You can’t take it all with you
When you decide to become a full-time nomad you’re committing to a new life, a different life. The question—and the potential source of problems, disappointments and frustrations—is how different you’re willing to let the new life be.
Do you want it to be essentially the same, just without housing costs and with greater mobility? Or do you want to take the big leap and remake your life from bottom to top, inside and out?
Does becoming a nomad seem like loss to you or like opportunity? Are you giving up so much, or gaining even more?
Life change is easier for some folks because there’s nothing about their old life worth keeping. But for the rest of us, the idealized concept of hitting the road eventually collides with the reality of deciding what to keep and what to let go—of the material goods we surround ourselves with and of the stuff in our hearts and minds.
Okay, let me pull back from the internal stuff before I get too philosophical and spiritual and start babbling about attachments, enlightenment and the meaning of life. That’s your own trip to make. And it’s not what inspired me to write this post. I’ll concentrate on the material world for a moment.
So, there are people preparing for full-time nomading. And they’re sorting their stuff, dividing it into needs and wants until they don’t have too much to fit in their vehicle. I was there.
But a woman who calls herself ChezCheese has proposed a different approach.
Imagine you have nothing. Lost it all. Flood or fire or divorce or the taxman: you have only your van that was parked elsewhere and survived your own private, personal disaster. Drive around in your empty van (I mean in real time now, not in your imagination). A long drive. Go to a national park or some empty place. Sleep in it, with nothing. Maybe you feel cold, or sore, or hungry. Next morning: decide what is most important to have. Get that one thing.
Spend another day driving, another night sleeping in your empty-except-for-that-one-first-thing van. Next morning, decide what the next most important thing to have is. Get that thing.
And on, and again, until you realize that you have enough stuff.
Or, as George Carlin put it: