The years have been spent travelling through 80 cities, 40 countries and over 100 Airbnb places – and counting. It’s pretty much been one continuous journey, apart from a bolt-hole in Switzerland and the occasional spell at Mums.
I romantically assumed that a life spent free from the shackles of convention would turn me into a Jack Kerouac. But in reality, I’m more like Alan Partridge in his roadside Hotel than Hemmingway exploring Cuba. Sat in some tiny room, desperately trying to find something to watch on the internet – if there’s enough broadband. There rarely is. The daytimes spent in the local coffee shop and my actual day-to-day life being more about sock-washing-drudgery and emailing than trips to Vancouver or van journeys through the desert. But I can’t always be out doing something, can I? There isn’t always ‘something’ to do. It often rains, it’s not always safe, I’d be bankrupt in weeks and like most people occasionally, I just plain-old can’t be bothered.
If there is one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that travel is NOT an opportunity to ‘escape’ yourself. From yourself, there is no escape. The only place you have is in your head and from here, you can never escape. Travel is just changing the scenery, not escapism. Vistas forever viewed from within the confines of your own head. I, myself and my demons are always with me no matter how hard I try and out-run them. To be honest, my travel isn’t really motivated by the desire to escape my demons anyway…my demons being rather small and fluffy and I’m actually quite fond of them. My travel isn’t motivated by a curious mind, either. I just boringly suffer from severe FOMO and restlessness. But whatever the original motivation was, 8-years on, this lifestyle has now transitioned into something more…. ‘normal’. This year, the day I officially began travelling non-stop: October 11th came and went without me even noticing. A pretty good indication that it’s just not that big a deal anymore. I’ve been trying to write this piece for over a month, struggling to think of a profound and/or interesting conclusion other than this:
I just don’t live anywhere and I just don’t own stuff. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
Despite its recent descent into normality though, this lifestyle still affords me the most interesting, rewarding life. If I had to check out tomorrow, I’d be off to Valhalla fulfilled and content. I’ve seen the world, I have friends in far-flung places, I’ve experienced many different cultures and viewpoints. My life is diverse and unpredictable. I’ve learnt to live without stuff and most importantly, the desire to even have ‘stuff’ in the first place.
My lifestyle has taught me a very purest kind of independence. I’m my own company and counsel. There’s not much that me, myself and I can’t get through. I can figure it out.
Its all been pretty easy-breezy but I’m not taking any of that for granted. I know how grateful I should be. How lucky I have been. Sure, you make your own life and your life is yours to orchestrate as you will but we all need a dollop of good luck and fortune along the way.
I’m just going to put it out there. If you fancy living without a home, it is possible. With not too much effort either. All you need is a job that allows you to work from anywhere and no children. Easy, right? If you can keep your expectations low and accept that most of the time, life will still be a bit, dull – and that that’s OK – then fuck it! Do what I did.
Just go. Leave, come on, Vamos……..