As I sit at the Phi Phi island rooftop bar surrounded by other young travelers wearing colorful bracelets and sporting tank tops with words like “Same Same” and “Chang Beer,” I overhear a familiar tune. Confident voices coming from lounged sunburnt bodies preach on about why they’ve chosen the nomadic path.
They cover where they are from, where they’ve been and how long they have been on the road. The constant cliche conversation.
One goes on and on for minutes, maybe longer,“Why would I just continue down that path and work my ass off until I’m 70? Contributing to a SYSTEM that doesn’t give a shit about me. No, man. I decided to say screw that and leave. And here I am.”
The other one replies with a nod and a one-upper, “Yeah man, you’ll see after you’ve been traveling for as long as me you won’t even remember what it feels like to pay taxes.”
They both laugh and high-five each other and continuing drinking their cold beers.
You could walk to any of the given groups of tables in this place and hear a similar conversation happening.
What do myself and the other 30 people at the bar all have in common with these two British surfer guys?
We all left the real world behind and took to the road (and at this particular juncture that road led us to Thailand).
Myself and the other sitting at this bar stepped far out of our comfort zones and came to the other side of the world. Backpackers, lifelong travelers, and college kids all on the same path- for now, at least. The path binds us travelers together in what feels like an unspoken bond. It’s as if we carry a mutual respect for each other. It takes a traveler to realize that EVERY traveler has a story- something profound that occurred in their lives and inspired them to fly across the globe.
It’s a powerful story- the one of the nomad who left the 9-5 job back home. Sometimes it gets old- these repetitive conversations- but it’s also one of the charms of this new lifestyle I’ve chosen. It reminds me I am not alone. There are many others like me.
We- the nomads, the backpackers, the world travelers oozing wanderlust, all have similar songs to sing. We all left a world in which we did not find fulfillment. We left to explore the rest of the planet and live in the moment- and then this path of no direction becomes you. It becomes your identity and the story you tell everyone whose path you cross.
You are the nomad.
We have become the characters we used to obsess over online. The one’s whose blogs and the social media threads would drive us to jealousy.
I have become that person- the “nomad cliche.”
Me, and all the others, anyway.
We’re all just riding this wave for as long and as far as it will take us- and maybe someday we will find our way home. Or maybe we have been home all along.
All I know is that I love this little community I have joined and have never been happier to be such a cliche.