A nomadic lifestyle involves traveling to different places sometimes and not staying or living at a permanent location. Take a look at the definition and explanation of a nomadic lifestyle, and discover the regions where families of nomads have been common across centuries.
Nomadic Lifestyle Definition
We take many things for granted in modern America. Almost all Americans have a home of some sort; be it a studio apartment or a mansion, most of us go back to the same place at the end of each day. However, this is not true for all of the world’s population today, and it definitely was not true for our earliest ancestors. There are even tribes in the Eurasian steppe, Africa, and even Europe who live as our ancestors did: as nomads.
The nomad lifestyle is likely the oldest form of human society still practiced today. Commonly, nomads are people and tribes who do not consider themselves attached to a specific plot of land. Though nomadic societies have their own laws and customs, they do not practice and have no knowledge of Western property rights. Nomadic civilizations move from place to place and region to region depending on variables such as climate, season, availability of water, and the movement of animal herds. In order to better understand nomadism, let’s take a look at some examples throughout history and some examples from today.
Major Characteristics of a Nomadic Lifestyle
Here are some of the significant characteristics of a nomadic lifestyle.
- A nomad constantly changes locations, switching from one place to another. Most nomads have some type of place that they can call home, which is usually where their family or childhood friends are located, but they wouldn’t spend more than a few months a year there. Nor would they comfort in a new home. For nomads “Change is home”. Not many people can stick to this lifestyle in the long term since most of us need a little stability and a private comfort zone. Nomads have no real home they can feel relaxed in and spend most of their time in someone’s else accommodation (i.e. a hostel, short rental, a friend’s place, or Couchsurfing).
- The nomadic lifestyle is more significant than anything else, including career, relationship, or assets. A nomad will bypass any attachment which forces her/him to be tied to a specific location. Once you have decided that your nomadic lifestyle is first preference, you will have to sacrifice to make sure it stays sustainable. Many nomads find the Buddhist religion a good fit since it focuses on non-attachment and letting go of everything you have. A nomad lets go and click an imaginary “reset button” as they move between locations.
- Avoiding attachments- A nomad breaks away from her/his attachments before taking the nomadic path, and stays away from attachments while living as a nomad. What is an attachment? Anything that holds you away from realizing a nomadic life. It is anything you have (or even, think that you have) and can’t give up on. The perfect job that is unattainable to get once you quit it, the dog you love so much and can’t be left behind, the amazing girlfriend/boyfriend that will not agree to become a nomad. A quick interesting insight- if you have those, and feel happy, keep them. But if they are not excellent and don’t really make you happy, say goodbye to all your fake attachments and either find better ones or choose the nomadic path instead.
- Nomads usually become quite smart, easy-going, and interesting people. The reason for that is clear, they are told about many lifestyles, cultures and constantly changing situations. This constant cycle of change is your teacher. If you are ready for it, it will cause you a better person.
- Nomads don’t take life very seriously. Think about it. If you keep losing everything you had (friends, home) every time you switch locations, then the basic understanding dawns on you: “everything is temporary and nothing is yours”. After you understand that, you can’t actually take life too seriously, there is nothing to defend.
- Nomads travel light and have a minimalist mindset. It means that they consume experiences instead of getting Stuff. Life is short, and the only thing we are guaranteed not to lose is the great moments experienced. Those of us who keep on overconsuming and increasing our possessions will find it very frustrating to carry on our backs while constantly changing locations.
- Nomads usually travel slowly. Even for the rare few who can live life without having a home, it is important to develop emotional stability by staying longer in each location (usually 1-3 months) in order to set routines and make meaningful friendships.
- Nomads are respectful, smiley, and above all curious. If this is not the case, why would you choose a path of constant change? Being positive also helps to mitigate one of the most significant disadvantages of the nomadic life, which is loneliness. We are all social animals, which indicates that without company, we wither and disconnect from ourselves. Since nomads have to keep on reconstructing their social circle wherever they go, being happy and positive is crucial. However, one of my favorite nomadic quotes is “If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company”. Nomads spend a lot of their time alone and should enjoy it as well.
- Digital Nomads are trying to deal with the issue of lack of social life by choosing global locations that are Digital nomad hubs. This greatly increases the chance of meeting like-minded people.
- Nomads think and adjust fast. As a nomad frequently changing locations, everything is always new. You have to put the effort into finding what you need, and probably can’t speak the native language. It means that you must learn to trust your intuition and make fast decisions.
There are many different types of nomadic lifestyles and each of us can customize our own. For instance, with time, I have developed a set of nomadic routines and rules which I follow and adjust. Now it’s time for you to choose if the nomadic life is a beneficial experiment for you, and if so, just make it happen.