I often read blog posts, articles, or books written by nomadic souls like myself, who talk about how family and friends “back home” view their lifestyle. One person writes about how her friends and family all said she was making a mistake and didn’t think she’d be able to get by without the comforts of home. A surprising number, like Nomadic Matt, write about being asked, “What are you running away from?” Others write of answering the question, “When are you coming home?”, which is quite possibly is never.
Every time I read these kinds of things, I always smile, thinking about the people I have “back home”. I can’t think of a single person who hasn’t been 100% supportive of my decisions (at least to my face). I know mom misses me and worries (though perhaps she worries most that this lifestyle won’t bring her grandchildren). Dad worries, too, of course. He lets me know in his own way by sending me articles or news reports about a place, with a quick message saying something like, “stay safe” or “be careful here”. He knows about how one-sided the news can be, but also wants me to be fully informed and make smart choices. He doesn’t do it often and he’s not pushy, but I know he cares. Neither mom nor dad tells me I shouldn’t do something, they don’t tell me they want me to stop living like this, they don’t even hint at it (though it could very well be what they’re hoping for).
My friends are always excited to see me when I visit, and I them. I’m lucky to have such close friends. The kinds of friends who I can not talk to for an entire year, and get on with as though we saw each other last week. We don’t talk often, which is fine. But I know they’re always there if I need to talk, and when we do talk, it’s so special, so wonderful. And they, like my parents, are nothing but supportive.
My extended family, acquaintances, anyone else in my life back home – no one has said a single thing to make me feel like I’m not supported in this lifestyle. I think about those people who have to deal with the nay-sayers, the negative mindsets, the ignorant questions, and I realize how incredibly lucky I am to have such amazing people in my life.
So I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for being SO awesome. For being supportive. For not questioning me, for not pushing your beliefs on me, for not telling me to stop running away. Because, like the picture – from that one time that my dad posted on my Facebook – says, Those who wander aren’t always lost. Thank you, family and friends, for seeing that!