Life as a nomad: Turning into a Crazy Traveller Woman.

My life at the minute is seemingly as sweet as it gets to the average 9-5 onlooker. Throughout University I worked part time and manged to self-fund two different 2 month long backpacking trips to Australia and Central America, and since uprooting myself at graduation from the tiny bit of routine normality I was anchored to, I’ve travelled 4 continents, 15 different countries, and spent the winter working in an Alpine Ski resort.

So yeah, I guess ‘nice’ is a bit of an understatement. Life has been full of adventure, fun, new experiences, new friends… and, well, everything I’ve ever really wanted from life.

Dutchies in Budapest 484218_10151309498481879_1262691323_n
Giant South African Lego Man.

But now comes the awkward inbetween-y bit. The necessary limbo that comes between travel and fun and all of those idealistic fantasies becoming realities. This is where I find myself currently. I’m back in my small, extremely sub standard town just North of Nottingham, staying in my parents house, and trying to keep my temporarily very boring life from driving me to insanity.

These states of limbo are necessary at this point – I need money to pay off a rather excessive student overdraft whilst making plans for the next big adventure. But when you don’t have your own house, have a degree in, fundamentally, reading books,  and all of your friends seem to be getting on with their lives, it leaves you with an abundance of spare time to ponder the lifestyle in which you may have chosen to lead.

The nomadic life is one that I have actively chosen. It’s not that I want it, I kind of feel like I need it. Two months backpacking did nothing to quell my hunger for travel, it only worked up an appetite. So really, settling down and ‘getting on my with my life’ in the conventional way, at least, just isn’t an option.

But in this plethora of free time I’ve suddenly found on my hands, I do start to question myself. Is this really how I’m going to live my life? Am I really not going to get a ‘proper’ job and get rid of this depressing overdraft and experience the security (or novelty as it seems at the minute) of having money in the near future? Am I going to, inevitably, sacrifice friendships and relationships to move around the world as and when I please? And that’s just the start. As time slowly drags on, the questions become statements. Big, dramatic, scary statements… I’ll never have any friends! I’ll slowly but surely transform into that crazy old hippy woman who sits in a world of her own in the corner of a hostel! I’ll never get married! I’ll never have kids! I’M GOING TO DIE ALONE AND NO ONE WILL EVER BE ABLE TO RECOVER MY BODY BECAUSE WHO KNOWS WHERE THE HELL IT’S GOING TO BE??!?!?!?!?!?!

But then I chill the bloody hell out, and realise that this job-house-husband-kids scenario isn’t a necessary part of life. We’re all kind of told that that is the path we should take, the path of a secure and stable life and society. But how many people achieve all of these ‘necessities’ only to wake up at 45, 3 stone heavier, 3 times lazier, and full of 25 years worth of failed aspirations and discarded dreams?

Let’s roll all of those inspirational time-old cliches into one big perspective filled picture: Money is, apparently, the root of all evil, an excessive amount will never do you any good. ‘Friends’ who are friends will always be there. Relationships will come and go until the right one comes along no matter where in the world you are. And you know what? That crazy old woman in the corner of the hostel always looks pretty content with her lot in life anyway.

Lion taming in Zambia

Crazy lady in the park



  1. jacksjottings

    Just live life and take the opportunities as they arise. We never know where it will end. I believe fate, destiny call it what you will, shapes our lives, it is up to us to be brave and go through those doors that open in front of us.

  2. Is Leah Here? (@LeahEadesTravel)

    TOTALLY know what you mean! Now that I’ve come back from Italy I’ve caved and got a “real” job (which actually I’m pretty excited about, so no complaints here!), but spent ages wrangling over the dilemma of choosing between the freedom of travelling/ stability and security of building a career. In the end I decided I’d give the job thing a go, and if I don’t like it I can always leave and run off to China. LIFE PLANS! Just do what you want to do, take opportunities as they arise if they feel right and you can’t go wrong!

  3. Casey

    Hey babe, i think i am in love with you! haha! Absolutely well written, it totally sums up my thoughts on leading a nomadic lifestyle! And to live up to such an extraordinary lifestyle comes with a hefty price to pay and all i can see is, that price to pay is nothing but the constant fear of not being financially stable someday. But one thing for sure is that we get all of the happiness and joy in the world from the lifestyle that we have chosen to live and happiness is priceless. We are rich in heart and that’s what matters! 🙂 xx

    1. gemmafottles

      Haha, thanks Casey! You’re absolutely right. I’ve got solid travel plans for the next 3 and a half years of my life which of course I am so excited about, but by the time it comes to finish, I’ll be almost 27. The big, boring world kind of dictates that by this age we should be well on our way to careers, husbands, mortgages and… K-I-D-S. It’s hard not to worry about it, but you’re right, this is the lifestyle that breeds happiness and contentment. x

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