The Wayfarer's Book

Nomadic Life, Month Five (and Four and Three)

Nomadic Life posts are personal recaps of what life is really like when you live like a moving target. From personal challenges and triumphs to upcoming travel plans, here’s an insider look into my life out of a suitcase. 

My Place Where_Luang Prabang

For the record and despite the cheekiness of this picture, I was very respectful to the monks.

Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Austin, Cuba, Mexico, New York, Kiev.

Between December 18 and February 26, I didn’t spend more than five consecutive nights in one single place. That’s over two months of being constantly on the move, lugging my possessions around after me in a roll-y carry-on duffle bag (that was totally destroyed at the end of those two months).

Everything was wonderful and I’ll tell you all about it later.

My Place Where_Cuba

Turning 30 in my 30th country was definitely a highlight! As was finding this gorgeous blue wall that my aunt and I matched perfectly — talk about setting high expectations for the year!

But now I am in Kiev, and my tired feet are grateful to find some solid ground. Sure, it’s colder here than in Mexico (just barely) and I’m struggling a bit with the Cyrillic alphabet, but I’m happy to be able to unpack for a hot minute.

I was in New York for just a few days before I left on my one-way ticket to Europe. Between the packing and meeting up with friends and generally just pacing around in circles as I do before a big flight, the visit went by way too fast. It’s hard to walk down the streets of New York City in springtime and not love it. I literally wanted to hug the pavement in front of Lincoln Center. I went to my childhood Barnes and Noble just to smell the books. And yes, I did try the new everything bagel doughnut that’s the buzz of the town.

My Place Where_TheDoughnutProject

For anyone keeping track of the 15+ donut places I’ve tried in New York… The Doughnut Project may be my new favorite. More testing is required, but it’s definitely high up there in the list.

In truth, I’d started to miss New York. I’d had enough distance, you know, and time to forget some of the frustrating things that had led me to leave. And beyond that, I missed a little… stability.

I missed having “my place where.” I missed having my place where I got my bagel breakfast sandwiches. I missed having my place where I took my dry cleaning. I missed my place where I went for coffee and to work/procrastinate on Facebook.

My Place Where_Mexico City

I DID manage to find “my place where I can shove tacos in my face all day long” in Mexico City. That one was pretty quick.

I love constantly traveling and being a nomad and am excited for the new adventures of 2016. But there’s something to be said about having something to ground you. In all that traveling, especially when I was traveling solo in Mexico, there were times I started to feel seriously unmoored. I could be a different person day by day, sometimes hour by hour. There was no one and nothing to tell me otherwise.

My Place Where_Teotihuacan

I could even be that girl who enjoyed outdoorsy things like climbing up way too many stairs!

So when I returned to New York and remembered I used to have all my places where, my heart ached a little. Nomad or not, there’s something about physical spaces that informs our identities. I am someone who does things. I can prove it. This is where I get on the subway for work. This is where I play pool with Boyfriend. This is where I buy my doughnuts. In this neighborhood, at least.

It was bittersweet to leave my places where in New York. There’s a good chance I’ll be back at the end of the year, but I haven’t booked a ticket yet. And to be honest, I am already incredibly comfortable in Ukraine. I’ve already got a few my places where here. I’ve got my place where I can eat butter candles, my place where I go to have a cheap cappuccino and repeat the same discussion with the owner about being from New York, my place where I get hipster cocktails and disapproving glances for laughing too loud.

My Place Where_Parovoz

Is it really a speakeasy, though, if you found out about it through online research?

My time in Kiev is going to be fantastic. I’m thrilled to be here for (at least) two months. I can’t wait to find more my places where. It’s part discovery and part growing roots. Because, after all, I’m still looking for my place where I get donuts here in Kiev.

My Place Where_St. Michael's Monastery

Helllllllo, gorgeous. Yes, I think I’ll like it here very much.

I’m still catching up with my travels here on the blog, but you can follow me in real time on Snapchat at ‘wayfarersbook’ or on Instagram and Twitter!


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8 thoughts on “Nomadic Life, Month Five (and Four and Three)

  1. Faith

    I love travel reflection posts. This was nice to read. I’ve been on the road for almost 10 months now and am missing that feeling of stability and “my place where” too. All the best for your adventures!

    1. Amy Post author

      Thanks, Faith! 10 months is a really long time! I found myself going through intense ups and downs on just a three week solo trip in Mexico. Part of the reason I decided to start these monthly nomadic life posts was because I was having a hard time fitting these types of reflections into other posts and I wanted to be able to connect with people about the less-Instagramable parts of traveling. Thanks for chiming in, and best of luck with your travels too!

  2. Dominique

    I like the way you say that you miss having a place where. It’s so true! I’ve not lived the nomad lifestyle, but I did move countries a few times which left me feeling unmoored. I can’t wait to buy my own place in The Netherlands so that I can travel some more while my possessions are securely stowed :) I’m looking forward to your travel stories!

    1. Amy Post author

      While I’m currently happy with our slow-travel lifestyle, I am starting to get a bit of an itch to *have* an apartment. Everything in time. I hope you find the perfect place soon! :)

  3. Eva Casey

    I relate to this post so much right now! I just realized I haven’t been in the same spot for more than 8 nights in about 3 months! Yikes. I love traveling (obviously), but I’m longing for my places and especially my people! It’s fun meeting new people and forming new friendships, but sometimes you just long for a group of people who’ve known you for years. Kiev looks absolutely beautiful!

    1. Amy Post author

      Kiev has been so wonderful! Seriously can’t wait to share it with y’all on the blog. But one thing that’s made it great is the ‘my people’ aspect — we’re very lucky to have friends here from pre-Kiev and I’m finding it way easier to connect with new people than in Singapore. There’s no Sunday Funday though. :)

      1. Lindsey

        I would love to hear more about your experiences in Kiev! We are getting ready to move there this summer!

        1. Amy Post author

          I’m so excited for you! Kiev is a truly awesome place. Plentiful cafes, delicious food scene, hip bars. And the people are so wonderful! I’m hoping to start posts about Ukraine in about two or three weeks — and I have a lot to say. :)

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