First Month as a Nomad

Monday, July 25, 2011  at 6:58 AM
Vineyard by Danalynn C
Vineyard behind our Helpx house

Today marks my one month mark for living as a nomad.  First thought:

Traveling thus far feels like cheating. 

Normally, considering living like a nomad evoke thoughts of carrying all possessions in a backpack, spending lots of money and staying every night in a new place.  Now, while all of my possessions do fit into a backpack, I have not carried that backpack around with me everywhere I go--usually it stays behind at whatever place I am staying at.  Furthermore, I have spent less than half the amount of money I normally would for a month's living costs (finance breakdown for July coming soon).

As for spending every night in a new place?  Chris and I have been volunteering via Helpx at a French farmhouse for the past three and a half weeks, with our own room, which has been fantastic.  Even when we were in London, we spend most of the time staying with a friend and then Couchsurfed for one night.  That makes a total of three different locations for the past month--not too shabby, considering we don't have a home anymore!

My second thought about this month as a nomad:

This still feels like a trip instead of a lifestyle change.

I don't know if this will change as Chris and I are traveling for longer periods of time, but right now this still feels like a fun summer trip.  The main difference so far?  With no definite end-date, we are not worried about cramming the maximum number of experiences into a finite amount of time.  This welcome change from our usual hectic travel itineraries just lends to a more relaxed trip feeling, rather than signaling a new style of living for the next year(s).  Perhaps the feeling will sink in as we head into the fall and winter months, when we are usually working or at school...

Third thought as a nomad? 

I miss the most unusual things.

Rather than say how much I miss my family, friends, cat and home cooking, instead I have made a list of the unusual items that I find myself missing.

1. My bangs.  I grew out my bangs before my departure since I would not have a hair straightener when traveling, and without one my bangs turn into crazy Shirley Temple curls.  To avoid this, my bangs grew into long layers, but I miss having them!

2.  The local produce stand.  I used to visit this produce stand so often that most of the workers knew me, and I miss the fantastic fruits and veggies, the amazing deals and chatting with everyone there.

3. The free activities.  It seems like there were always free events going on in Seattle and I miss going to them!  Art lessons, festivals, concerts, and more.  There are free events and activities going on here as well, but I'm definitely not as in-the-know as I was in Seattle.

The next month will be a very different experience compared to this relaxed first month.  We will be hiking, camping and Couchsurfing our way through Spain for the 40 days.

I am looking forward to this change--I'm not used to staying in one spot for so long when I'm traveling and I'm excited to see new places!  I have only been to Spain briefly, so it will be very exciting to travel through it for a good chunk of time.  Ironically, this new leg of our adventure will result in a more stereotypical nomadic existence: we will be carrying our backpacks with us for the majority of time and we will be sleeping in a new place almost every night.  I'm still optimistic that our costs will be low, though!

Has anyone else had experiences with long-term travel?  When did the shiny-new exciting feeling wear off for you (or did it never go away)?
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