Nomad n. an individual of a wandering pastoral community; a rover, wanderer. ( Collins English Dictionary )
I have never been a nomad and it’s strange, I guess, that I would purposefully choose to be one at this juncture in my life. But life, it seems, has its own way of manifesting itself and here I am, two weeks a nomad, with a rather long and uncertain road ahead.
The decision to become nomadic, like many aspects of my life, was quite a spontaneous one. I had been living with my son in the flat I had bought for him and his siblings en route for university and for me, generally, as a base where we could congregate in the UK whilst I was in the midst of my ‘international career’. Having decided on another whim, to bring that phase of my life to an end, I found myself living in said flat with younger son on a full time basis.
A little odd, perhaps, that it was the parent returning home on this occasion, rather than vice versa, but so it was that we ended up there together for just over a year. Then, in December, my son declared that he would be taking off on a sabbatical for some months, from the end of February. I boldly declared that I was going to do likewise. I had returned to London after many years overseas, really because I couldn’t decide where I wanted to settle. Now my hand was forced and, hey presto, the flat was rented out without much ado and I was free to roam where ever life would take me.
Friends and ( most of ) my family declared me lucky, brave and fortunate to have the opportunity that now lay ahead. In reality, however, I was feeling anything but brave and fortunate. Nonetheless, I was committed to handing over the property to eager tenants from the first of March and so something, me, in fact, had to shift.
All packed up and ready to go, my journey began with a visit to friends in Somerset. Lynda, an ex-boss from Oman days, and Simon, were great hosts and I thoroughly enjoyed a couple of days feasting on Simon’s gastronomic delights. Next, a few days with my daughter. Delightful, but not quite the relaxing ambience of Somerset, with energetic grand-daughters vying for my attention. My provision of laughing yoga and horse rides formed the daily routine.
Then a visit to my brother on the out-skirts of an oddly warm and sunny Glasgow. By circumstance, rather than design ( more on that later ) I am currently vehicle free, so I found myself, daily, joyfully even, travelling from the south, where I was temporarily residing, across the Erskine Bridge to the north side of the River Clyde on visits to my mother. Childhood memories abounded as I faced those Kilpatrick hills along the way. And I wondered, was it by design that the cemetery, crematorium and Auchentoshan whisky distillery were all next door to each other, just north of the Bridge?
So far, then, I must admit, not a lot of bravado has yet been required by my nomadic existence. I suspect that the next phase, despite my generally high level of fitness, may take me out of my comfort zone. This is the six day, one hundred mile West Highland Way trek from Milngavie to Fort William. My stay with friends on Skye at the end, however, will surely prove an excellent respite.
If you enjoyed reading this article you might also like to read The Art of Walking and Dying