My Two Year Nomadic Anniversary And The Friends I’ve Made Along The Way
August 16th, 2012 marks my two-year nomadic anniversary.
Two years nomadic on the road with no home, no car and two bags to live out of has come upon me in a flash. My life in Beverly Hills before I ran away offered me an expansive apartment near Rodeo Drive, a BMW to fit in with the neighbors, shoes, handbags, designer duds to accessorize them with and a bank account certain to keep me in this lifestyle plenty longer. I ran miles with the Hollywood crowd for years that in the end served me nothing but a distaste for anything artificial.
I seemed to have everything on the surface that many would want, but why was I so unhappy? My life had fallen into a place I couldn’t communicate with anymore. I didn’t recognize the path it was leading me. Spiraling down into a bowl of undeserving friends, frivolous relationships, and a meaningless existence, I had hit a wall running, and it hurt.
There was pain from a string of disappointing friendships. Pain from dishonest and cowardly romances and pain from nearly losing all hope for any future happiness. Along with losing my business, I lost my vision for my dreams or rather, those dreams were ripped from me in a vulnerable moment.
The months and the days before I ran away, were the most painful I had ever experienced in my life. I will classify it right up there with the life changing, debilitating year I lived in 1998 when my Dad passed away. I have tried to compare and analyze which year was worse. It’s a close call. In 1998, I was younger, more naive, not fully aware of the danger the stress and depression was really causing me. In 2010, when I left, I was more mature, more in-tuned and more aware of the potential damage a year like this could do to me. I didn’t want to go through years of climbing my way back to happiness the way I tried to in 1998 (and I don’t think I ever really achieved it), so I did what I can only call listening to my gut. The voice inside my head was saying, ‘There’s got to be a better life out there. Run away. Cash out. Leave and don’t look back. Find what makes you happy. If you do, you might survive.’
So I did. I sold off most of my things, I put in my 30-day notice to my landlord, turned in the car to BMW, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, packed two bags and never looked back.
I didn’t communicate as much with my friends in LA, instead I began a communication with new friends around the world. I didn’t completely desert my old friends, but I needed to separate myself from them in-order to begin anew. I wanted to wipe my slate clean of the turmoil from Los Angeles, the drama, the superficiality, the entertainment news and the Hollywood b.s.. I needed to be alone to find myself and learn what it was that I truly needed to be happy. The basics. The core.
Through the new friends I met around the world, I was able to see a clearer reflection of myself coming into focus. The smoke and mirrors of LA dissipated allowing for me to be as I was meant to be.
These new friends taught me how to open my mind to new people, to laugh like I was twelve and to love with all of my heart. Most importantly, I learned from my new friends how to live in the moment, let go of the past and stop depending on the future. Something I was never able to do with the crushing ego-driven lifestyle in LA.
I made these friends without my Beverly Hills hairdresser, my designer shoes or handbags and most of the time without even an ounce of make-up. I traveled the world alone, but was never lonely. I made friends in just about every stop along the way. To date, that is a total of 139 stops in 27 countries and territories. That’s a lot of new friends.
I found a song by Elton John whose words fit perfectly to convey the feeling I wanted to express about these new friends on this, my two-year nomadic anniversary. I only wished it was longer, for the pictures I have collected the past two years of all the wonderful people I have met couldn’t possibly fit in a montage of its short length. These friends have consoled me, listened to me, cried with me and were there for me, a stranger to them. I needed them more than any of them realize and even more than I realized myself. It was because of them, that today, I can honestly say I am the happiest I have been in my entire life. The clothes are gone, the shoes are gone, I have no home, no car and the bank account has dwindled to nothing, but I am rich. Richer than I have ever been in spirit, in my capacity to love and in the substance that makes up my life. I am finally happy with the person I am and the person I am to others….and I vow to never go back.
This video is only a short reflection of the people I met these past two years. I wish I had a song long enough to include all of them. Each and every person on this video helped teach me something about myself. I wouldn’t trade the experiences I had with each of them for anything in the world.
Thank you to all of my new friends for giving me the chance to know you and for helping me get to know myself.