The #NomadLife: What People Think, and What Matters
When I explain to people what I do, normally there are two reactions: 1) “I could never travel that much, how do you manage?” or 2) “That sounds amazing!” And both are completely reasonable responses to the laundry list of different jobs and roles, and where I go for all of them. It is amazing, absolutely. I’m writing this in the wee hours of the morning in Luxembourg before I go to work for two different jobs at cyclocross World Championships. I’ll do the same tomorrow, then spend 20 hours flying to CA, writing while we fly, so I’m ready to roll into a coaching camp when I land. And always writing, writing, writing.
I’ve realize that I tend to respond to the “that’s so cool” with “well, it’s not really that great,” or “I’m so tired,” or something to that effect, because I don’t want to admit that yeah, my work right now and the travel that goes with it is pretty freaking sweet. It feels braggy, and I hate that. Actually, more to the point, I hate that I hate telling people that I’m really happy with what I’m doing.
So yeah. I am happy, and I do love what I’m doing. So there!
Do I always want to live out of a suitcase? Heck, no. Sometimes, I daydream about just unpacking for more than 3 or 4 weeks at a time, painting rooms, getting art for walls… But even when we do ‘settle down’ in one spot, I can guarantee that the traveling bug will still be there. For one thing, travel is a vital part of most of my jobs, and I don’t think I can write about cycling as well as I do if I’m not traveling around and meeting cyclists all over the world. For another, my family is in New Jersey, and Peter’s is in Ontario, and we’re extremely close with both. There’s no chance that I’ll ever spend multiple months without at least popping back to Jersey for some family time. And for another, we love adventure, we love new places, we have friends all over the country, and, you know, “Have van, will travel.” So, travel is going to be a big part of who I am for the foreseeable future.
I freaking love that I get to travel for work and for fun. It’s even better that my charming husband can travel with me. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s awesome. (I take up a lot of space to make that point, apparently.) I get to see amazing new places, revisit old favorites, and meet tons of new people.
(Side note: As an introvert, I also get to spend a lot of time doing solo hikes or walks around new cities by myself and soaking it all in. And drinking new types of tea, testing coffee shops, and reading on my iPad. It’s not all glamorous gallivanting.)
It’s still a ton of work—it’s not always easy meeting deadlines or doing interviews in the US when you’re in Belgium, and keeping G-cal from messing up your appointments when you shift time zones is a b-word, but it’s well worth it.
I wanted to end my month of travel-blogging (though I’m by no means done writing about travel!) with this because it is a little more esoteric than the last few articles I’ve written up. But it seemed to conclude the whole thing really neatly, and writing about travel a lot this month has forced me to be thinking about it a lot more.
There are moments I want to cry and just be cozy somewhere at home (this whole ‘hygge’ concept being en vogue right now is killing me), but most of the time, the fact that I jumped between a few different countries in the last two weeks, and the fact that it’s not going to end or slow down anytime soon, is just exciting.
If you’re one of the people who is considering the itinerant lifestyle, hopefully this post sheds a bit of light on how it really feels: it has it’s ups and downs, of course, but if you really can embrace the newness of places, and find small pockets of normality and routine while doing it, it’s a great way to live. And if you can get comfortable admitting to other people that what you’re doing makes you super stoked, even better.