Kelly’s my name and I’m the nomad behind The Primal Nomad (that’s me up there in the canoe). My friends say I’m weird and I’d say that’s a compliment. Strange is bad, but weird is good.
The Story Behind the Name
You may be wondering, The Primal Nomad? Why would anyone pick that name? That’s kind of a funky, weird, unique name that might make you think of some homeless barbarian.
Wrong. I said I’m weird, but that’s just plain strange. I’m not some hairy homeless dude (no offense to any out there). I’m a little blonde chick who likes to wander. A tad bit different, right?
Let me explain the reasoning behind the name “The Primal Nomad.” My friends say it’s actually quite fitting.
Primal can be a strong word. Like I said earlier, when people hear primal they often think of barbarians who live like animals in the wild and have crazy eyes that make you want to run away. Or the circle of life and the give and take between predator and prey. They think of a very primitive existence. Not warm and fuzzy happy stuff that I’d want to read about; however, all due respect to the circle of life because it’s an amazing process.
Let’s dig into what Primal in The Primal Nomad stands for.
The Oxford Dictionary defines Primal as “Most important; primary or fundamental.”
Here, primal stands for a desire to live as minimally and as close to nature as possible. It represents a way of eating, exercising, thinking, and living. The goal is to be as basic as possible, without any of the unnecessary clutter.
When eating, I strive to eat only natural and organic foods with as little processed food as possible. I’ve experimented with different eating styles (paleo, Whole30, vegan, vegetarian) to attempt to figure out what works for my body.
While traveling I attempt to balance a healthy natural eating style with sampling the local cuisine. Sometimes it can be hard to maintain a healthy eating style while living in hostels or camping, but I try to listen to my body and what it needs. This means that when sometimes (maybe more than sometimes) it needs an ice cream sandwich, I give it an ice cream sandwich. Before I wouldn’t have let myself enjoy that, and now…I do.
If you really like something and it’s not unreasonable, finding a way to incorporate it into your diet instead of making it completely off limits could make you much happier in the end. It’s not healthy to eat all junk, but it’s also not healthy to turn down a trip to the beach with your friends because you know they’re going to get ice cream and that you’ll be tempted by it. Balance.
For exercise, I try to use natural options. This includes running, hiking, body weight workouts, and especially yoga. You will never find me using a machine (other than the occasional stationary bike). All of those weightlifting machines? Nerd Fitness instilled me with a distrust for them a long time ago, read more about that.
Yoga is my exercise of choice. Something about the blending of mind and body really speaks to me. Yoga is gentle exercise, it can be intense, but the core of it is about listening to your body when it comes to your barriers and current state. This is a mind set that is useful both in other forms of exercise and in life.
I try to focus only on the most important things in life, the “primal” or “fundamental” things. In the past, I’ve had a tendency of cluttering my life to the point of getting stressed out and sick. Currently I’m working on questioning what’s essential to my happiness and wellbeing. Then eliminating everything else. Easier said than done, but I’m working on it.
I feel like in the States so many people are so focused on being busy that they hardly have time to stop and think about whether they’re actually doing something that’s worth their while. And eventually all the busyness burns them out and they have to take a few days off to recover. I’m learning to listen to when my mind begins to feel stressed out and to take appropriate steps back when I need to. Meditation is helping greatly with recognizing when enough is enough.
As for the nomad part…I have a fierce wanderlust and desire to experience the world.
The Oxford Dictionary defines a nomad as “a person who does not stay long in the same place; a wanderer.”
It’s hard to stay in one place when you know there’s so much more out there to see, do, touch, feel, and experience. Those experiences change you and make you into a better person. I feel like people change and grow exponentially while traveling, compared to when they’re home. Travel challenges your conceptions of yourself and the world. I feel it is important to see the world while we’re young in the hopes that the wisdom we’ll gain will help us to make it a better place when we’re older.
A Desire to Travel
Since Sophomore year of high school I’ve dreamed of of grabbing a backpack and possibly a small suitcase and setting off. Exploring everywhere. Some places just for a few days, and others potentially for a year or more. Always exploring. Always seeing the world with the fresh excited eyes of a traveler.
Initially I wanted to set off after high school and save college for some undetermined time in my future. The mature adults around me didn’t necessarily think that was a good idea and I was subtly funneled into getting a college degree.
Looking back, I do think that this was a smart decision. I’m not sure if 18 year old me was ready to travel the world alone and while you experience a lot of wisdom while traveling, the same goes for college. Learning how to live alone was probably a lot easier and safer while surrounded by the college environment and thousands of other students learning the exact same thing.
Now, though. I still am not “ready”, but it’s time. I’ve decided to make this Fall my final semester at Florida State and then leave to do a study exchange in Spain for my spring semester. After that I’ll have a degree in International Affairs and I’ll be free. The plan is to live in Europe for a year or two and then head to Japan to teach English for a year or a few. In Europe, you can bet I’ll be hitting Greece and Switzerland. Beyond that, we’ll see where the wind blows me.
In the past, I’ve traveled through the United States and Central America. I did a week-long family vacation to Mexico and one to the Dominican Republic when I was younger. My senior year of high school, I went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic to build a house for a family in need. This sparked my love of Latin America and I would return less than a year later to study abroad for 5 months in Panama. I’ve also spent 3 weeks staying in hostels in Costa Rica, on both the Pacific and Caribbean sides.
As for the US, throughout my life I’ve gone on numerous camping trips throughout the Northeast. I also squeezed in a 5 week RV trip through the West (Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Las Vegas, etc) last summer. By the time you read this I will have left for a 2 week RV trip through Michigan.
That’s the story behind the name of the site (and a lot about me in the process).
Random Facts About Kelly
In case you want to know a bit more about me, here’s some random things that’ll give you a fair picture.
- Nugget is my favorite word. People call me nugget. I call other people nugget, especially my youngest brother. I also call my pets nuggets sometimes. And some inadamant objects, if they’re particularly cute or annoying are called nugget too. Basically everything is a nugget to me. Despite my love of the word, I probably eat nuggets less than five times a year.
- This year for Christmas I want a backpacker’s backpack to use while caravanning around Europe. Feeling generous? Just kidding. If any elves are reading this, please pass the word on to the jolly old soul.
- In case you didn’t know, I’m a huge outdoors enthusiast. My first job was as a horse caretaker at the farm I’ve been riding at since I was 4. After that I became a snowboard instructor. Then a ski instructor. Then a whitewater rafting guide. Now I’m just a waitress, but compared to the others it really brings in the dough. Gotta have that dough if I want to pay for plane flights.
- I once wrote a 325 page book. During high school a few of my friends decided they were going to write books. I thought it was kinda funny, but it stuck in the back of my head. A few months later, after most of them had moved on to other things, I set out on writing 250 words a day. After almost four months, the rough draft was finished. It was awful and I read the whole thing through and I started to edit it but then decided it was so bad that I had to start over. I never got beyond Chapter 3 of rough draft #2.
- If my house was on fire (if I even have a house) and I can only save one thing, I’d save my journals. I have nearly every major and semi-major event of my life from 16 onwards written down in journals. Every so often I like to reread them and make comments to myself. It’s literally like reading an autobiography of myself. The ways my writing and thinking have changed over the years is amazing to see. If you haven’t started keeping a journal I highly recommend it. Many friends have told me they have trouble with this, so I’ll try to write a brief post about my key to journaling effortlessly.
So now you know a little bit behind the name of this blog and a little bit about me, but I don’t know anything about you. Please drop a comment below or send me an email!