The feeling of boarding the first flight for the year with just my backpack has me feeling a certain way. Without possessions, a fixed address and accountability, I feel free. A sense of adventure sweeps over me and my thoughts become ever clear. A level of guilt is also mixed in the cocktail of emotions flowing through me as I wait to board. I feel guilty for leaving, for longing for something else.
Travel and adventuring are just part of who I am and I don’t know why.
However, I have spent the last two months in my hometown of Adelaide, Australia. The reason for this was to celebrate the festive season with family, friends and all of the people whom I cannot spend time with throughout the year. This should take about one or two weeks. I stayed for such a long time in Adelaide because my good friend from Norway was coming to visit, which kept me at home for much longer than I anticipated.
Few things lure me to remain in Adelaide despite my affection for my hometown and love for my family. However, when my mother cries at the airport as I depart, I question the nomadic life I have chosen or rather the nomadic life that has chosen me.
- Why do all of my friends and family choose to live in Adelaide when I cannot conceive the idea of living there for more than a month or two?
- Why are my ambitions so different to those of my high-school friends?
- Why do I have no desire to own a house, purchase a car or look towards a stable career with regular hours?
When I ask myself these questions I assume neither my high school friends nor I necessarily have the ideal way of life. I purely question how we could pursue goals and a lifestyle so very different having enjoyed such similar upbringings. I also understand life can change in an instant and maybe one day I will ‘settle down’ as they say.
I understand people and even friends grow apart, grow up and grow into new lifestyles. Yet I feel as if I’ve grown apart from an entire city.
If you are wondering why I am writing this collection of thoughts while I sit on my first flight of the year allow me to explain.
I love Adelaide, I love my family and friends from Adelaide and I am blessed to have enjoyed an amazing upbringing in the city of churches. Adelaidians have every opportunity to succeed, reach their goals and live in a beautiful environment. It’s what made me, it’s the place that showed me the way. I think about my home, my family, friends every day while I’m on the road.
Sometimes I wish I was part of the trend, normal if you like. Capable of being content, happily satisfied in a fixed location. However, restlessness grows inside of me during every moment of which I am in my hometown. I can feel the whirlwind of busy lives circling around me as I float, unable to join in. I’m unsure if I want to.
Somehow I became a fly on the wall in my own city.
So I travel. I travel not out of a love for airplanes or beautiful beaches (Adelaide has more than enough). I travel because right now in this era, I have no idea how to do anything else. Because when I arrive in a new location I thrive off the uncertainty and find myself longing for the unexpected. I don’t know how to be the businessman I set out to be at university six years ago. I can’t imagine being part of the cycle or the ebb and flow of a city.
I wish this didn’t mean I had to see my home so rarely. I wish it meant I would still be in touch with so many friends who have disappeared from my life over the last five years. I wish this didn’t mean I had to leave my mother crying at the airport knowing I’ll be back in far too long.