Sunday, November 3, 2013


Discussing with a friend about moving and traveling I thought about the term ‘nomad’.
A nomad is a member of a community of people who move from one place to another, either with their livestock or subsisting on hunting and gathering. Nomadism is a lifestyle adapted by people living in infertile regions where mobility is the most efficient strategy for exploiting scarce resources.
Itinerant populations known as “peripatetic nomads” move about in densely populated areas living not on natural resources but by offering crafts or trade to the resident population.
I’m not going to get into the whole immigration issue at this point. I do understand from wherever we started to walk on land that the grass was always greener on the other side. As our species grew we started wandering looking for better grub and nicer hotels.
We adapted this constant wanderlust to travel by land, sea and air to the far reaches of our planet. Then we colonized and settled in. Our little communities grew into cities and then states and then countries. Our nomad behavior still caused us to cross borders and get into wars.
Today we have our own little cottages with food and medical and employment and entertainment within our reach. Sometimes our employment location changes and we become nomads to a different region. Sometimes we meet people we wish to spend more time with and our nomad behavior kicks in.
Even when we are comfy cozy with all the amenities, we are stricken the need to explore. Of course there is a huge industry to provoke our nomad spirit and send us to places we had only seen in Travelogues or on post cards. We pack up some of our stuff and lock up the rest of our stuff then wait for hours to be instructed to go here and go there before boarding some sort of transportation device. The fun doesn’t end there. Then there are the cramped accommodations. And without a guided tour and a translator you are lost in a different culture and perhaps a different time.
Even calling these times ‘vacations’, we can only stay for a brief time before reversing the process to return home. Once rested from our adventure we can share pictures and reminisce the experiences of eating differently prepared meals, viewing historical sites up close and being exposed to another variation of our species. A map can be pinned with locations passed through and the wealth of knowledge gained expounded to impress others. Souvenirs can be purchased to show our cultural awareness. Musical, literary and even religious beliefs can shape our personality from the experience.
Without the desire or need to travel further than your daily needs, the nomad spirit can fade. When there is no necessity to go someplace else, the nomad spirit can fade. The travel shows can bring all the sites and sounds of foreign places without leaving your easy chair. The cuisine from distant lands can be created in your own kitchen.
Poppycock some will say due to I does not have a motor vehicle to transport me to distant lands. I have been to distant lands and am happy to just be at home. If I really wanted to pack up and travel, I could.

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