Reframing the Wanderer: Updating an Expired Identity

“I just can’t stay put; I’ve moved every four years since I turned eighteen. I couldn’t wait to get out on my own and explore, but recently I realized I honestly can’t stay in one place more than two years. I’ve lived all over the world and I’ve had more adventures than most people experience in their lifetime! But I’m scared. I have a community here—people who count on me and love me for who I am. I don’t want to move this time but I’m already feeling the itch to leave. What can I do?”

Luther, a wanderer in his early thirties, has amazing stories; from Thailand to Brazil, Vermont to Oregon, he’s lived out of a backpack for most of his adult life. He never thought he’d want to settle down, but here he is in our beautiful mountain community hoping to make a life for himself. Luther’s goal is to learn how to live daily life without the dose of adrenalin that comes with constant adventure.

We begin by exploring the skills he uses in a new location—finding a home, meeting people, discovering the culture—and investigating how to deepen those experiences. What if the definition of home—a place to sleep and leave some stuff—could be expanded? Often he stayed in other people’s homes on his travels; perhaps his home could be an open door for adventurers in the area. What has Luther missed by keeping in touch with most of his friends via the internet? He shared he felt a loss because many of his friends are now parents, and he’s never met their children in person. How could he contribute and shape the culture of his new found community, instead of simply blending into it? Luther has a real passion for environmental stewardship, and was excited at the prospect of sticking around long enough to see results from his hard work.

Luther will always love adventure, but he is slowing re-framing his values to fit with his new purpose—to be a long-term participant in a thriving community. What identity in your own life could use a reframe?