Wednesday, May 7, 2014

nomadic vs. settled life

As we prepare to cast off our dock lines and head south to a new city, I find myself pulled in two directions: a nomadic life vs. a settled life.

Nomadic life
I love to travel. I love the anticipation of a new place and the excitement of getting there. I don't relish red-eye flights or long car rides, but I love the excited feeling I have in my stomach as I leave my known and prepare to discover the unknown.

I love to see new places, meet new people, eat different food, shop in different grocery stores, and observe different ways of relaxing, working, and childrearing.  How other people live fascinates me; different lifestyles make me reflect on my own life and ways of doing things. Can I relax more? Eat better? Exercise more?

Yet there is the pull of the settled life. While I don't long for a white picket fence or a golden retriever, I do like the idea of knowing my neighbors, having a plot of land to grow some veggies, and a box of Christmas ornaments that get dusted off every December.

The settled life
We've lived in Philadelphia for five years. That is the longest I have lived anywhere. When we arrive in Jacksonville and people ask where I am from, I will easily respond: Philadelphia. I'm settled here. I have friends. We have neighbors who look out for us. I have a routine. I know my way around town. I have favorite restaurants, bars, and parks. I belong to a church. Life is easy. Life is good.

The reward for staying in one place for so long: a sense of belonging. It is such a nice feeling to belong. I belong to a physical place and I belong to a community.

It's hard to voluntarily move from a city I really like with friends that I love, to the unknown. Philadelphia is safe. I know it. It's easy. But, at the same time, I'm chomping at the bit to get on the boat and travel south down the ICW and discover a new place and have new adventures.  Pushing, pulling.

No comments:

Post a Comment