There are a lot of people out there who strive to attain a simplicity in their life that only comes from living in a highly complicated world. Maybe it’s a counter culture to our highly structured, urbanized lives or an actual belief that things were better in an era long gone (so called ‘golden era’ thinking), but this movement to traditional means seldom gets painted in a negative light. At it’s most extreme, it is what we should all strive for but at it’s most basic, it’s held on equal terms as far as what can be boasted about. After all, there are a number of locations in the world that are perfect for the nomadic traveler. Australia, for example, has plenty of great travel destinations like Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth.
Within the travelling community you have a group of people who call themselves nomads that really have no business doing so. Strictly speaking, a nomad is someone who has no home and moves around from place to place as a means of survival. A modern interpretation of this behavior would be the act of booking multiple hotels and hopping from room to room while exploring an exciting new area. There are plenty of affordable hotels in Perth, Sydney or even Melbourne and they are also just a great area to soak in a new culture. The street art and culture in Melbourne is considered to be some of the best in Australia, and nomadic travelers can visit the State Theater or Harner Hall and catch a show. As most people have homes, whether they still reside with their parents or gave up their apartments, and the definition of modern survival is very different than that of the classical nomadic cultures, needless to say the term doesn’t really apply.
Or does it?
I mean, if you are really moving from place to place and find odd jobs as you will to survive then… sure, you’re a travel nomad. Keep in mind, you’ll have to do this until you die and you cannot go back to wherever you came from.
Yes, the travelling community has appropriated this term to describe a type of long term traveller who often seeks out the simple and is constantly learning about life but this is not what a nomad is. Nomads don’t have the luxury to observe for the sake of being enlightened – they are too busy worrying about finding their next meal or avoiding being killed by raiders.
There is nothing wrong with not subscribing to the button down lifestyle of your peers and wanting to light out for the territory, but were it not for those who had done this, you would not be able to make that choice for yourself. Some may choose not to travel outside of their country (or even state) for plenty of reasons, while others may have a strong urge to see the world, to visit the Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney, to catch a glimpse of the exotic wildlife in Brisbane’s Australian Zoo, or perhaps to take in the mind-blowing complexities of Perth’s beautiful public art. Why do you think the nomad way of life gave way to the sedentary one?
It’s fine if people want to call themselves nomads when really they are probably just indecisive flakes who need to feel original by going against the grain, because in actuality, this is probably the new definition of what a nomad is. In fact, I have no problem with people who choose this lifestyle because it ultimately is not for me. In this day and age of online hotel and flight reservations it is not very difficult to travel abroad and see the world like a nomadic individual of the past. All I ask is that you don’t look down on the way I do things because I don’t buy all my food from local organic markets or carbon offset all by travel.
There are many different ways to live – just be thankful that you have that choice.