When I was younger I absolutely hated change of any kind. I can’t even tell you the amount of times i stopped eating or drinking my favourite things because they changed the packaging. Note – I still stick with my theory that a new package means new ingredients.
I was plodding along in my happy little groundhog day life without a care in the world until I was 13 and my parents decided they wanted to move house. Not a small move either! We were moving 60 miles away! From Croydon – a busy, noisy, lively town in South London, to Beachlands – a quiet seaside village where nothing happened and there were only 4 buses a day…A DAY!?!!? In Croydon there are 4 buses every half hour just to put that into perspective for you. As you can guess it was a shock. The worst part for me was school. I’d never been very popular. I was awkward, quirky and painfully shy…to be honest I’m still all of those things haha.
All these changes were a lot to take in. They were all out of my control and I had no clue how to even begin dealing with it. Looking back now I think that’s the moment I began to change myself. I did all the usual things like dyeing my hair crazy colours, getting body parts pierced and trying out weird new fashions. It wasn’t until my first puppy love relationship ended at 17 that I had had enough. I packed my things and moved out of my parents house.
Cue the next 12 years of me roaming. Whenever anything changed that was out of my control, I made a change that I could control. I never thought of myself as a traveler, wanderer, nomad..whatever you want to call it, because the main part of my roaming was within the UK. Really though it doesn’t matter where you go, if you’re a traveling gypsy soul then you just can’t escape it.
In the last 12 years I’ve moved house 16 times and I am currently on job number 21, possibly higher, I lose count. Even writing that down now it seems absolutely insane! On paper I look awful! Unreliable, unpredictable and not at all a good prospect. In real life however I am quite the opposite. 100% reliable, never been unemployed for more than a month by choice and I work bloody hard at everything I do. I just get bored easily. I wasn’t meant to stay in one place, I don’t ever remember a career or a mortgage being a goal of mine. The longest I’ve stayed in one job was 2 years and I was miserable. It’s difficult to understand if you don’t share the same feelings and I often get into discussions about my lifestyle.
I thought I would share a few things that the ‘dirty hippy’ life has taught me over the years.
- I own very few possessions. Although I have a room full of junk – self confessed hoarder of weird things right here – I own few things of real substance. Unless you can count an exercise bike as an armchair then I have no furniture. Whenever I move it’s bin liners packed full of whatever nonsense my soul feels it needs for this chapter. More often than not I don’t even unpack when I get there as I know I won’t be there for long.
- I treasure real friendships. It’s tough to find true friends in this world as it is let alone when you don’t stay in one place for longer than 5 minutes! I am a big believer in soulmates not being confined to romantic connections. I only have a handful of pure friends, people who know the real me and I feel 100% comfortable around. I’m happy with that and I will cling to them forever. When I come across a soul that connects with mine like a puzzle piece, I make sure that person (or animal) stays in my life as long as possible. Sadly this has proved damaging in some instances but I won’t ever let that change.
- I can sleep anywhere. Seriously…anywhere! I’ve slept on boats, in cars, in a car boot once! Floors, chairs, parks, hammocks, shop doorways (bad festival experience not homelessness). As long as I can cover my ears (irrational childhood bug fear) and there are no ghosts then I’m good 🙂
- Family is a blessing and a curse. I love my family and I couldn’t live without them but I have to admit, there are some family aspects I enjoy much more from a distance. That said they are the only reason I ever come home again.
- I always find a way to save. I might not know how I do it or even how much I have but if I need to hit a target I will hit it. The money doesn’t always get used for it’s intended purpose mind you. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve saved to get my drivers license!
- I don’t need money to have fun. I will always choose a cheap evening over an extravagant one. Let’s go explore a new town/forest, stay in and watch movies, make sandcastles on the beach all day. Wanna lay in a field and make shapes out of clouds while having deep and meaningfuls about imaginary scenarios? I can find enjoyment in anything.
- I never settle. Whether it be in one place, for a crappy meal, the wrong guy or a soul destroying job, I never do it! I’ve learnt from experience that monotonous routine can destroy you far quicker than chasing your dreams!
- I am often misunderstood. People who don’t know me, sometimes even people who do, often get me all wrong. They assume I’m running from something, I’m unhappy, I’m unreliable etc. They call me a hippy as though it’s an insult when in truth it is the biggest compliment you could give me. I’m perfectly content with life, I just enjoy it in a different way. My heart knows what my soul needs and I am prepared to face the criticism to get it. My happy isn’t the same as yours and you know what? That’s OK.
- I’m only truly happy when I’m on the move. An ex once likened me to a hummingbird for his own sickly sweet reasonings, but I like it for my own. Hummingbirds spend around 90% of their life span flying. They have feet to perch with, but feel much more comfortable in flight. In fact they do so much whilst in flight that if they were to stay perched for too long they could die…i relate to this more than you know.
- I’ve learnt to love and believe in myself. Like I said in the beginning, that painfully shy, awkward misfit is still very much there but she is my best friend. Sure I have down days and sometimes I worry that I should be on the same path as everyone else, but overall I am really happy with the person I am today. I love spending time alone and never have to rely on anyone else to save me. Traveling, whether in your own country or someone elses, teaches you things you couldn’t learn anywhere else. It fills you with independence and a lust for life you never knew existed. Life shouldn’t be about plodding along living the same 24 hours over and over again. I thrive in new environments and work my butt off to get what I want from this world. I have learnt that no matter where I am or what I’m doing I’ll be OK because I’ve proved it to myself with every adventure I’ve taken and every time I’ve started over in a new place. You really can do whatever you set your mind to, you just have to believe in yourself!
So I may seem like a little lost wanderer but I’m actually my happiest when my little hippy gypsy soul is getting her feet dirty 🙂