As I’m sat in the mountains just north of Brasov, Romania, with the early morning cloud tickling the tree tops in a mischievous manner, feral dogs barking seemingly at fresh air and a lone runner pounding the ground – I’m left pondering! Pondering on the life of a nomad and a travelling introvert.
Early morning creativity
There’s no more perfect a time for me than the early morning rise. That moment where night surrenders to the light signalling the awakening of a dawn. With my solitude I can watch the world unfurl into a new day. This tiny window of calm is a time for me to reflect, write and just be, without the noise that inevitably comes with the emerging sun. The stillness paradoxically beats in tune with my heart and, for that moment, we are as one.
A time when my creativity is at its highest, with no distractions to distort its flow – just the sounds of wildlife as it makes the most of this precious tranquility.
So what is it that makes travelling so special? Is it the bewilderment from undiscovered lands that ooze legacy and natural beauty? Or perhaps it is the buzzing throng of a city with its crowds of people going somewhere or going nowhere, it matters not. Travelling for some might be the journey to reach a destination, whilst for others it is the pure stillness of sitting in a new land that feels strange and yet somehow vaguely familiar and breathing it in as if it were part of you.
Travel is a unique experience
How we experience travel is unique to us all. Yet for the growing swell of wanderlust seekers we share the pure joy at having the freedom to leave behind our constricted lives, for a moment or forever and feel it penetrate deep into our soul, enriching us beyond recognition. Yet beyond this commonality, our adventures will take on a completely different feel dependent upon our personalities and needs. Being in a city full of noise and movement is my idea of hell, although others thrive on it. Leave me by the coast with the gently lapping waves or in the mountains where the air is crisp and clear or sat by a field of lavender listening to the orchestra of bees – this is where I will find my Nivarna.
Wearing a mask
As an introvert who has come from a very public corporate job, burnt-out and overwhelmed from a business where I had to give so much of myself away, I had all too little time to replenish my energy. I found the need to retreat from the world and heal from the effects of a life wearing a mask. And now having committed to a life as nomads, travelling the world with curiosity in our pockets and adventure in our hearts, it occurs to me to question – Does this soothes my introverted nature or does it challenge it?
And strangely I think it does both. There are times when we meet new people or friends we’ve made along the way and we share a precious moment together with laughter and discussion filling the air. And for a short while this is beautiful and its lovely to connect with like-minded souls who are striving for the same sense of freedom.
My travel Utopia
And yet there comes a time when this exchange starts to drain my battery reserves and a retreat to my own space beckons like the pull of a magnet. It’s primal, instinctive and I must heed its call, otherwise my strain becomes palpable.
You see, it is in the space of solitude where peace massages my soul and I am enveloped in its protection that I can fully experience the world. Feeling a place from within, through my senses rather than through a shared experience. Don’t get me wrong, I love to share and be with others to talk about our adventures, although so much of my travelling joys are based on being able to internalise the sensations and absorb them into my heart through my skin.
There is nothing more I love than exploring a city from the relative safety of a pavement cafe where I can observe the passing world and wonder at people’s stories almost as if in a slow-motion movie. Within the heart of the mountains or by the coast you will find me at my best, absorbing nature’s essence and wondering at its magnificence. The seemingly motionless lake, where life beneath the surface vibrates with an almost invisible existence, I will sit in contemplation and flourish in its tranquility. Amongst a crowd of strangers, I love to sit back and listen to the buzz and dynamics whilst I curiously explore the paths people have travelled. And as the day gives way to night and the sun sinks into the horizon’s embrace, I cherish the time to reflect on my day and its joys. This is how I love to travel.
Apart from travelling with my soulmate, who is also an introvert, thankfully, my greatest companion on my journey is my camera. To capture a place through the lens and convert it to a story with words that adds texture and emotion is joyful. This is why I love what we do and why I can honest say that this is the happiest time of my life, ever!
So if you meet me on the road, I will aways show you my warmth and love, because that is an innate part of me too. Although never feel sad or rejected if you see me retreat as this is the natural call of my heart. Never feel concerned if you see me sat on a rock staring into space. Never wonder whether this lonely traveller needs some company or a conversation. All is well with this travelling introvert as this is how she harmonises with her adventures and converts them into memories.
We all have a different take on travelling and the joy that exploring new lands and cultures hold. So whether we meet as fellow introverts or extroverts, always know that we are connected through that delicate strand of silk that has us discovering ourselves on the journey that our feet were born to experience. Have happy and safe travels. Karen x