Only two weeks ago I moved my house to a new location. It’s the fourth place I’ve lived, since I bought my caravan in June 2018. Do I qualify for the title Nomad? When are you a nomad? I went on a quest to learn more and find out if I would dare to call myself one.
According to Wikipedia nomads are people without a fixed habitation. They follow seasonale available plants and game or they can’t stay in a place for too long before the fragile environment starts to fall apart.
The native Americans, the Mongols, the Sami, the Bedouins, the Aboriginals. People I learned about and they stuck to my heart. Their connection to the land, to their environment is astounding. If I could, I would become one myself. At the same time less and less people live such a life. It’s seen as a poor life, while in my opinion they are very rich. Not money rich but how they are connected with the land and each other. Of course it’s very hard work, and I understand it’s not an easy lifestyle. I know I’m romanticizing their life and if I really have to live it, I’ll have a completely different perspective. However, I think it’s a shame that so much knowledge is disappearing so fast.
Not all nomads are seen as poor. A new type of nomad has cropped up over the last decade. A group of people are traveling the world while having a remote job. They work online, send their work into office. These digital nomads are seen as the very opposite of the original nomads. Envied by many they live a luxurious life, because they’re always in these excotic places most people never manage to visit. Again, probably not as easy as it looks.
I guess my life is somewhere between these two groups. I go into the same office (for now) every workday, but every so many months I relocate my home. Most people however shall think of my lifestyle as spartan. I on the other hand feel like there are still some things that I could cut from my life. Moving from site to site still needs an extra car to move a portion of my belongings to a new site. It’s hard to find the balance between cutting items from my life that I don’t really need and having the things for a comfortable life.
Would I like to go deeper into the nomad lifestyle? A hard question to answer. I enjoy the diversity of the nomad life, but the real nomads existed purely because the land was to harsh to provide them with food and other means of life year round. I wouldn’t want to be traveling all the time for the sole purpose of finding food. So no, I’d rather be this 21st century nomad. Having the luxury of exploring new places every so many months while being able to go to the supermarket to buy my dinner for the night.
However there are some parallels between my life and that of the original nomad. I try to have as little impact on my surroundings as I can. I move to a new site every half a year. When I leave the only evidence of me having lived there is the bare soil, even this disappears after a few months when the patch is slowly overgrown again.