"Everyone my own age is older than me."
Although, I have traveled nonstop for over 16 years, and this March it will be 17 years, it would be too painful, for me, to stay in one location longer than three months.
After a month, a sense of impending doom starts to occupy my brain. Maybe, it’s instinctual, or maybe culturally, but, the bottom line is I feel guilty. I feel guilty that I do not want to live in one location. I feel guilty that I’ve let my tribe down.
There is a thought behind my brain, that my friends will shun me, ostracise me, and never speak with me again.
This is 70-80 percent true. Most of my long-term friends speak with me only after I’ve returned to the tribe; i.e., when I return home to visit. They do not call or write me when I am traveling. Which can be a dilemma.
I need to call somewhere my Home, although, Indiana is not my home. I am truly one of the homeless, a nomad on the planet.
Some ding-a-ling website owners do call themselves nomads. If you study them you’ll see that they are not being truthful. They just want to drop the word, nomad, to make themselves seem romantic.
Most people do not love a nomad. They love people who obey the rules of the tribe and stay in one place, and protect the group’s values. To these people leaving is not loving the tribe, it is abandoning the post; it is desertion. I suspect this could be the future of mankind.
There is something Darwinian about moving. Finding the new, and discovering something better is adapting, changing, evolving. We must explore as a society, or we become stagnant.
As for me when I travel: I lose weight. I get more exercise. I meet more people, and have friendlier conversations. I feel energized, vibrant, and alive.
Strange as it seems living as a constant traveler is 5-100 times cheaper than living in one places. Why? Simple, I do not buy things, stuff, objects, luxury. I have nowhere to store them. There is no hoarding. I buy what is needed, and not what is wanted.
Bonus Points: I avoid expensive winters in the USA.
I have concluded, for me, that it would be illogical to stop my nonstop traveling. For me it would be an unhealthy, unhappy way to live.
Thanks for allowing me to talk. I know my tribe does not approve. But then I remember, “Everyone my own age is older than me.”
Andy Lee Graham
I have lost so-called friends because of my constant traveling. I usually am well received when I talk about where I've been and how freeing it all is. But, when one of them begins talking to the other they are in a relationship with about doing as I do our friendship will suddenly stop. Like you say the tribe wants its members accounted for and to be counted on.
Jerry - Philippines today N. Cyprus in March
As an addtion to any nay sayers about a lonilness of constant traveling I am adding here what I wrote on Facebook.
i have been traveling since Nov 2012 FT. I've been to 17 countries and I have more valued friendships now, from my travels, then I had doing the 9-5 grind.
I have very good friends in the DR, CR, MEXICO, CZECH REPUBLIC, CYPRUS, and the UK. I am always welcomed in their homes and they visit me or we talk on FB, emails, FaceTime, Skype. none of us feel that our friendship is less a friendship because we don't live in the same area.
I have goals - to be as free as I can be, to be helpful to others, and one day with my new wife to father another child. The way we have it planned now is in two years we will have our child.
Meanwhile, my wife, a wonderful Filipina, I met through my cousin (note family tie - also a brother and a son in the USA, and two other children in the UK) will travel with me. This her goal as well and to be a motorcycle mechanic and restore anitque bikes.
I will be 71 when our child is born and she will be 27 and neither of us see that having a child will hinder our traveling or raising our child. Nor will my age be. In fact we see it as a wonderful benefit for our child to grow up visiting and learning about other cultures and languages.
LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT.
BTW I consider Andy a good friend. I also do not stay long in one spot - 3 months tops. Yet, while I am wherever I am Andy is welcomed to stay with us.
Mi nombre Felipi now, I am an international traveler... I flew from California to Guatemala City last year. I have visited many towns (between Guatemala City and Antigua as we passed through on the shuttle)...If there is anything you need to know about international travel just ask.
Right away I can tell you *never* bend over in a US airport. Some travelers not as experienced as myself have made that mistake... it is getting worse fast.
I feel there is a friendship, maybe a bonding of long-term travelers, we share a path whereby we try to be honest, and open with others, and stop with opinions that confine people. Here is something I wrote about the Travelers Creed. http://china-marbles.info/real-travelers/the-traveler-s-creed.php
Hola Joe. I hope you could see that I was joking about being an international traveler having only been in one country outside of the US, unless you count my dentista trips to Tijuanna..... international yes, but not hardly.... for me though it was still quite an adventure.
Write Andy a very detailed description of your life, interests and desires and current condition, how much you have to spend, and how you like to live, and what portable skills you have, he can give you some superb advice, all the way from a decent $60 a month apartment in west Africa to a very nice $170 a month hotel with maid service at his current location in Lago Atitlan.... his video blog is full of almost nothing but useful observations. You will learn a lot here.
One night around 11 pm I was crossing the overpass at the Tijuanna border, the mexican Federalies. the US FBI etc. were gunning it out two blocks east with two major drug gangs, I thought it was fireworks until it came on the news the next day.... its a longer story. ..that was the tail end of drug house raids all across the San Diego area where several of the major players were arrested.
I have a few stories about the NYC subways late at night, my favorite memory though is the E train rounding the curve jolting violently just ahead of the world trade center end of the line, the brakes screeching and putting out a heavy cloud of smoke fumes and ozone in the dark as it slammed to a stop and the doors flung open to the platform.... it was late, I might have been the only one the car at the time no one was on the platform
I went into that level of the trade center about 100 yards away and had some lasagna (saboro's I think)... outside of the restaurant (which was on a ramp) You could look up and see the same scene of the huge lower level escalators going up in all directions, and wide open spaces that later showed up in some of the 911 pictures.
It is truly amazing how many paths cross can cross in a life time.
Today I can go to Parque Centrale in Antigua, La Merced (one of 19 500 year old catholic churches in town, the town is about a mile square), and the super mercado, and know for sure that I have crossed Andy's path a few dozen times... to me that is amazing.
I live on $800 a month here, in a very nice good sized 3 room apartment with hanging gardens, secure court yard, maid service, including some shopping and cooking for me and looking after my diet etc.... and high speed wifi.. I could live a back packer life style here easily on $500 a month.
Andy and his mother might be doing it for about half that in Panajachel (lago Atitlan) with $170/mo hotel rooms... I stayed in one and investigated another when I was there for two or three days last year... those hotels would cost $100 to $150 a night in most cities in the US if not more).
Pay attention to Andys advice on how to find a good hotel though.. lacking that you can end up like a good majority of gringo's. paying top tourist rates.
Good luck, Felipe