The average American moves 11.7 times in their lifetime.
I’m clearly a proponent of travel, relocating, moving and trying new places so I find it fascinating when I talk to my friends who have stayed in the same city/state for their whole life and don’t plan on leaving. I say fascinating because:
1) My life has been the opposite; 2) When I find someone’s actions to be opposite from my own, I know we can each learn a lot from the other.
Let me start by saying, there is something ineffable and fulfilling about growing up in a town, staying near your family and friends, then raising your own family in that same town where you learned to ride a bike, attended elementary and high school and then fell in love. I think it is beautiful.
But, it’s not me.
I earnestly, almost pleadingly ask my friends who love nesting, “Do you ever want to pick up and leave? What about moving to a place you know no one? How do you know you can stay in your town and not have the urge to leave?” I wonder the how’s and why’s.
I am made up of exotic lands, new people, new colors, faces, different currency and cuisine, mountains, oceans, accents, regions, building a community from the ground up, struggling alone, and then learning independence by being outside of your comfort zone. The kind of independence that starts at the bottom of your toes and crawls up to your heart, entrenched in your brain that represents the support of others, but began with you. Alone.
Want to know a secret? Sometimes I wish I took the route right in front of me and still lived close to my family (I’m extremely close to them). I have no regrets, at all, and listening to my intuition and jumping in feet first is my philosophy – for life, but sometimes I wish I could hop over to my parents for dinner or take a couple hour drive and be in the comfort of my hometown.
Alas, I feel blessed because my mother and father encouraged me to spread my wings. Maybe because at young ages, they did the same.
As I think about a mate or partner for life, the quality of a “seeker” seems to be more analogous and important to me. For example, an ex of mine chose to stay in his hometown, then move only a half hour away. I was seeking challenge, he was seeking regularity in the familiar – different lifestyle choices.
These two paths represent a different life, a different perspective and a different set of lenses to view the world. There isn’t a right or wrong, we all have different needs, different reasons for staying put or traveling, but for me, traveling and geographical growth is simply a lifestyle I find an affinity with, right now.
I also haven’t overlooked that this largely has to do with where I am in my life. Currently, my life is day-to-day, transient and I’m in my 20’s. I don’t imagine that I will be gallivanting around the world and uprooting when I have a family (although, I sure as hell want to galavant with my family) but want to also ensure they have roots and a place we can build and grow together.
My family did that for me – but prior to settling into a community and school system, they traveled, moved around, lived in places they knew no one, met each other, then traveled some more and even as I speak, my parents are in India together even though they have lived in my hometown for over 20 years together. They work hard to keep seeking, traveling and learning.
You might think I’m being haughty, but I’m not. I’ve already talked about how incredible it is to be close with your nourishing family, build and grow overtime in your community/hometown or general regional area. It just isn’t for me. So I’m speaking my truth and as always, I would hope, that we each continue to live and speak our truth because there really isn’t any other way to live, right?
So are you a nester or a seeker? Have you been both – how has it changed for you?