THEY TOLD ME TO GROW ROOTS, BUT INSTEAD I GREW WINGS.
“For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart,
and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length -- and there I travel looking, looking breathlessly”
Since I was a child I dreamt of travelling the world. The older I got the more I realised that travelling, real travelling is not something that is often spoken about. We are encouraged to perhaps take a gap year before our studies, we are encouraged to take a trip as a tourist, or go on a holiday, but we are not encouraged to travel the world. We are not told about the nomadic lifestyle.
After graduating from a three year Art Direction diploma, I applied for work in the advertising industry. Within days, I received a job as an Art director for a leading advertising agency in South Africa. One of South Africa’s finest. Over the next three years I worked hard, although often distracted by the possibility of travel, spending most of my days dreaming of places I wished to explore and experience.
Like most people, my excuse for not going was money. Lack of money is the most common excuse to not follow the travel path, even if it is a desire burning so hard.
But I had outgrown what the advertising world was offering me.
A friend of mine in the traffic department would come into my office most days and convince with her travelling stories of the past, she would persuade me to pack it all up, to travel the world, to hand in my resignation and follow my heart. The truth is I did not need much convincing. So I sold all of my belongings and I left.
With 1500 dollars in my pocket and a heart bursting with the excitement of the unknown I headed for India where my world changed forever. My eyes and mind opened to a whole new reality, a nomadic way of living, after ten months in Asia I realised that I was no longer on a holiday but becoming a full time traveller and I was made for this!
I hustled my way through asia with my belongings on my back. The world suddenly became so big, so much to see, so much to experience, and I was just getting started.
I spent the next ten years travelling the world, exploring over thirty countries. Along the way I met my soul partner, learnt how to make hand crafts and conceived a child. I continued to travel the world only now as a family.
We would never stay in a place longer than a month, we sold our hand crafts all over the world, mostly on the street.
Travel is the ability to flow, to read the subtleties of a place, the energies of a foreign land, to intuitively understand when it is time to move on, which road to take, which room to rent, which train to take and which flight to miss, which stranger to trust, which sign to follow. We weave through foreign lands, weekdays and time are not of much importance, I can honestly say I couldnt care for Mondays or Sundays for the last ten years. The only time is the present. I felt free.
Travelling has connected us to a global family of nomads, many of them artisans like us, carrying treasures from around the world in their backpacks, crystals, exotic gemstones, tools and materials, travelling light is something we do not get the luxury of.
Following the sun. Our route although spontaneous and fluid is somewhat strategic, money is not in constant flow for us, we do not have a monthly paycheck to rely on. We move following the seasons around the world.
I have heard many people say that travel is an escape, but i disagree. Travellers are forced to face themselves, there is no escaping your self, so much time is spent alone, you are constantly faced with new challenges, you are constantly getting to know new versions of yourself and adapting to new situations, you are constantly thrown out of your comfort zone.
The last year we have created a base in cape town South Africa, my daughter turning seven, we thought it was time to settle down a bit. In the past year i have had to explore a different meaning freedom. The school system has taken away the spontaneity of our lives, we now have to abide by school times and school holidays, life is no longer as spontaneous.
Settling down at first was no walk in the park, or maybe it has been like a walk in the park, a daily walk in the same park. monotonous at times, getting to know the same trees, the same faces, and places. Learning to follow a routine.
I have learnt to navigate living on the edge of a system, belonging to a place but not really belonging at the same time. I have come to understand that real freedom is from within, and although I know we will continue on the nomadic path I have a greater understanding of merging these two worlds.
I cannot say that we will stay for long, although it has been wonderful to put down some roots, my wings are always ready to fly.