Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Making the leap...to being a nomad

I was living in Boston and had been there for over 25 years.  I loved it!   I loved being near long time friends, teaching the Deaf, the Red Sox and Fenway Park, Walden Pond, and having access to the coast, to Ogunquit, Maine - a favorite spot.  There was so much about the city that I loved and all of the memories that I had since I had come to Boston right outside of college.  So, why did I leave?  Burnout.  I couldn't do one more thing the same.  I couldn't do the same restaurants, the same stores, the same routine of working too much and traveling to my classroom and teaching the same ole same ole.  I couldn't deal with the educational system and all that it had become.  Conversations with friends had become redundant and even though I started to step out and do different things like African drumming and dancing, it just wasn't enough.  I just couldn't do one more thing the same.  Burnout.  

The year before my actual departure, I realized that I was about to pay off my debts.  I could actually leave even though financially it would be a risk.  But, I would be free of debt.  And, the Red Sox had won the World Series (2004)...I know that sounds ridiculous but I was a fanatic at the time and it was so good to be in the city when they finally won.  I was ready.  I could imagine making a change that I had been resistant to for so long...out of fear maybe or just not being ready to leave.  All I know is that things started to shift and I started to make plans.

I began to tell people of my plans to make a change, those who I knew would be supportive.  My support system included my friends and a spiritual mentor who had been encouraging me to leave a job that had been draining me for several years now, and, I spoke with my supervisor on how to take a leave of absence.  I knew that I probably would never return but this felt like a safe way to do it...just in case.  If I had had more courage, I would have just left, yet this was the best that I could do.  

It was months of planning, packing and purging.  I was so drained during those last days mainly because I did it mostly by myself.  And, maybe there was a lesson in there for me.  I rarely had to ask for help and it was a challenge for me.  And, although I did receive some from family and friends and unexpected help from someone whom I hardly knew, I did it largely on my own.  But, this lesson is a constant in my life and always has been..to ask for what I need and to ask for help.  It is not a sign of vulnerability or weakness.  It is just a need for help.

I still remember the day that I announced to my family that I was heading to Hawaii.  We were all sitting around the dinner table for a holiday.  I was contemplating on how to broach the topic since I knew it was going to be a shocker.  As I asked for help (internally), my brother-in-law actually started to discuss a previous trip to Hawaii.  I was jumping for joy inside for this opening.  I then said, "Speaking of Hawaii, I am going."  Cheers, happiness, "That's great! When?  For how long?"  Then the mood changed.  My answers were vague.  'I'm not sure' didn't go over too well when they were thinking I was going for a vacation.  "Umm, maybe for 6 months or 9...I am not sure."  

I could feel the underlying emotions from my family and I knew that they were struggling to understand me, but this had already become the norm.  I am an enigma to them.   I live and think differently than how we were raised and I could just feel the mixed emotions vibrating.  I had to stay strong, for my own personal growth.  I had to remember that my life had just as much value and I had a right to something outside of the box.    

I explained that I was taking a leave of absence and wanted to do some exploration, and, that I was going to do work exchanges in Hawaii for at least 6 months, then...?? I had a dream of traveling lightly and being a nomad.  I wanted to live outside of the traditional paradigm.  I wanted to jump, leap, surrender and come to know that I would always be taken care of no matter where I was.  And, mostly, I wanted to be found...to come home - to myself, to living passionately...to live again as I hadn't been living for so long.  

This is how I started to live as a nomad.


  1. Wonderful beginnings! I love this blog! I think the world is welcome and ripe for the stories of people who decide to live their own paradigm and not the formulaic box built by society. Kudos!

  2. Thank you ~ Mahalo ~ Muchas Gracias

  3. I love your blog and can't wait to read more of your adventures! May your blog inspire others to follow their dreams.

  4. Thanks Denise! I hope that it will be inspiring. And, it has been great writing about my travels and experiences, and to see how it will unfold to present day. Thanks again!