Nomad No More
Lately I’ve been processing the fact that I’m settling down. This may not seem like a big deal for some people, but it’s something I’ve never done in my life and I’ve always wanted to be able to do. There is a quote by Amy Poehler that said, “Take your risks now, as you grow older you become more fearful and less flexible.” I suppose part of settling down is taking fewer risks.
Our last term of grad school we studied in Vienna with a girl named Emily. She was a really cool American girl and I got to know her somewhat well. We had also studied with her in London a few terms prior, but I only knew her through acquaintances. After my cohort and I graduated we parted ways with Emily and she went on to Thailand to continue her studies and traveling. I followed her on Facebook and knew after her term in Thailand she moved back to the US and then did a trip to Central and South America for quite a while.
Upon moving to San Francisco I realized there was one person I knew in the city that wasn’t connected through my KISA – Emily. She had moved back to the US about a year prior, so I reached out to her. She kindly invited my KISA and me to a cook-out at her new place, where we met her boyfriend, roommates, and friends. During her get-together we talked about jobs and she mentioned that her company had just gotten bought out and that she’d made a bit of money off of it, which is the reason a lot of people like to work for start-ups. She wasn’t in love with the direction her new role was heading with the buy-out and was looking for a something different.
Unfortunately I haven’t spoken with her since then for no reason other than both of us just being busy. I recently saw a Facebook post about her going to China. I didn’t think much of it, assuming it was for a trip. She then posted a link to her blog and I read her last couple of postings. I learned that she had quit her job, sublet her apartment, sold all her possessions she didn’t need, and was leaving indefinitely. She felt unsettled and always had an itch to go back to Asia. So, that’s precisely what she was doing.
I was a little surprised when I read this, but I knew where she was coming from and the desire to do the journey. However, I only knew where she was coming from because of the old me that could relate. Last night I found myself restlessly reflecting on my life and wondering what was happening to me because I realized I didn’t envy her (even though I’m proud of her for taking the initiative to do the trip). In fact, no part of me wanted to live the nomad life again.
After my KISA and I sold the house in Madison and made a small nest egg I begged him to allow us to just sell off our stuff and travel the world for a year instead of moving to San Francisco and both of us getting new jobs. While he treated my comments like I was joking, we both knew deep down that I was serious about that desire. Or at least I had been.
As my KISA and I were going through our 7 bank accounts (yes, combined we have 7 accounts) last night to determine how much money we have saved for the wedding, for fun money, for bills, etc., I realized this is what my life was becoming. And that I was unfamiliarly ok with it.