Travel is something that’s generally encouraged: gap years, collegiate exchange programs, business trips, vacations. Travel expands our boundaries, provides us with new experiences. And that’s good. At least, within reason.
Once you move from tourist-vacationer to nomad, people start getting a little suspicious. There’s a long running trope, in life and in art, that travelers are running from something. Maybe a bad childhood, a love affair gone sour, a shady job.
I grew up a military brat, so travel was part of my life. During one stretch, I lived in three different states and one different country in a five year period. It didn’t seem like anything at the time. It still doesn’t. But to a lot of people, that’s a strange existence. If I’d been an adult, on my own, I’ve no doubt some people would have been wondering what my deal was.
I’m not as nomadic these days (it’s easier when your parents are shuffling you around or when you’re being sponsored by an employer) but I like to travel.
I like visiting places I’ve never been before, revisiting places that speak to me. I rent, I don’t buy. I’m not really interested in putting down roots; if the opportunity presents itself, I want few obstructions to keep me from packing up everything I own and leaving. (If I owned less, that’d be easier…but that’s another post entirely. See also: George Carlin’s bit on “Stuff.”)
Write a 1,000 word or less story about travel. Nomadism. Is your character running away from something? Or are they running toward something? Maybe both?
Need some extra oomph? Try this song.
I look back then I look away
Way that that blue sky fades
Feels like I’m runnin’ away
And I’m headin’ out to Santa Fe