I did a lot of research and planning before embarking on this nomadic life. What would I need? What were the potential problems? Where would I go? What would I do? What’s my backup plan? Questions questions questions… I was looking for reassurances—maybe even proofs—that it was a good idea, that it wouldn’t be a disaster.
But all that book learnin’ (or web learnin’) could take me only so far. I wouldn’t actually know until I made the big leap.
Now, twenty-six months after stepping off the cliff, the answer is, “Oh, this is easy. For me, anyway.” My particular cliff was more like a curb.
I’m descended from Vikings, from explorers (and, well, rapers and pillagers—sorry about that). I’m also descended from people who took the big leap, who left the lives they knew and came to America. But then my ancestors became settlers. They dropped anchor. They dug in. They planted and built and stopped wandering. Stopped exploring. Stopped sailing beyond the horizon, off the edge of the map.
“Anchored” has opposing connotations. The anchor keeps a ship from drifting into danger. It also keeps it from getting anywhere. Security versus entrapment. I spent my fifties feeling like the latter. Stuck. I wanted to cut the anchor.
Ben Franklin said (approximately) that those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither. I wouldn’t go that far. I think we deserve both. But I believe there’s a scale of compromise. The more you want of one, the less you can have of the other. However, now that I’ve made the major commitment to freedom, I don’t miss the security much. I don’t feel insecure. I feel like my authentic self.
I know other nomads who want more security than I do. They are allowed to find their balance. But I propose they need less security than they think. Is security a castle keeping danger away, or is it a cell keeping you a prisoner? Is security a fuzzy blanket you cuddle into, or is it baggage taking up space in your van?