Remembering the Days of Being a Nomad

Sleeping Gypsy

Over the past few days, I’ve had a couple random experiences that have made me recall some places I lived in the past. The funny thing about it is that while my travels have always been a pretty big part of my identity, this was the first time the memory of living elsewhere almost felt foreign to me.

It was the “wait a moment – I lived in Idaho for four years?”  kind of mind-blow. It was then “I miss that person. He was really a better friend to me than I realized” kind of shit that can really torment your soul if you aren’t too self-forgiving about it. While this internal dialogue was going on in my mind, in one instance I was actually telling someone a little more about how “Idaho is a really beautiful state” and… “when I grew up in Georgia, the only thing I learned about Idaho was potatoes.” Later on that same person pegged me as introvert in a discussion about personality types, so maybe that was correct on that day (I said I thought it depended on the circumstances for many people like myself of whether or not they came across as an extrovert or introvert. I know, nuance and gray areas, right?).

Anyhow, I guess after three years in Washington, D.C., perhaps our family goal of putting some roots into the ground has been somewhat accomplished, at least from my mind’s standpoint. I can’t say this is probably where I would like to stay for the rest of my life, but it will do for now.

As an exercise, I thought it would be interesting to list everywhere I’ve lived in the order it happened. Seems kind of self-indulgent, but I also think it’s an interesting point of discussion as to how many times we move as human beings.

1. Athens, Georgia
2. Boston, Massachusetts
3. Theodore Roosevelt NP, North Dakota
4. Athens, Georgia
5. Boston, Massachusetts
6. Everglades NP, Florida
7. Mesa Verde NP, Colorado
8. Moscow, Idaho
9. Olympic NP, Washington
10. Moscow, Idaho
11. Olympic NP, Washington
12. Moscow, Idaho
13. Athens, GA
14. Lima, Peru
15. Huaraz, Peru
16. Oxapampa, Peru
17. Lima, Peru
18. Athens, Georgia
19. Arlington, Virginia

Well it looks like I am about to hit the number 20 with one more move. That seems like a lot to me, even though many of the 19 places are the same ones that I came back to after several months or years away.

I’ve really been blessed, lucky, or have put myself in a good position to do a lot of traveling. I think almost all of these places have made me wiser, and yet I think sometimes the biggest lesson I received is that you can’t know it all. Of course, treating other people with dignity and respect is almost always the way to go, regardless of your initial perceptions about them. Learning how to take the bad with a sense of humor seems universal too, as well as the realization that happiness can almost always come in the form of food and / or companionship.

So where are some of the interesting places you have lived, and what are some of the things that you learned that contributed to who you are?

One thought on “Remembering the Days of Being a Nomad

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