RELATIONSHIPS

Nomadland & Me

Vicki Price
Pollinate Magazine
Published in
3 min readJun 22, 2021

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Photo by Matt Duncan on Unsplash

On the recommendation of several friends, I watched the movie Nomadland last night. Truly a good story. It did make me terribly homesick. As Honeyboy Edwards said, “Homesick for leaving.”

Joe and I spent twenty years traveling this nation in various vans. Driving from town to town, city to city. We took our music coast to coast. We always had a home to go to at the end of the tour but it was not uncommon to be gone 3 to 6 weeks. That came to a sudden halt last March. Covid. The movie made me realize how much I have missed the road.

My Dad repeatedly warned me that the gypsy life was addicting. He was so right. The wanting to leave, never knowing who you will meet, what new food you will eat, what music you will hear, what adventure may find you. This nation is so vast and diverse. I often felt like I was traveling in a foreign country.

There were so many scenes in the movie shot in locations we had traveled through. So many memories came to mind. Doing a detour to Wall Drug with our niece Sadie in tow. We were giving her a ride to her Dad working in Montana where we had a few shows. We road out a storm in the van, parked under an overpass to avoid the hail while tornados touched down nearby. The interstate closed because of flooding that day and we were forced to retreat 15 miles and get a hotel room.

We have seen the mountains of vegetables waiting for processing. We have slept in a cabin in a Redwood forest, a cathedral. We walked beside a fallen giant and hugged a living tree. We have stayed in a hotel in Tucson located a few blocks from a rock shop, tables spread across the parking lot filled with geological treasures. Traveled the deserts of the west, driving for days through the arid space. The immense, frightening beauty of it all.

We have slept in our vans in truck stops, Walmart parking lots, the streets of a city or small town, and in friends' driveways. We have showered at campgrounds and taken a birdbath in the van. We have been sick and gotten better on the bunk in the back. We have lived this life all in the rolling home we drove.

There were Mule Deer, Buffalo, Bears, a Kit Fox, Antelope, and Wild Horses. People as varied and beautiful as the wildlife. Vagabonds, the truckers, salesmen, vacationers, musicians, the Nomads all living on the road. Some for work, some for a short time, some for a lifetime, for some it is home.

We have given money to the Desert kids, the modern hobos. Hitching rides or jumping trains. They are at every truck stop and rest area in the west. We have left non-perishable food beside the sleeping homeless on the street of the cities. I gave five bucks to a man with a sign that read I need a beer. We have also been the receivers of generosity. People making us a meal, such a treat when you have eaten at restaurants for days on end. Folks offering a bed or shower. Kindness, hospitality given freely to those far from home. Just like the movie someone always ready to welcome the gypsy.

We are more fortunate than those in the movie. The employment we search out is our life's passion. We have hotel rooms and many luxuries others go without. It is a difficult but rewarding lifestyle. I am so glad to have had the opportunity to travel. There is a quote, “Life is a book, if you do not travel you have only read one page.”

The road home always is longer than the road leaving town.

© Vicki Price 2021

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Vicki Price
Pollinate Magazine

I am a full time guitar playing song writer. Working with my husband Joe we have spent our lives traveling across the nation playing our brand of country blues.