I recently found one of my friends from high school on Facebook, as we all do. He’s a traveler, like I am; a Swedish man living in Rio de Janeiro… for now. I saw a post on his feed, about his ‘tumbleweed’ lifestyle and to be honest, it made me a bit sad.
Tumble weeds have weak attachments to their roots, so the bonds break in strong winds and the dead plant ‘tumbles’ across creation, aimless and devoid of will. Dead, rootless, and following another’s whims, in this case the wind.
At least, that’s not how I view choosing to travel long term, for it’s own sake. For me, it’s much more like a strawberry plant. Every place a strawberry stem touches earth, it lays down roots, which is how you end up with natural strawberry patches. A trail of life: bonds, blossoms, and eventually lovely sweet fruit.
When I travel, I lay down roots, even just a few, wherever I go. I still have people in Sweden (from more than 20 years ago) who I can call on if I need info, or I’m in town for a bit to say hi and get coffee. And some of them have moved along to England or Finland. When I was in Mexico last time, I met several Japanese girls, and I now have an invitation to Hokkaido, when I make it to Asia.
Rooted in Life
The bonds are there, though they may not be as strong as if we’d known each other our whole lives. We all craft grow our own lives, laying down roots as we see fit. Just because we don’t tend to them every day, doesn’t mean they aren’t there ready to be revived with just a bit of attention.
The life of a traveler while not one of deep roots is one of many… offshoots. And those offshoots provide a great variety of options, including whatever happens next.
So, tell me, where all do you have roots and what do you see as your options?