Five nomadic stressors and how to deal.

Stress is one of those things that if you don’t deal with quickly it can easily become overwhelming and get exponentially worse and worse. Before you know it, a single stressor can multiply and infuse with other stressors into one massively stressful dilemma. Unless you dig yourself out of that hole quick, you’ll certainly be deeper than you care to be.

Everybody deals with specific stresses and certain situations throughout life and living nomadically has introduced me to a whole new slew of stressors (and has amplified more common ones). Here are a few of the sources of stress I’ve encountered since I started on the road and how I’ve been dealing with them.

Union Station, LA

Stressful ass Union Station, LA.

  • Getting from A to B. To kick Glass Duffle off, I sold my car Veronica and pocketed the cash thinking it would be easier and cheaper to traverse the states via other forms of transportation like train or bus. I’m honestly not positive if this was the right call or not since now I would need a couple extra hands to count how many times I’ve been stranded or have spent hours stressing and trying to figure out how to get from A to B. In the end, things have always worked out though many times not as cheaply or easily as I would have liked. Taking things in stride is key with this one. Getting flustered while booking a trip is a surefire way to overspend or book dumbly.
  • Relationships. Before I even started traveling I knew that maintaining relationships would not only be a crucial part to the continuation of my travels but that it would also be a difficult thing to deal with and a regular source of stress. When I was living in San Diego, I was half of a long distance relationship that had more upside than down but when I decided to pursue Glass Duffle, I ended the relationship thinking that I would no longer have to deal with the issues that would potentially arise. Couch surfing has been a huge part of the adventure and it’s not all that rare for me to end up on the couch of a female friend, an obvious source of stress not only for me, but for my then-girlfriend back on the east coast. I’m sure that I avoided at least a couple arguments by ending things, but in retrospect I would probably have been fine to just keep things going. Relationships shouldn’t be a source of stress, they should be a source of relief. Looking back, I shouldn’t have assumed that maintaining something like that would make things worse. Everyone needs someone to talk to. Maintain relationships and don’t get your views of them twisted. It’ll just screw you in the long run.
  • Cash money. Everybody stresses about money. It’s a sad fact of life for most of us. Traveling is not cheap and like I’ve said before, is not itself profitable. Freelance gigs and occasional luck have kept me afloat in this department, as well as the initial investment courtesy of Veronica and some sporadic help from the rents. I’m convinced though that if you can cut money-stress out of your life you will be the happiest person of all time. If you’re broke and don’t stress about it, I’d really like to hear how you do it.
  • Personal health/upkeep. For better or worse, haircuts were one of the first luxuries to get crossed out of my budget during my travels. And even though I started the trip with an electric razor, it wasn’t long before I found it broken in my bag and completely useless. If you’ve seen my mane lately, you know that I’ve pretty much said “eff it” to this one. I have managed to eat fairly well though, so I’m not going to turn to dust anytime soon. At least I don’t think so.
  • Where’s home? Definitely the most consistent stress of living nomadically is, well… living nomadically. Not having a place to store stuff or call “home” is a source of stress that is always there. Luckily, my parents haven’t closed their doors to me yet so for the last week or so I’ve been calling my old home home again. I’ll be revisiting this one again shortly though as I plan to leave for Jackson Hole, Wyoming and eventually the west coast again here in the next week or so.

Keep up with my travels around the United States by following me on Twitter or if you’re more of a Facebooker, there’s also always the Glass Duffle Facebook page!

Author: Eric White

Eric graduated Ohio University in 2012 with a degree in Advertising and immediately went out to San Diego, California to start not using his degree. At the start of 2013, Eric quit his job, let his lease run out and started backpacking North America. Eric has worked with Amtrak, Crowdtap, HootSuite and others, and currently lives in Los Angeles, CA... when not on the road.

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