This is a damn good question I am asking myself. What does it mean to be a nomadic dad?
So here we are on our 19th month of the journey and I am not really sure the meaning of it. As we were criticized by many reader in this post, I am asking myself “Why travel for so long? Why with kids? Why?“.
There is not doubt, on the surface, why will anyone will want to travel, to explore the world, and be on each continent of this planet. I love traveling and like to be “out of the normal”. I like to think of myself as a special person. And even feel more special being able to go anywhere I wish anytime. So still make me a nomadic dad? What brings and surfaces all those confusions that hit me deep from time to time and lately more frequent than before? Why there are more doubts in me more than before about what we do as a family here and everywhere?
Being a Nomadic Dad means to be much more than a Dad. Many dads I know, are dads. The simple role of waring the pants in the morning, going to work, bring food, providing, and spending few hours here and there with the family in addition to spending great time on errands. I was like that before hitting the road. As simple as it get. Though not the ideal life one can ask for, but still simple, routine-like, where you don’t have to think so much how the next day will look like. Like we always used to say “Same Shit, Different Day” or as everyone who visited Thailand will repeat “Same Same But Different“. To be honest, sometimes I miss those days.
On the other hand, here on the roads, the picture is totally different. And like any coin, this story has two sides. The first, how great it is to travel and be on the loose. No schedule, no one tell me where and when to go, and be master of your domain.
The second, to carry of the responsibility to provide for your family. Back at home, in any normal life, we have people, institutions, and family and take roles in one’s life. Schools for the kids for education, After school activities for enrichment, day jobs for steady income, sometimes night job for more income, banks to manage the money, broker to manage our future, clinics next door, and much more. All of this to meet some needs in our lives. But on the road, we have none of this unless we settle in one place for long long time. On the move, we have to be all of it.
Educating our Kids
I am not a teacher, I don’t like to become one and I did not sign to this job. And here I am, out of guilt I guess, try to seat with my kids on a daily basis to educate him. I more than less loses my patience as they struggling through reading and basic learning curriculum.
We could eat out every meal but we know that will have an effect of the duration of the travel. We eat in most of our meals. This saves us money but put more responsibility on the chef of the family which is me.
Planning where we go
As we travel, it is necessary for us to make sure we know what we should know about the next place. This mean learning how to get there, costs, safety, where to stay, for how long, etc, This take great efforts and time. Again, the job of our Nomadic Dad.
We do our best to create as much income sources as possible. I don’t have to tell you that this kind of responsibility take so much time and so much effort. And we must stay consistent to see any future financial benefit. Not only do have to care for income for travel needs, we also want to plan our future, kids’ universities, and retirement.
From time to time, our kids find great social network in places we put anchor. They manage to be surrounded by many local kids and play with them for hours on a daily basis. But in some other times, they find themselves with no friends. They accumulate unleashed energy and then the turn to us. Sorry, first they try any adult they find to pay with them and when this doesn’t work “Mama, Papa, Here We Come!!!“.
I am my kids’ good friend but sometimes I don’t want to. Sometimes, I am too tired. And sometimes I just want to be left alone. Is that too much to ask of a person that is 24/7 with his family?
And after the kid, the next in line, is my wife.. yep, I did not fail to mention her so she won’t be insulted. As a Nomadic Dad, I am also a Nomadic Husband. Did I fail to mentioned that I am married. Wives need attention people! Maybe the bible doesn’t say much about it but it is true.