Are We Nomads?

Are we nomads? Are we hippies? Vegabonds? Gypsies? Travellers? Worldschoolers? Maybe a little bit of some, less of others, and not enough of any to be defined by a single one. This is the point of this existence: to reach beyond the scope of ordinary labels. To be UNDEFINED. To reach a level of personal understanding when the branches of our existence can no longer fit into a box.

We are now entering our 5th month on the road as fulltime travelers. It has been a wild ride to say the least, full of varying momentum, expectations, and experiences. Nothing ordinary, nothing mundane, nothing predictable in any sort of way. To some this might sound stressful or positively delightful. In all honesty, it has slowly progressed from one spectrum to the other. The mind gradually shifts when we realize that our bundle of expectations greatly impacts and usually diminishes a genuine reality. How easy it is to ruin an experience by something as ridiculous as premeditation. The narrow boundaries of our perceptions create a film of disappointment when things are not as we thought they should be.

This is how we came to enter the world of “today” through our travels. Not a day or a date, a time, a month, or even a season. All of that seems to be of very little significance. I suppose this has become possible through our lack of a genuine plan, route, or desired ending point. The concept of time has blurred and ultimately become irrelevant. It is a blissful existence.

I think it has also been influenced by the concept of “manana” in Ecuador. Of course, manana means tomorrow. But, here, it is not a literal sense. In the beginning it was quite frustrating, even infuriating. How often someone would tell us manana…will no intention of doing anything tomorrow. First, it was the fruit truck who promised me a fresh watermelon manana. She never came. Then, it was the mechanic who was busy, but would see us manana. Manana was Sunday and he wasn’t open then. Or the shop keeper who promised shoes in the next size manana, but didn’t deliver until a month later.

Somehow this concept of a lighter existence has slowly but surely seeped through our veins. It is charming that people do not live by the regiments of a clock or a calendar, or a sense of responsibility to others. Why should they? Why should any of us? It is not about being rude, obnoxious, inconsiderate, lazy or any of the awful assumptions that used to cloud our judgement. It is about living. Leaving the alarm clock off, stopping to grab a fresh donut, or pausing to smell the rain. Allowing yourself to forget one last melon or to happily dismiss the fact that tomorrow is Sunday.

Sometimes it means waiting to leave until tomorrow, next week, or next month…because we are happy where we are, and why would we rush away from that? Because we have time. Time is all we have and we owe it to ourselves to stop allowing it to be a limit.

We had originally thought that by now we would be well on our way through Peru and maybe even on to Bolivia. We are still in Ecuador. Willfully and content, even if the circumstances were not intentional. And through this we understand how irrelevant 5 months are in the grand scope of things. It means that we surely will not complete the entire continent in 2.5 years. It could very well be double the time. We are completely okay with that. After all, 5 years really means nothing more than 5 more birthdays. For us, it does not mean 5 grade levels, 5 years of salaries, or 5 summer vacations. Maybe 5 more sets of tires, possibly another tent or two. A lot of miles, a million memories, and an entire chapter that we’ll recall as South America.

Time is just a dimension that we mean to defy. A label of sorts worth shirking to the side. Another part of our existence that we will let drift to the wind. For we are too busy living in today to remember that tomorrow has any true bearing on the choices we have made. This must be what it means to be happy, content, ALIVE!

26 Replies to “Are We Nomads?”

  1. Yahoo! This is so wonderful! We have now sold our house and will be leaving our town on September 20th! The countdown is on…….. thanks for sharing your journey. I CAN NOT WAIT to get out there with you:)

      1. TO Costa Rica to start. But will definitely be heading to South America at some point:). I’m the one that writes the Just Some Wandering blog. I will be following your whereabouts for sure:)

  2. What a wonderful post Stephanie. Your point about expectations is well known by me! Always better to approach a place or an experience with a wide open space and let it be what it will be.
    I love that you have fallen into the well of no time. It’s such a peaceful place. I need to do that more often!
    Alison

    1. Hi, Alison! We are having fun adapting to a new life, new way of thinking, and a new perspective. If this is where 6 months and just one country have taken us, I can’t wait to see what the future brings!

  3. We enjoyed your philosophical post. As a guest or visitor in another country the perceived expectations get thrown out the window and are redefined. The subjective term manana sure trounces our perceived idea of “Island time” where it is still the same day but could mean many hours later as experienced in Filipino culture. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    1. Thank you! We have not yet experienced “island time”, but I am fascinated to know if that cultural perspective is indeed similar to m”manana” in Latin America! 🙂

  4. This is such a lovely personal post that I enjoyed reading. I guess everyone can live a life they chose to as long as they are happy and contented, like you and your family 🙂 This may be not the life for us but I always find it awesome to read about families traveling together. Cheers to more travels! 🙂 <3

  5. This sounds so exciting. I myself want to take up full time blogging and become a travel nomad some day. But I don’t yet feel ready for that. However, reading posts like yours keeps me really excited to achieve that end goal

    1. I never expected that our life would come to this at all. It wasn’t exactly a plan, but it just sort of claimed us! We got out in the world, and there is no going back! 🙂 I think if we had tried to plan it, we never would have been ready. It’s one of those things that you just have to leap for if it’s something you are dreaming of!

    1. Thank you, Paula! Fulltime travel is not for everyone, and for us, maybe we were just lucky that the universe seemed to align to make this a possibility. It has definitely had it’s crazy moments with kids in tow, but we are loving it!

  6. This is an amazing reflection! I love that there are options out there to sustain long term travel so, a traveler can really immerse. Your opening thought “to reach beyond the scope of ordinary labels” is what I personally seek in everyday life. Some people are meant for more that a label!

    1. Oh, isn’t that the truth! Some of were simply made to create our own! 🙂 Thank you for your sharing your thoughts, Kate!

  7. Firstly, congrats for 5 successful months of being on the road. I literally enjoyed the deeper perspective of what you intend to say here. It’s true we must learn to live in the moment, thinking of the larger scope of things, not worrying about tomorrow, because we have time. Let’s live in the present and enjoy!

    1. That is exactly right, Harsh! And you understand exactly what it takes to be able to live like this for the long haul! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Mark! One day I am sure we will head that way, though it won’t be soon. We still have South America to finish first! After that, probably Africa…but we have been considering Asia as well.

    1. It takes some practice to live in the moment, and still not everyone is meant to take this perspective on life. For others, the past and the future are very important aspect of their daily life. Neither route is right or wrong…only find what is right for you!

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