Denali, AK: Part II

“What are you missing? It’s great that you incorporate your philosophies into your life, but there must be some kind of con. What’s the good and the bad of this life, of a… nomad?” John, a New Yorker of typical flair asked me as I drove he, his sister, and his 78 year old mother home after a trip down the Nenana, fast forwarded a year and six months after my first day in Alaska. And as all East Coasters, they had their zest: a love to talk, especially talk shit, and a curiosity of people beyond their historic coast. It was a question I had never been asked. I have been told many times that I am living a dream many wished to pursue, it’s an obvious statement, but never had I been questioned what disappoints in my journey

I was silent for a moment as I thought what truly disappointed me most, “you get strangely territorial of certain things,” I started. “Like, I have a few rocks that people simply can’t touch. My pillow, if I have one… it’s my pillow.” I laughed at the quirk I had adopted. “You can say goodbye to creature comforts too.”

There are, without doubt, sacrifices made in exchange for this life, but there are benefits to reap as well. However, not every nature is built for it nor does every nature understand it or its value, and vice versa for the nomad looking out. So for any person considering it, take it from a transplant. At the ripe age of 24, I was supposed to be married, talking of kids, and planted firmly in a veterinary career. And I could not be happier to have abandoned that path.

Bereft of the familiar, of comfort, of excessive want and material, life’s little quirks that stress many seem to vanish. On the flip side, I find myself always wondering where to sleep, what to eat, and the endurance of my body. It’s a trippy thought process. What am I missing? Not much. I never had much value for the things I left behind.


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