Transitioning From Nomad To ‘Normal’ Life

Over the past few months I have made a very dramatic transformation, swapping my nomadic life of the past few years for a more conventional life, based in one place. I loved the last six years of moving regularly, of experiencing different parts of the world, and sleeping out in nature – and I would never want to give any of that up. Not even the difficult bits. However, after all this time I got to a point where I was finding certain things in life difficult. As such, I decided to stop in Malta and make it my base for the time being.

The Difficulties Of A Nomadic Life

  • Missing Family. I went 12 months without seeing my family whilst I was teaching English in South Korea and more than six months on a couple of other occasions. I wanted the opportunity to be closer to my family so that we can see each other more regularly.
  • Finding A Place to Rest. I have slept on hundreds of sofas, in hundreds of outdoor locations, and passed many nights volunteering for a place to rest. After a big journey, when I am in need of a break, I haven’t had anywhere of my own to rest, write, recover, or do anything else that one might wish to do.
  • The Opportunity For Special Trips. I have taken many long and meandering paths across the world. They were wonderful. One day I would like to do this again, but for now I want to try shorter experiences where I can have defined goals and have a place to rest at the end. I walked across Iceland with my brother a couple of years ago and the whole experience took under two weeks, but will stay with me forever. I want more experiences like this in my life and I like the opportunity to share stories about them. When you never stop moving, it is hard to find the time or the motivation to share stories.
  • Being With Someone. I have been with someone for many years now and on multiple occasions we have had to be apart for great lengths of time – over four months, twice. Do you know what it is like to be away from the person you are ‘with’ for four months? It is hard. My decision to take a break also takes into account this person’s desires in life at this time – it’s a compromise, if you will, choosing one thing over another – and we chose Malta as it is one of the few countries that legally allows us to live in the same place.
  • Avoiding The Difficult Times. Sometimes things have gone wrong and I have been in bad places. I want to make sure that doesn’t happen as often and that I have something to fall back on. I am approaching thirty years old and have never had a ‘proper job’ or anything more than I could carry in my backpack. I don’t need a proper job or anything more than a backpack, but a little security for once wouldn’t go amiss. All you really need for this is travel insurance, but there have been times when I haven’t had enough financial security to afford this necessity.

What Does My Life Look Like In Malta

I came to Malta in my Donkey (it’s a van) and thought I would try doing some freelance work. I did this for some time, but spending all day in sweatpants in my kitchen didn’t really work out for me. I found it hard to find a good life-work balance, I didn’t get the opportunity to meet many people, and I generally became frustrated at my day-to-day life. I took a job very recently with a view to offering myself some stability, a way of making some money in the future, and interacting more with people who live here. It’s a big transition and I am hoping it offers me a better work-life balance for the time that I am in this country.

There are things that I believe in – from the art of creating something to the equality of all humans, vegetarianism to craft brewing, and environmentalism to freedom of choice – and I want the chance to delve deeper into some of these interests and share them with others. This is something I might be able to do now.

By the way, Malta seems pretty cool. Check out these videos of Gozo and Comino. There will be more to come.

What Next?

I honestly don’t know. For now, I am here, I have a routine, and I have two little rabbits. I intend on catching up on many of the stories I have wanted to tell in the form of video as I have a backlog of years of video (check out Great Big Scary World on YouTube and subscribe) and I would like to spread the message that it is possible to travel the world on a long term basis if you want to. [Hint: possible new advice book right there.] There are highs and there are lows, and I want to share both sides so that others can feel the same sense of wonder that I have felt in the world, but know that it is not a life for everyone for all time. Maybe I will return to this life one day (I am almost certain of it), but for now things are different. I am here and this is my life.

This morning I woke up, took the bus to work because I was running too late to walk along the seafront, and played football this evening. I have a cup of tea next to me and I have had to put the rabbits away because they just chewed through my laptop cable. It’s not the adventurous life I have lived, but it is working towards something – the opportunity to travel and share more in the future. I want to ride a horse in Mongolia for hundreds of miles, I want to build a treehouse in a forest and live away from technology for a period of time, and I want to visit many parts of the world I haven’t seen before. My life now is my vehicle to achieving these dreams in the future.

Apologies if this is a disappointment – it’s a radical change to my lifestyle – but it isn’t for forever and it serves to empower myself and the control I have over my future. From this static point I hope to develop Great Big Scary World, I hope to make more videos, I hope to write more, and I hope to encourage others to find their own path. I will always be a wanderer at heart and I will never stop dreaming of nights under the stars. I endeavour to find miniature adventures around my current life and work towards a future that I want to live in.

My laundry needs to be hung now and I have to get up in five hours. This is a new chapter in my life and I will try to share the positives. I genuinely have no idea what comes next.

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