Most cosmologies and cultures embrace a moment which represents the beginning of a developing and cyclic journey: the New Moon, the first phase of the lunar cycle; the Spring, the first of the four seasons, and the New Year, which marks the beginning of a new period of time.
Many of the world’s cultures have developed archetypes that embody these beginnings. And since most of them are rooted in mystic and natural phenomena, we can find them surrounded by spiritual and psychological connotations. Aries in astrology, The Fool in Tarot and The innocent in the Jungian archetypes are examples of this.
In more recent literature, the figure of the explorer, the adventurer, the traveller, the one who initiates new things (undertakes a journey) or a madman who dreams of knowing or conquering what is behind the horizon line usually makes for a great piece of storytelling.
Zooming into the Jungian archetypes, which are broadly used in writing characters and for marketing purposes, we have the explorer, who coincidentally is placed in the same category as the wise and the innocent, who, in the same longing for paradise, have to throw themselves into freedom and learn from it, speak the language of detachment and lose the fear of the unknown, while learning to stay safe.
We all go on different journeys. Sometimes some trips last a couple of hours, others a couple of weeks, and in my case, more than a couple of years. The reason why we do it is different. For some, who are more practical and transactional, it is a specific, apparent, defined reason. The destination is what is essential. But for me (and for many of you who are reading me today as well), the reason is complex and uncertain, sometimes, it is not even defined, and the trip is enjoyed as much or more than the destination. Enjoying the processes is essential; learning about what we do is a sign of being present. I have missed many processes because I was distracted, angry, or drunk.
I know it’s cliche to say that life is a journey. And on that trip, one can sometimes do it both as a passenger and a pilot. Both are good, depending on the context. During my time as a pilot, I have had trips without turbulence and others in which I have had to land forcefully. As a passenger, I have learned to let go of control and trust another’s ability to get me safely to the finish line (or final destination). Being a pilot gives you agency, but being a passenger allows you to sleep while moving forward.
More than two years ago, I began a journey that, to this day, does not have a defined final destination. Today, I am a travelling homeless. From the grace that favours me and allows me to continue to do so, I will continue to travel until I can find a place to call home.
While I’m at it, I’ve decided to share with future travellers or curious who are temporarily becoming homeless travellers. I want to share my learnings of the last 2 and a half years, from how to know when and how to decide to start a long trip as a digital nomad to how to make new friends while travelling, going through all the security measures: travel insurance and mental health for travellers.
So follow this blog and @travellinghomeless on Instagram for essays, tips and stories about travelling as a digital nomad.