Why We Need Nomads

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If you’ve read my About page, you understand that I’m working very hard to become homeless. Well, at least to own no permanent home. I’ll be a nomad, living in a place for days, weeks, maybe a year at a time. I’ve stopped wanting “things” so much as experiences and connections to other. Some of my friends are mystified. They don’t get it at all. Well, I’m not trying to convert anyone. I could be wrong. It might all end in tears, but I don’t think so. It could also be wonderful and the best thing I ever did. I only have me to worry about and so I have no real obstacles holding me back. And I know in my heart that I’ll always be disappointed if I don’t try.

I found this post at a blog called Vanessa Runs. The article is Why We Need Nomads.

Vanessa says, “In a society that demands a purpose and a rational explanation for any expenditure of energy, nomads represent travel, movement, and adventure as worthwhile pursuits in themselves.”

The entire article is well written and I can relate to virtually every sentence. I wish I’d said it all myself. But this section is what I loved most:

This is the question that Ben Saunders attempted to answer in his 2012 TED talk. Saunders is a polar explorer and the youngest person to ever ski solo to the North Pole. He ponders his purpose of nomadic travel: 

“Nothing will come of it,” he wisely admits. “We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, and not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. So it is no use. If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy, and joy, after all, is the end of life. We don’t live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means, and that is what life is for.”

And she ends with this poem:

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,

To gain all while you give,

To roam the roads of lands remote:

To travel is to live.”

– Hans Christian Andersen

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Beth

I'm a professional vagabond. I quit my cubical job in January 2014. Since then, I've hiked the Appalachian Trail, The Camino, and taught English in Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Mexico and Peru. I'm exploring the world and you can come too!

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