Born to the Life of a Nomad

I guess you could say I’ve been on a road cruise since leaving Santa Fe a couple of week ago. I’ll eventually get to my sister’s house in Fort Smith, Ark., but there is no rush. I drove for two days to Brownsville, at the most southern spot in Texas. Not only did I get to visit my cruise friends Barbara and Richard, but I even made my first trip out of the country since the pandemic. We crossed the border into Mexico at Nuevo Progreso and had a fun couple of hours window shopping and enjoying margaritas and tacos.

On another day we explored the beach at South Padre Island, where I took time for a couple of sketches.

I followed the Gulf Coast northeast, meeting my nephew Zan for lunch near Houston and staying a couple of days in New Orleans. A few years ago I spent a month there leading up to Mardi Gras, and it has joined Chicago and Santa Fe as places I consider my “second homes.” This time I ate at my favorite Lower Garden District restaurant, Maya’s, where the plantains and tropical tilapia lived up to my memories. Charbroiled oysters at Acme did not, and I must say the beignets at Café du Monde aren’t as good as when they were delivered fresh to your table.

Once again I took a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking (I think the 10th time I’ve done that) where I always learn something new. I love being in New Orleans despite the brutal humidity. My hotel pool provided a refreshing break.

Now I’m in Largo, Fla., between Clearwater and Saint Petersburg, visiting another good friend Daisy and my Siamese cats, Cooper and Callie, who are living the good life with her while I travel.

I guess you could say I was born to this nomadic life. While I have friends who have lived their whole lives within a few miles of their birthplace, my family moved frequently with my father’s corporate transfers. I went to six elementary schools and two junior highs. Walking into an unfamiliar classroom was normal, and my classmates weren’t strangers, but future friends.

Boarding a cruise ship full of strangers is second nature to me. I’ve already booked lunch reservations for four people in our first port this fall, knowing I’ll have new friends to invite along.

I recently blogged about my plans to mostly live on cruise ships in a Facebook group, View From My Window. The post garnered an amazing – to me – number of likes (12,000) and responses (1,100).

If you are on Facebook, you should join its 3+ million members from around the world. It is self-described as “a unique way to see the world through the personal lens of ordinary people, from the mundane to the glorious. Behind every picture is the story of an ordinary person, his [her] outlook on life.” Or if you are in Brussels, Belgium, before May 2023, go see the exhibition.

What I found most remarkable among the comments to my post were the number of people who said I am brave, courageous and adventurous for selling everything and living on the sea and the road. I just thought it sounded fun.

  • “What a wonderful, brave, scary thing to do and here I am worrying about downsizing from our little farm of 33 years.” Oregon
  • “I have huge admiration for you being able to part with most of your belongings to allow you to wander the world.” Australia
  • “You sound like an adventurous soul … setting out beyond your borders. Not many people can take that leap.” Australia
  • “That sounds so exciting and scary at the same time!!”

There is a whole world of philosophy in the comments.

  • “I’d be so fat if I lived on a cruise ship.”
  • “To live in one place one’s whole life is sad. Yes, there is a certain sense of comfort in that, but think of all the views that will be missed…the friendships made.”
  • “I have been getting rid of things so I can go to tiny living and thus travel more.” Michigan
  • “How liberating it must be to be free of everything and set sail to lands out yonder.” India
  • “Do you ever miss ‘home?’”
  • “I sold everything and live on the road in a RV. Cheers to alternative lifestyles.”
  • “Where, oh where, do you put souvenirs?”
  • “Oh, my goodness you are living my dream life.” New Jersey
  • “Am in awe of you! Unsure of what you want to do and so you are going to go out and work it out… In due course you will work out what you want to do and where.” Pennsylvania
  • “I couldn’t imagine life ‘out there’ to that extent. Can’t imagine your motive for that. Going TO something? AWAY from something?”

As I continue to read through the comments, it gives me lots of think about. I don’t think I am running from something. And I don’t know that I am searching for what I want to do and where. At least for now, I’m just enjoying this lifestyle. And today’s View From My Window at Daisy’s house.

View From My Largo Window