I am a nomad. It is who I am.
For the last 10 years I have lived on the road. At this very moment I consider my home to be a tiny storage unit in Bordeaux, France. My address is an eternal evolution of friends and family who put up with me asking permission to use their abode as my own. My world is a constantly changing universe of long flights, new cities, charismatic Airbnbs, old haunts and people passing through. I travel full time. I am always in a new place. I am a nomad. It is who I am.
For someone always on the move, I consider myself to be very grounded – solid and immoveable in so many ways. Yet there are parts of me that are always all over the place – fleeting moments, scattered ideas and relationships that pass within just one breath… whether I want them to or not. At times this contrast can be hard. So hard. But what I have learnt is this: The struggle between the two shows up most when I feel a lack of connection. When the world around me is moving at a pace too fast for me to latch onto. Connection is everything to me and I now realise that these moments are my mind’s way of alluding to the fact that there is too much distraction and unnecessary ‘fluff’ in my life. It builds up quickly you know! Before long…. fluff everywhere!
Whenever I arrive somewhere new, my approach is to find a few places to fall in love with. This kind of love is an easy kind of love to hold onto. Usually these places are cosy coffee shops, tiny beach bars or the base of an unfrequented palm tree. Usually these places have the least amount of people as possible in them, earth tones and good food. And usually these places elicit tranquillity and arouse clear-minded reflection. They are places where I can write like an ancient philosopher and peacefully read book after book. They are simple places. They are my places and once I have found them, I never lose them. Once I have found them, my need for exploration ends and my new, daily routine carves out an adventure of its own.
Clarity in these moments makes me realise that I am made up of a lot of contrasts. I am a nomad yet I long for connection; I am always searching for more yet I yearn for simplicity; I am a human in a busy world yet I am obsessed with solitude.
Above all, I guess I am on a journey to unearth my own tranquil oasis no matter where I am. It is possible you know, even in the busiest of cities. You just have to slow down and observe. It could be around any corner, up any cobblestone street, along any sun-drenched shoreline. In fact, it is probably just sitting there inconspicuously smiling at you. The question is… will you look up and see it?
Written by our guest blogger Carolene Méli