A while ago I read this article about finding your “tribe” that made me think.
I realized that while I have deep, loving relationships with family and friends, I wanted more people in my life that have similar ideas about things as me. My definition of a tribe is probably looser than what you’ll find on a Google search but it’s a group of people with whom I feel comfort and a sense of self (my yoga class is an example of this and I don’t know half the people in the room).
In other words, a tribe is a group of like-minded people. They don’t have to have the same interests, or have the same jobs, or look the same, or be the same age or gender, they just value one thing in common. There’s a wide range of topics I feel passionately about, but a few that come to mind are health and mental wellness, women’s leadership, and the nature and outdoors (obviously).
So I set out to find my tribe. Mind you, I didn’t actively do anything different; I just kept my eyes peeled whenever I met new people. I didn’t attend meetups or take up some new hobby, the simple awareness and open-mindedness of expanding my circle, expanded my circle. It’s easy to strike up conversation with people you connect with. There doesn’t need to be a 100% likeness of mind, only one thing. So long as each person is accepting of differences, the other stuff just fades into the background.
Someone that I consider to be in my tribe, and that I’ve mentioned in writings before, is my boot camp friend. Like me he’s a hippie and has a wonderful, all-inclusive mentality on life. Thankfully for him I met a new friend, Motocross Racer in Utah that helped save me after my first tent camping experience on the road. Motocross Racer and I still keep in touch and he recently messaged me about my coming to mind when he watched this video about “My First Time Camping.” (Happy to be the butt of the first time camper joke.)
Boot Camp Friend opened his tribe to me again with the introduction of his friends in Vancouver. This family of four proved to be on the same level of good people as Motocross Racer. They opened their home to me, including one of the most prized things in the entire world…a warm shower. Having been four days since my last shower, I was feeling pretty ripe and they, without hesitation, took me in and made me a part of their family.
Again exceeding my expectations they invited me to stay with them over a weekend on their land on Gambier Island (off Lions Bay near Vancouver). Feeling honored and appreciative for such kindness I took them up on the invite only if I could help however I could over the weekend.
Since they were making winter preparations on the land, I offered up my services for some manual labor. Boot Camp Friend’s description of me as “sturdy” (way to make me feel like a lady) proved to be pretty accurate as I helped mix concrete, wash dishes, and set up beams in preparation for a roofing structure over their trailer. In return they let me play on their island! We climbed their tree house, watched the water crash on their beach, went crabbing, and they fed me some of the best food I’ve had since I’ve been on the road (including Indian food which I’ve been craving for over a month).
It was one of the warmest experiences I’ve had since being on the road. The feeling of acceptance they gave me is something that will never leave me. We stayed up late talking about travel, boys (the 12-year old and I), good reads, and Canadian culture.
A tribe is not a homogeneous group of people. I shared likeness of minds with Vancouver Friends’ 12-and-9-year-olds too. Aside from our talking boys, their 12-year-old and I read similar books. This definitely speaks more highly about her than it does me; she’s a very smart, witty young girl. Their 9-year-old and I started a new inside joke. Him having the same affinity for device power as I do, have a new mantra – “preserve the battery!”
Even their terrier and I hit it off. Being a spunky, alpha female, it seemed that we had plenty in common out the gate, and ended up sleeping soundlessly together at night; me the big spoon and her the little.
Vancouver Friends showed me the power of the tribe and how like-minded people stick together. Their beautiful family made me feel accepted and like a part of their team. One day I’ll hope to open my tribe up to a wanderlust hippie in the hopes to pay it forward. I’ll know to give her a warm shower, a bed to sleep in, and to make her a part of my family.