August 28, 2014

Motorcycling Gypsy Life

The motorcycle gypsy life comes at a price.

It's not often I long for familiarity, but when I do, the pang hits me like a bullet in my soul, piercing any shred of wanderlust within me.

I want to be home.

This rainy day, for no particular reason, I miss having a home. I miss knowing where I keep my red scarf, using my own dishes, crawling into my own bed. I long for the streets I know, the familiar sights and sounds of a place I understand and rely upon.

Things change constantly on the road and there are days it seems to overwhelm me. Caught off guard by the storm of emotions, I'm drowning in the sense of being lost.

I don't belong anywhere,

Now I'm compelled to wander, because no "place" is home, and perhaps, no "place" ever will be again. I only know that in this moment, I have no home and I belong nowhere and it fills me with a ache to belong.

I have family, but I don't belong with them.

I have friends, but seeing them occasionally keeps them at a distance.

I have a hometown, but it's different now than when I lived there.

Motorcycling is the most individual thing I've ever done. It fills one with independence, self sufficiency and singularity. A slightly darker shade of this same sense is loneliness. One can find peace within oneself while riding, but one can also feel isolated from the rest of society. As travelers, we see ourselves outside the norm, and outside of society in many ways.

Recognizing that one is unique is not always comforting. In fact, in the glaring light of reality, it can be dreadful. The painful knowledge that I don't fit in, that I've always been different, and I will never belong hurts me. I may belong for a season, a weekend, a moment, but once I mount up to leave at the behest of my grinding wanderlust, I belong no more.

Wanderlust is a wicked ache that begs me shed all I know and go it alone. More powerful than my need to belong is my need to follow my inner voice, leading me into the dark of the unknown. No thing I've ever done is harder than looking within and following the frightening reality of my true self.

Motorcycling has opened a door I never intended to open, thrust me into a life I would never have wished for myself. To the degree that it is beautiful and fantastic, it is lonely and painful. It tries my fortitude and my character. It breaks my heart and breaks my body. It bares my soul to the torrents of singularity, compared to none, belonging nowhere, left to define myself with my own devices.

It is the hardest, bravest and most revealing thing I've lived, this traveling about rather aimlessly.

I'm glad I have my husband to travel with me. But he is on his own path, finding his own place.

If I've learned anything it has been that everything is temporary and I've been alone all this time, I just never realized it before now.


  1. Following the spirit within... I never feel lonely, even when I'm alone. When I'm without people around is when I'm most comforted by the spirit within. Great piece Sash.

  2. Fear! It is knocking at your door. Question is, is it your fear, or the fear of expectations of society? The fear of missing out on grand baby time? I would love to be out doing what y'all are doing, but my daughter's health prevents that right now or I would be there. Maybe you need to kick open that Damn Door and take a look at what lies just over the threshold! It might not be that you don't belong, but rather quilt because you do and are exactly where you belong. Don't let societal expectations weigh into making a settling decision that could be a lifelong mistake.

  3. Thanks for ur peice, boy could I relate , My bike sits in the garage as I go through a depression like no other from losing many people Ive loved my whole life I;m alone when in the midst of 1000's of others as well as when Im alone, Ive often thought of loading up the scoot and going on a trip to nowhere as u r, but I think fear stops me, just turned 60 and I know the time is coming close to make the decision to stay or go, thanks for ur insight and I hope I gain the courage to just gooooo--Peaceand keep the shiny side up

  4. Tina,

    Sorry to hear you've got the blues. I hope they pass quickly. I know the weather can have a profound affect on how I feel...riding in the rain is no fun. Just remember without the rain there would be no rainbows. Look for the rainbow!


    Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy

  5. Sash I think you belong and I wonder if maybe you need a little down time from wandering? Sometimes road weariness takes over and maybe it's just that you need a little stillness instead of movement. I think a wee grand baby has a little to do with these feelings. I also think that no one really fits into one mould and our expectations of who we think we are or where we belong are the hardest ones to live up to, as for the rest of society to hell with them and their expectations, I think if people could share their innermost secret feelings they would probably wish they were in your shoes instead of being constrained in day-to-day boring stuff.

  6. Sash:

    You are braver than you think and doing what many fear to do. Salutes !

    I am East of you in Kentucky heading south but heading your way soon

    bob: riding the wet coast

  7. Wish I had seen this post earlier - my friend and I just rode into Longmont last night and would have enjoyed sharing a cup of coffee with you. We've been on the road (also from CA) since June and can relate to much of what you describe. Society ascribes so much of identity to where we live/work/play and who we do it with that nomads have to find other ways of maintaining our identity and sense of connection with others. I don't want the stagnation of being in one place, living the same routine day after day but I do miss connections, and email and occasional phone calls aren't quite the same. Safe travels and all the best to you, Sash. - Melanie

  8. I tend to combat the feeling of not belonging v by finding a quiet spot to let my mind wander wherever it chooses without a "you shouldn't think that" filter on it. That way I can visit the dark places and come pit of them without judgement. I find after I do this that spot feels lime home and I'm less displaced. I still have "homes" in Denmark's and Ireland because I meditated there. I still remember the spots vividly. My happy places. So Sash, no matter where you are, find a happy place.


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