Reconnecting with friends and family is one of the true joys of nomadic living. We have just been so blessed with wonderful hospitality, support, conversation, care, interest and love from friends and family. We are feeling so thankful for all the wonderful people we know and all those we have met along the way. Its so encouraging to experience such a sense of community in all these places we have never been.
Community has been an idea I have focused on since very early in my adult years. August of 2001, at the age of 21, I moved back to my hometown to create a space that teens could go to. A space to connect to a community of their peers and receive support and build relationships with caring adults. Leaving that position in August of 2017, was one of the hardest things I have had to do in my life. It was my life. Stepping away has given me a profound feeling of how much of a part of my life that place was. Revelations are revelations for a reason.
I feel its a lot easier to connect with others when you live in a smaller community. Familiar faces and places are a big part of this. Running into someone you know at the grocery store, or 10 people you know is great. Unless you’re in a hurry.
One of the challenges for me of small town life is finding pockets of people that are into similar specific hobbies or interests. There are less people doing certain activities or sharing similar interests. From my experience, small town life does force you to dig a little deeper to find commonalities and broadens your immediate interests and activities sometimes to connect with people. For example, I went to many events I wasn’t particularly interested in cause I knew friends would be there or to possibly see who was there.
For me, the idea of community has always had a deeper meaning for me, beyond physical interests or other physical similarities. Activities and hobbies were always a connecting point to develop deeper relationships. I was introduced to a hobby by someone, whether I knew them or not. Our connections shape our interests and the path of our life.
Road life has really emphasized the global community. It has reinforced and shown me even more that we are all connected. Lives intertwining, interactions and choices, all affecting each other. Almost every decision we make ripples through time.
In my life in Aberdeen, there were many days I wouldn’t encounter a new person. Life on the road is completely the opposite, just about every single day I encounter at least one new person. Interacting with many different types of humans is like viewing yourself through many different lenses. Everyone brings new things into your life. There are so many different perspectives and thoughts with each encounter. Experiencing a wide variety of individuals challenges my worldview and introduces me to new ideas.
I wanted to write about one of the reoccurring thoughts in regards to relationships, that coincides with the mantra of “staying in your day”. So many people come and go in life, for many different lengths of time. Living to truly value that one moment you have with that person. Realizing that every single person you come in contact with is a potentially amazing connection. Not saying that every person is to be trusted or that we need to be equally vulnerable with that person or have equal relationships with every person we meet, but to be present and slow down and take time. It has been super beneficial for me to try to challenge myself to learn at least one thing about that person, other than their name and where they are from. People respond well, most of the time, to real inquiries about their life. Stop, take time, listen and love. – V