If you had the opportunity to live a nomadic life, traveling from place to place, would you do it? Do you need a home base? What makes a place “home” to you?
This is a great topic as it’s something that has been on my mind lately. I have always dreamed of traveling. I am absolutely guilty of jealously staring at other people’s Facebook vacation photos. Short of being independently wealthy or having a career that would allow that sort of life, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it will never happen. More realistically, I will end up one of those guys who has saved up for years to have the dream vacation and then try to cram all the history and culture of Europe into ten days. That’s not such a bad dream either, though.
As to home, I was born and raised in Austin, Tx. Whenever I was asked where I’m from, I would always make it a point to say Austin. I would never say Texas because Austin was not like Texas to me. It was a playground growing up, being able to get on a bus and end up anywhere in the city, sometimes not coming home for days. I have been back a few times since leaving in the 2000’s and it was different. I don’t know if it was me or Austin but I know we’ve both changed. It was bigger and completely foreign to me. That cheap apartment off Town Lake is probably a rather expensive condo on Lady Bird Lake. Where once there were open fields, all I saw was parking lots and strip malls from Round Rock to San Marcus. There will always be a special place for that city in my heart but now when someone asks me where I’m from, I just say Texas.
I mentioned leaving in the 2000’s and I’ve moved about quite a few times. I have truly loved some of the places I’ve lived like Pennsylvania’s Amish Country with it’s lush fields, wonderful foods and genuinely nice people. Other places, I think I was too caught up in life and work to stop and enjoy what was happening around me as was the case with my time in Florida.
Now in North Carolina, I found myself out in a kayak the other day floating on Lake Brandt. For some reason, my mind drifted back to those Facebook photos. They were of people walking on the sunny beaches of Hawaii or overlooking some idyllic landscape from a mountain top in Europe. Here I was floating on a man made lake in rented kayak and wearing a life jacket that smelled of mold and someone else’s sweat. Comparing myself to other adventurous world travelers was really starting to depress me. Then I rowed up on a wild crane that took flight as we watched and a hawk flew overhead looking for lunch. A butterfly flew by my head and I just leaned back and thought, “This ain’t so bad.”