds of untouched nature around me.
I’m a wanderer. I do love routine and can fall into a comfort zone very easily, but then I start to feel the restless calling to move on. I deal with the emotions of saying goodbye to one place and have the capacity to look towards a new adventure with the excitement of a child. This life suits me. It’s my nutty emotional roller coaster and I’m enjoying the ride.
Would you ride that roller coaster? Do you struggle with warring emotions when traveling from one destination to the next? Do you ever feel the restless nagging to start a new adventure?
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