I consider myself a nomad. If not in reality (I’ve been living in the same place for almost 2 years), at least in spirit.
I consider myself a traveler. A permanent traveler. And I try to cultivate some habits that make me feel like I’m always traveling no matter how long I stay in the same place.
I think we are all travelers, even those people who have never packed a suitcase or taken a train or a flight. We are traveling through life, and we have no idea when we are getting off it.
When I get caught up in daily life stuff it’s a bit harder to remind myself of my traveler nature though. But in general, these are some things that I practice and that are key to what I call “the traveler attitude”.
I don’t need to go to a new country. Not even to the next town.
I just try different routes to go to the places I normally go; I get my groceries from different markets; I vary the paths I run through at the park, I try different bars and restaurants despite not being a big fan of eating out; and I take random buses and just get off whenever I see something interesting.
I also walk, walk, and walk. And I get lost too.
I try not sticking to the same routines so that I can see things differently, and I can find inspiration, which is one of the things I look for when I travel to other places.
I grew up in a small traditional town where it seemed like I had to care about what people thought, talked or imagined about me. It felt like there was always a pair of judgmental eyes looking down upon all my actions. Call it paranoia, but that is how it felt. Then there were all the things people said behind your back…
After leaving my hometown, and after living abroad for 10 years, I can finally say that I care very little about what people think of me.
I like doing things I enjoy, being around people I like, and saying what I really think.
I don’t expect everyone to like me, but I ‘m sure that those who stay around are trustworthy people who value my company.
Not giving a f*** about fashion
I have no idea what the fashion trends are. Last time I checked was about four years ago when I was working for a fashion website.
If you follow my blog you already know that I don’t enjoy shopping. That is generally speaking though, because there is a type of shopping that I sometimes take pleasure in. When there is some piece of garment that I need, I like to browse op shops, second-hand and vintage markets.
I buy and I wear what I like and what feels comfortable. I wouldn’t put on something based exclusively on the look —and this is one of the reasons I hate bras and I seldom use them. There, I said it. Bras really suck.
Making new friends
I’ve always liked having different types of friends. People from different circles, from all ages and with different backgrounds.
I’m very lucky. I have good friends all over the world, and I have a bunch of good friends here in Madrid too.
But I like to make new friends all the time. I love talking about different subjects; I enjoy doing different things, trying new stuff.
Bringing new friends into my life makes me travel with their stories and experiences. New people means new ideas, new perspectives and new things to learn and share!
Speaking and learning different languages
When we moved to Spain I was afraid I would only speak Spanish and that I would slowly but steadily forget the languages that took me so much effort to learn (English and Mandarin Chinese).
With this in mind, I’ve pushed myself to meet other foreigners here, to attend language exchange events, and to use other languages as much as possible.
I watch films and TV series in English. I listen to Chinese music; I follow some Youtube channels in Chinese, and I used to study Chinese with a great podcast until very recently, when I decided I wanted to learn more Japanese.
I need to speak and learn new languages to feel that I’m traveling.
Are you a traveler? What other aspects of traveling would you add to this “traveler attitude” idea? I’d love to read about your thoughts in the comments!