Roxy Freeman grew up in a family of Irish Travellers, traveling the country by horsedrawn wagon. Raised without a formal education and often without television or radio, she devoured many works of literature by adolescence. "Our life was always lived outside; working, playing and socialising was all done around the fire or in the woods and fields," she writes in the Guardian. At the age of 22, Freeman decided to go to college. In her article, she shares the complications of entering the educational system and settled society:
I can't see or feel the change from one season to the next, I crave greenery, and I constantly wrestle with the emotion of feeling trapped. I spend half my life opening doors and windows, trying to get rid of the airless, claustrophobic feeling that comes with being inside. I get woken up by bin lorries, the rush-hour traffic and my neighbours shouting, instead of birdsong and the wind in the trees. I can't sense when it's going to rain because I can no longer smell it in the air, and when it does rain I can't hear it landing on the roof.
I live near the sea because it gives me some sense of openness and freedom, but I don't think I will ever feel truly settled here – or anywhere else. My instinct is to travel, and when you have grown up waking to different scenery every day, it's easy to feel trapped. But to reach my dream, I have to put down roots.