Lately, as I consider preparing for my next expedition, I’ve been debating the issue of “home” and how it becomes an inevitable desire after spending months exploring foreign countries.
On one hand, the nomad lifestyle is a great way to see the world and go on your own type of spiritual self-discovery quest, while on the other hand it can create its own set of problems, namely a lack of stability.
The issue many of us wanderers face is that while we may miss stability, familiarity of language, the ability to comfortably own and drive a car, and other nice elements of our home countries, we also get fed up when this stability turns into monotony. And so, it’s necessary for us to pack our bags on routine intervals.
After several months out, once again we miss the stability. We return for a year or two, become frustrated by the lack of flow, lack of experience–and again we set sail.
I’ve been wondering if there is a “middle ground” to somehow continue experiencing other cultures while still feeling more rooted in home. Here are a couple of ideas.
Get a Home Base Abroad
This is where we delve into the idea of working a “normal” job abroad, such as teaching English or being hired by a foreign company for skilled work, thus earning a work visa.
This way, instead of packing for the next country every month or two, you can set your roots in one preferred country of choice.
This, of course, can be hard when eventually you have to leave a country when you’ve created a life there. Although, I’ve met some travelers who did this and never left their new country. Living in Thailand I met 90-year-old expats who’d been there 40 years and seemed pretty content partying with go go girls during their sunset years.
It’s really up to you. However, I feel this may be a solution personally for my next time abroad. The simple fatigue of jumping from place to place is alleviated by creating a long-term base.
Be Methodical With Your Return Visits
Some digital nomads I’ve talked to have surprised me by their dedication of NEVER returning home to the U.S.A.
While I’ve criticized the U.S.A sharply in other articles, it’s still a homeland–and where friends and family are–the thing that ultimately makes me yearn to return.
This is why short of setting up a home in another country, it’s important to return and reconnect with your roots.
Some nomads I’ve met have literally not been home in 10 or 15 years, and a guy I spoke to actually had anxiety about it. “My family won’t remember me. I won’t know the first thing about life in America again.”
He seemed genuinely upset by this — which leads me to ask why someone would do that to themselves in the first place?
There are few options, between having family keep a room available for you to return once a year for a month or two. Or, if there are fewer friends and family available but you miss your hometown, then consider even buying a house and renting it out for the most of the year. You’ll keep your mortgage paid, maintain an investment, and have a place to eventually return home to.
If you have a pulse, the odds are a perpetual traveler will some day long for home. The best solutions are to either return to your home base frequently, or be serious about establishing yourself in the new country of your choice.
Doubtlessly, you may feel certain locations are like “mini homes”. I certainly feel that way about cities like Prague and Pattaya. Fortunately, as a skilled traveler, you have the option to visit any land that you long to return to.