Níl gach uile fhánaí caillte (Not all who wander are lost.)

Thoughts pervade our lives, whether consciously or subconsciously, and oftentimes we spend countless hours in an introverted state of reflection. Some of us let our minds drift, riding the currents of thought as though we are in a vessel upon the sea. Others are content to steer through their thoughts, focusing intently on what caused them to think of something in the first place.

Physically, emotionally, spiritually... the same can be said in varying degrees about all aspects of our lives. Perhaps we even blend the styles to some degree, wandering in our thoughts but so focused on our actions physically that there is no room for spontaneity. Perhaps the same person is somewhere on the middle of the fence in the other categories, or a combination of extremes. Whatever the case, this is the foundation for what I decided to write about today.

Níl gach uile fhánaí caillte.

To an extent I am a wanderer. Portions of my life stay relatively constant, such as my moral and ethical belief structure, my spiritual beliefs, my sense of honour, even, for the most part, my physical habitat. Mentally I let the waves carry me, much the same way I let my emotions flow over and around me. Physically this is quite unapparent, for it is quite simple to allow a small section of the mind to focus on whatever the task at hand may be, yet it manifests itself in other ways that people may or may not notice. My obsession with always trying something new for instance, or learning about something seemingly completely unrelated to any other task I have set before myself.

The activities I am involved with demonstrate this quite readily as well. SCUBA diving, motorcycle riding, rock climbing, emergency response instruction, video production, photography, learning languages (I have a newfound desire to learn Irish Gaelic), computer networking and security, writing, music, hiking and camping... the list goes on. In a way many of these activities can be linked, but then others seem unlike any other activity I have chosen to pursue.

I label myself a wanderer for another reason... a reason which I have not shared with many people. I do not feel as though I have a home in many respects. I have a family, one that I love dearly, and would consider wherever they are to be home easily. I would consider my domicile to be my home also, and yet, in a sense of the word, neither are home. My heart and soul are restless, and have been for a long time. Were we in another time I would probably pack a few meager belongings and meander around the globe, much as the nomads of old.

This thought could be attributed to a good many things, ranging from the lack of a loved one waiting for me at home to the simple fact that I have never really felt as though I was in a place that truly could be identified with and “calls” me. It could be that I am simply the type of person that takes a long time to really settle down, or it could be that I am a reincarnation of the spirit and soul of another wanderer. Perhaps I am destined to always feel restless. Regardless, I am happy in my wandering nature, and I do not feel the depressive feelings associated with those who do not know the path they tread, the loneliness they fear, or the simple feeling of being lost at sea.

Personally, with past experiences showing me just how true the statement could be, I think I simply have not met the person that could really make me feel at home, to feel loved, to be content... Or perhaps I have met that person, and simply cannot pursue such a course for other reasons at the moment.

I wander, but it is a path I choose.