I think when people picture living a nomadic lifestyle, they envision communities of free-spirited people walking around with no shoes, no bras, and no work. At least, I kind of did. But the thing that I’ve realized about this lifestyle is that you define your own experience. What I mean by that is you can be in a community surrounded by others, you can be alone in the woods far from civilization, or anything in between. OR you can do all of the above!
For me, being alone is my preference because I’m a true introvert. Being around people for extended periods of time exhausts me. I am constantly in my own head when talking, thinking of how to respond and react. I love either being alone or with the people closest to me (which is literally like 5 or 6 people). I discovered this when I went to college and was suddenly surrounded by all of my new friends all the time. I felt like I was supposed to be with people all the time – that’s what people do in college, right? At least, that’s what I saw everyone doing on Instagram and Facebook. But it felt horrible to me. I constantly looked forward to my alone time, and actually began waking up early to go for bike rides alone while the city was still sleeping, just to get some quiet time.
Even though its been 8 years since I realized I was an introvert and accepted that I didn’t like to be around people all the time, I still have thoughts that I’m supposed to be more extroverted. In this season of my life, I see fulltimers, vanlifers, and fulltime families meeting up all around the country, while I travel completely alone wondering if I should be trying harder to meet people. It’s almost like FOMO, but instead of fearing missing out, I fear that I’m not making the most of my experience by not putting myself out there – FONPMOT, if you will. People always ask me about the people I meet on the road, and I usually say something like, “I try to avoid people,” to make light of my introversion. Truthfully, it makes me uncomfortable even thinking about meeting up with other people on the road and making plans. One of the most common questions I get is, “How do you not get lonely on the road?”. The answer is simply that I’m an introvert and I’m too happy being alone to be lonely 😅 I’m creative, relaxed, and most “myself” when I’m alone.
I’m not sure what the point of this post is, but this has been on my mind a lot lately. I guess it’s a reminder that, even if you see someone living their best life, they still may be having doubts and wondering what they should be doing instead. Or maybe it’s to justify why I’m not caravanning around with other nomads.
The fact of the matter is, I am living my best life and part of the reason is because I don’t put myself in situations that I know make me uncomfortable. If I didn’t see other nomads being social on social media, I definitely would not have thought twice about whether I should be doing the same or whether I’m making the most of my experience. I just have to remind myself that my experience is created and dictated by me, no two experiences are the same, and should doesn’t need to be in my vocabulary. Oh, and not everyone is an introvert!