After leaving London, I returned to my parental home on a farm just outside the town of Ljungby, Sweden.
Why, after all my big talk of exploring the world and the great nomadic freedom, did I choose to go home? It isn’t exactly adventurous. In this post, I will try to answer that question.
Time and energy
De-constructing my old life and bidding adieu to London was hard work and took a lot out of me, both emotionally and time-wise. Knee-deep as I was in the old, I had neither time nor energy to plan for the new.
I live under no illusion that becoming a nomad will be easy. I expect that the first trembling steps will be particularly hard as I learn the ropes, one mistake at a time. In fact, it is all rather scary.
But since my first destination is a safe place that doesn’t need any preparations, I didn’t have to worry about it. Instead, I could focus all my energy where it was needed i.e. leaving London.
Clearly dividing the old from the new
Whenever I finish a book, I have to wait a couple of days before I can start the next. I need that time to let the old book sink in. It is in the time between books that I can mull over what I’ve read and lock away the experiences in my mind. Immediately moving on to the next book would cheapen the old.
I believe the same holds true for the phases in our lives.
It would be madness to simultaneously read the last chapter of one book and the first of another, yet that is what we risk doing if we try to seamlessly go from one phase to another. Both the end and the start of a phase offers opportunities to learn new lessons, but those opportunities can be lost if we try to do both at the same time.
By putting this break in between the old and the new, I bought myself the time to really savour the last few weeks in London. After all, a ten-year long chapter deserves an un-rushed ending.
I am aware that I go on about it, but seriously, there is so much to do when leaving your job, flat, stuff, friends and all those lovers. The more you can defer, the better. You will be plenty busy with the tasks that absolutely cannot wait.
By creating time in between the old and the new, you create a space where you can defer that which you must do before the new but not before leaving the old.
Some examples of those tasks are:
- Buying and packing my back pack.
- Organizing flights, visas, insurance etc for my first travel destination.
Those tasks, and others like them, would have been critical to get done before I left London had I not taken this time-out.
Reconnect with my family
A straightforward reason for coming home is that I wanted to. The big selling point of a nomadic life is to be free to go where you please, and why not home?
I have been in London for ten years. During that time, I have visited my family twice a year. Those short visits always felt rushed. Being location-independent means I can stay longer, and staying longer means I am not just visiting my family but living with them, an experience I haven’t had for ten years.
Finally, I am really really looking forward letting my mother pamper me.
If you are working towards a big change in your life, be it a shift to a nomadic lifestyle or something completely different, it is a good idea to take a time-out between the new and the old. It allows you to focus on what is important before, during and after the change. The time-out is the ideal place to rest and reflect on the old, which will leave you better prepared for the new.