A painful divorce was the gift I needed to understand that part of me that always made me somewhat ashamed.
Unable to settle down
I could never settle down. Throughout my life I wanted to move every few years, change my job, my location, my settings. I got easily bored.
Everyone else was settling in their twenties, moving in with partners, getting steady jobs, long educations and started collecting expensive silverware. I was like a mouse in box in that life, trying to find the way out and at the same time trying to fit in, not wanting to stick out too much.
In their thirties, people were having babies, buying houses and getting their second car and I panicked – what did I do wrong since I couldn’t be in that kind of life?
I started traveling alone when I was 19 – From Copenhagen to Paris, Madrid, Malaga, and Morocco by train. Alone. I was 25 in 1991 when I traveled Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras alone for three months and I loved it so much I wanted to travel more.
Every time I became single I traveled. I tried the package travels with different partners but that kind of travel never really caught on with me. Too organized means boring in my world.
Overcoming Social Pressure
I still felt ashamed though. In Denmark there isn’t much room for being different and people, even close friends asked me if I wasn’t ever going to settle down: “Will you ever be at peace in one place? Settle down and start to love what you have!” I fought for it, but every man I met had a steady job and wasn’t so much into traveling and if they were, they wanted it to be at least 3-star hotels and air conditioned cars. It was too nice for me.
But then I was sitting in a room in Morocco in 2017 after a painful divorce from a man who found me selfish for traveling alone – and I saw a camel walk by my window. It was in the center of Agadir, so I was surprised – and I thought “I am surprised. I like that. OH! Surprises! My whole life I always LOVED to be surprised. That what I want from life!”
In that moment I realized that I am a nomad at heart. I want to be surprised by life. That’s why I travel. And that’s why I’d rather go to Colombia and Nicaragua, than Paris and Italy. The sun and the surprises make me so happy! What makes you happy?
Bestselling author born in Denmark 1966. I had trouble complying with the default way of life. As an adult I moved every few years, changed my job, changed partners – feeling ashamed that I couldn’t settle down. In 2017 I discovered that it wasn’t “couldn’t, it was “wouldn’t” and started my nomad life.
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May your travels be full of love and laughter!