The Journal is an online collection of articles and essays written and curated by writer & photographer Thomas W Coombs, published bi-annually.

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Issue 35; Appease the Nomadic Gene

We are by our own very human nature a nomadic race, we have by our own fruition made our lives very steady and still, like a moulded jelly with it’s little wobbles but always occupies the same space at the base.  Due to this inherent truth that we like to move around, travel has been in our lives for many years, growing in distance as technology allows us, with no care of the natural world which is another human trait and now this has come all so apparent.  The question I ask is should we become more nomadic but less travelled or more travelled?

What? Yes I know, a bit deep or possibly freudian for a simple website but this lock down pandemic which shall not be named because we have all had enough of it, got me thinking.  The first thing so many of us British did was jump on a plane and head off to other countries, piling families on metal tubes full of recycled air of other passengers you have never met, masked up and ready to down beer and eat too much and get a tan.  Funnily enough the same thing I was doing from my own home, without masks and tubes of stale filtered air.  Just saying but we are the only nation that goes away in our own summer to these days with similarly warm climates (we were hotter than Spain).

It was very much the realm of someone (the Government) that said you can fly to Spain, but no one stopped to think if you should fly to Spain, to paraphrase Ian Malcolm (yes that one). The “I am going no matter what” mentality of a holiday loving nation pushed on the boundaries that just a month before was worried about dying in a makeshift hospital in a conference centre. And this is what I mean, our shuffling feet can’t stand and just look up at the sky we want to be up there, going on the next adventure, or downing that next god awful sangria only sold to the British masses in jugs of fruit, the good stuff only kept for dear friends, also known as real wine.  But it is not just the holidaying fraternity it is the travellers, the real nomadic dreamers back in the air, spending months away at a time, the influencers “living their best life” on social media, giving us all itchy feet as our ancestors poke us to get going.

I am no different except I noticed the cleaner waters in Venice, the returning animal life on beach fronts
on far flung destinations.  The hotels closed and the rubbish not piling up in the centre of islands not equipped for the human holiday machine.  I think agent Smith had a point (another film reference) we go in detroy and multiply.  From the observant outsider my brain sometimes is, the devil's advocate for the devil himself as it were, is being well travelled really a trait we want? or would you just like to say, I have been around I am quite nomadic.  It is not about how many destinations you have been to, it is how many you have lived.  Being nomadic means you live more naturally with the world we live in, like getting beef burgers in countries where they have no cows always makes me think that holiday travel is just a little bit wrong.  Are my itchy travelling nomadic feet wanting to live my life but somewhere else, or should I live the life of my destination.

I know many will struggle to follow my train of thought, I do most of the time others will scoff at my clearly hippy styled realisations.  Others will call me a hypocrite when I finally can book a honeymoon to the Maldives, I didn’t say I was perfect.  But for this year I am UK bound, staying put, doing the “staycation” a term which brings up images of cramped beaches covered in rubbish, I will stay clear of this. I will get to know more of where I am staying or relax and live my life knowing I am not spreading my possible germs to other countries struggling more than we are. And if I look smug on the off chance you see me on my little trips, I probably am. My nomadic ancestors would be proud, social media will shun me and it is a happy place to be.