Nomadic and Rootless

I am Nomadic and Rootless, the dictionary definitions of these two words are as follows:

Nomadic: A person who does not stay long in the same place; a wanderer. i.e. Nomadic people travel from place to place rather than living in one place all the time. Synonyms: wandering, travelling, roaming, migrant, itinerant, migratory, vagrant. 

Rootless: If someone has no permanent home or job and is not settled in any community, you can describe them as rootless. i.e.These rootless young people have nowhere else to go.…people who refused to integrate within society and instead lived rootless, jobless lives. Synonyms: footloose, homeless, roving, transient .

Some of this sounds a little negative, don’t you think? Is my existence negative? Far from it! Sometimes yes it can seem a little irresponsible (depending on your outlook and thank you so much to all the people who have sporadically at short notice accommodated me), sometimes I hold my breath for moment or two, then….it all works out and falls into place. It is not at all negative. I believe negativity to be a house full of ‘stuff’, a wide screen TV, surrounding ourselves with things we don’t need let alone want but feel we have to be seen to own, being trapped. Compromise for the sake of society and for our beliefs which we have been taught from an early age. How can having absolute freedom of choice be negative? So, how did this happen, how did I get here?

In summer of 2018 I had through personal circumstances to leave my home of several years. Due to a severe lack of storage facilities, no money and not wanting to scatter things too far and wide I gave away most of my possessions. This not only included a TV, clothes, furniture and of course the compulsory plants and other household items, but also my sense of being tied down. I had been set free. Stop….Take a look around you right now, look at all of the things, not just the visible stuff, think about the cupboards and hidey holes around the place, how much stuff do you have? With very little baggage I could go anywhere I pleased. I had a couple of weeks of Yoga camp and stayed with a friend before winter came and then I rented a room and attempted to settle. I could not be still. This need to keep moving was and is still partly my mind and its need to keep experiencing different places and people. I have acquired a taste for being resourceful and for enjoying different places, people and experiences. I have made so many amazing new friends! There is no turning back. I moved out of the rented room after just 4 months (and frequent trips elsewhere!). I now stay mostly in a caravan in a beautiful field in return for doing some work growing vegetables and caring for animals. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? And to a large extent it really is.  But I still have this constant need to keep moving around, to keep experiencing, drinking in what life has on offer. I feel I have many homes, some more familiar than others, some as yet unfound and waiting. Wherever I am, that becomes my home. It is truly wonderful.

I love hotel rooms. They are totally unpersonalised and uncluttered. I have no responsibility when I’m there, and theres usually a TV (which feels like a novelty these days and then is always very disappointing and I hardly end up watching it!) There is always a nice clean and comfy bed, an electric kettle and a lovely bathroom with clean towels and endless hot water. In a hotel room you are totally undisturbed, and you can, within reason, do as you wish. You have no responsibilities for the time you are encased in this false but wonderful reality. Yes, I love hotel rooms!

Then theres other peoples (and once I had this too) houses. A fellow nomadic friend recently said to me “I go into their houses and see their plants, animals and ornaments and I know they’re hiding behind the stuff, it’s an escape from the self. When you have nothing to hide within and behind then you must sit with yourself. Then you truly begin to know yourself. Anything which arises emotionally or otherwise must be faced head on or your will flounder. You become very resourceful, resilient and focused.” This is very true. I have nowhere to hide (apart from the occasional hotel room!) I must face whatever comes and be with myself, whatever that brings on each day when I wake. Some days its like paradise, other days its like being in the depths of hell. But its always interesting. And you know I would rather that than be in hiding.

In spring of 2018 my Yoga teacher and I spoke about possessions and building walls around ourselves. I returned to my then home and looked around me at all of the stuff I had acquired, everything that I was hiding behind. What have I created I asked myself. I knew in that moment that none of it mattered, it held no significance whatsoever. It was a false image, a mask, an created sense of importance and identity, a societal expectation that we have things and a place to put them, a hiding place so no one can see who we really are. We are not our designer handbags, our cream linen covered sofas, our sheepskin rugs or our french cookware. Even we ourselves manage then to hide from our own truth of who and what we really are. We become what we portray, we become the person with the nice house and car, the nice stable life, we do not give ourselves the opportunity to let anyone see who we really are, not even ourselves. Why is this, what are we frightened of? 

To a large extent I’ve been fortunate. I was moved around a lot as a child and have always continued to move house throughout my adult life, so moving around is not alien to me, but I have never before done it to this extent. I have truly handed it to the universal energies now and where its taking me who knows, but its already proving to be a very interesting and enjoyable journey indeed. Even this weekend (I am writing this from a hotel room!) I had a plan to stay in one place in particular and have ended up somewhere totally different, where opportunities have then arisen for new friendships and business opportunities and meetings. I would have never had the joy of experiencing any of this had I stayed indoors and in one place.

Its interesting that the dictionary definitions of nomadic and rootless can been read as negative. Migrant, itinerant, vagrant, refusing to integrate. Why does the choice to not be in one place, to not conform, to live in a way that is so creatively vibrant and truly full of happiness, joy and love for yourself and life, get seen as so rebellious? Surely this should be a positive thing, to step away from all that hides us from ourselves and to embrace life as it truly is and to then become totally responsible for ourselves and everything which that brings.