117 Beds

Three years ago, I quit having a fixed place to live in, leaving my home for various locales across the UK and beyond. The notes in my phone reveal that, to date, I’ve slept in 117 beds, in locations ranging from the Scottish Highlands and coastal Dorset to Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, and the avant-garde Georgian capital of Tbilisi, all while holding down a full-time job.

I’d rather have no job and a single home base to be honest, but this is certainly a tempting way to live. Just think of the opportunity it would afford for adventure.

The writer Lydia Swinscoe has embraced minimalism and utterly challenged the Western ideals of permanence and security, ideals so ingrained that many people wouldn’t even think to question them. When the source of the modern malaise is so hard to put your finger on sometimes, why not question the big ones? The facts of life that are too big to see sometimes? Maybe living in one place instead of nomadically is where we’ve been going wrong.

In any event, she’s footloose and fancy-free: in London one minute and Tbilisi the next. Come on, that’s so cool.

Living nomadically, mostly out of a 65-litre backpack, I’ve become deeply aware of just how much “stuff” we collect but don’t need. Everywhere – on TV, online, pasted across billboards, on the sides of buses – we’re bombarded with materialistic messages luring us to buy the latest gadgets, kitchen appliances (read: air fryers), home furnishings, newest fashion trends and miracle beauty products. I’m convinced it’s a trap.


Issue 16 (June) is now available to pre-order.


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at wringham.co.uk

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