(2017 – There are very few interesting entries in this next diary. Mainly a hand-drawn day calendar (no year or months!) and addresses. I can see, from the entries, that it starts in London (and around) and then I go up to Scotland. Where I then met my first long term partner. A local hitch-hiker! I did eventually move in with him. It lasted 4 years. But there are a few pieces worth sharing…..)
So I change myself. I learned this travelling. There are some personas that are easier and more comfortable for me to adopt. Others only remind me of the world’s sicknesses – namely extremes – extreme wealth, extreme nationalism, extreme anger. Being with those people I find harder and more painful to maintain.
Is it wrong to protect yourself this way? I have been traveling alone for 6 years. If you are walking alone and a big, aggressive dude begins to talk with you – I would try to talk his language , the best I could, make a friend of him, rather than an enemy?
As such, is this a skill?
My problem is that I do not trust others to be able to cope with my chameleon nature and I find it increasingly hard , now, to be a stable personality. Always open to new perspectives. Almost constantly harmonizing with the immediate.
I have met others on my travels like myself. Others who constantly seek, often sub-consciously, for common truths. Travel inherently encourages these bridging connections. In order to travel continuously it becomes necessary to do this in order to maintain an even keel……even in extreme change, or extreme social changes. It can be exhausting! One becomes a bit of a diplomat often!
The more angles you collect on a three dimensional object, the more accurate perception you will form of it.
This is an indisputable fact.
The same logically applies to cultural experience. The more varied existences you have, at first hand , experienced, the more accurate your perceptions of people and this world.
This certainly seems to me, based on my experience so far, to be true.
I can draw, now, on a much fuller information database and so can form more justifiable definitions/opinions than I could prior to gaining this experience/knowledge.
I travel instinctively i.e. I do what feels right at the time, always with an aim to keep moving. (Keepin’ on feels right!). I interact with every individual I meet instinctively. I take them for whom they appear to be, all are good, until proven otherwise. If someone is nice to me I endeavor to return the favor. My policy is to be friendly, not to set up barriers. This is my protection. Obviously if there becomes reason to give out otherwise, I , instinctively, will! The path of least resistance creates a very positive life. Opportunities opening are opportunities taken and when the going gets tough, the tough get going! It is easier, less strain, mentally and emotionally to know oneself able to ‘get out’ ‘move on’. The only serious obstacle to be overcome? Attachment.
Attachment based on greed, comfort, competition.
I am transferring my attachment from material possession to the spiritual journey and the ones I meet on the road, who in their similar outlook, I am attached to through a shared experience. Connected by our understanding of tolerance, change and movement.
So in a transitory, nomadic existence one becomes logically less attached to material possession, or places, people and nature/weather take on more importance, not stagnant goods, and people and nature are also more subject to change! Nothing very solid to hold onto. Leaving only your own integrity!
Being constantly the ‘newest’ and yet also, very often, the ‘oldest'(widest experience) is also very demanding mentally.
Change rules the lives of those that move from one environment to the other regularly. That knowledge of change becomes another valuable understanding shared by all travellers. Being able to cope easily with change is deeply connected to survival and also good leadership.
The social consequences are that travellers i.e. any type of person that adopts no permanent home (the more extreme the environments traveled through the more acute the learning) have a built-in awareness of this. They begin to form a universal understanding. Many shrug it off, as to acknowledge this as wisdom is to put yourself on a different level and that erodes the experience. So while many traveling people may, externally, appear to challenge, visually, the norms of society, it is more that they acknowledge the senseless shallowness of societies rigid norms and judgement, the immense variation of such, and flirt with it all. Often becoming a walking fusion of cultures! There are also many who prefer to remain neutrally invisible. I tend to be more visible with my dreadlocks and handmade clothing and this means I can easily identify other like minded folk…although I am meeting quite a few who like the look, but have never travelled anywhere in their lives! Coping with the total absurdity of a holistic, planetary, view of humankind and its divisive politics means it is imperative to form a sense of humor.
Most genuine travellers enjoy a good laugh, many seem even frivolous in life! Laughter IS the best medicine. I have observed that in Northern Europe many travellers have developed a culture of black, sarcastic humour, often political in nature. I believe rooted in the abuse of native travelling peoples and this more modern day clamping down…. In Australia, the ferrel, playful humour is far less dark and nature connected. There really is more space over there!! Laughter and a common language of humour also signal of a type of inclusive, universal consciousness. If after seeing so much of the world, you find the same things funny, it is likely to be a base truth….common ground.
‘I take what I need and try to take nothing more.’
‘I give wherever I can.’
‘Traveller’ is a much maligned word. There are so many types of travellers. I tend to define them by their choice of mobile accommodation! Teepee dwellers are very different from Euro-truck dwellers. Horse drawn are deemed to deserve more respect than motor driven (and so they should as it requires more commitment and is rooted in ancient tradition) drug traffickers, people on the run, street performers, protestors, middle class runaways, misfits, addicts and die hard anarchists are all umbrellaed within this word. This knowledge is shared. Constant change. What does vary enormously is the field of their vision….literally in miles!
If one travels worldwide, or are able to perceive long routes, always living at grass roots level, it is sure that you will learn more than someone who walks up and down the same street everyday and mixes with the same people, (or, indeed, flies around the world staying in all inclusive hotels!)….and yet that would still teach you much….limiting though.
We are now entering an age where the culture of living movement is being seriously threatened by the governments need to control. What are they so frightened of? This type of ‘wisdom’? Our sheer power to laugh and not take what they do and say too seriously? Our instinct for survival and leadership?
Modern day travellers simply stepped outside the prescribed roles. Saw a better option and took it. Logic.
Is that a reason to bully them out of free existence. I, for one, have not broken many rules/laws, I simply did not like living in a box.
Now I am a traveller. I have not lived in one place for 5 years (not ever more than 2 months). I have lived in accommodation ranging from beautiful bedrooms in country houses, under sculptures in public parks, on endless floors in endless squats and friend’s flats, in caravans, wagons, teepees, cheap hotel rooms, tents, tree-houses, beaches , lodges, benders and even my taxi for 2 years. I am in a temporary caretaking position just now. Luxury!
It might indeed be my choice not to rejoin society, as due to bad, unrepresentative, press, society is drawing further and further away from celebrating this style of living. More and more people I encounter seem fearful of these types of existence. I feel separated, increasingly, by a new culture of hatred of those who do not obviously pay their taxes, behave as standard. Fear often exhibited through hatred and derision.
The other day I went to open a door that had a sign on it. ‘NO TRAVELLERS‘ I went in and had a coffee. No-one noticed. I know what they meant, but it did make me smile!
I guess it is human nature to be afraid of those who appear to show no fear.
This has been a long , stoned , ramble on. Maybe one day I’ll unravel some truths in all this jumbled thinking, by then I may, if I am lucky, have found myself!!”