What it Means to Be a Nomad

hitchhiking in chile

Remember how two posts ago I said only had $250 to my name and how I was sort of freaking out and thinking about trying to steal cars in Guadalajara? Or steal anything, really? Well, today I’m much more calm about the whole situation. I got a small job working for my friend Nate doing translation, and more job prospects are on the way. Here’s the thing: I don’t want to put down roots (unless it’s in the German hamlet of Wuppertal; There I will put down roots whole-fucking-heartedly). I want to solidify my nomad lifestyle. I want to make it viable. I want to have several online jobs, I want to make money from this blog, and I want to make money from writing in general. Is it possible to settle down as a nomad, to settle down without staying in one place? Of course it is. Because don’t forget: Being a nomad doesn’t mean you have to move willy-nilly all over the place, randomly ripping yourself apart from a place just because you think you’re supposed to keep moving. Nomadic people traditionally move between good grazing grounds, or good farming grounds. They might go up north in the winter, and then back south in the summer (which is essentially what I’ve done over the past few years). Their movements are predictable, controlled. Over the past few years I’ve generally summered (!) in Seattle and then moved south over the winter. Usually I make it as far as Chile or Argentina and set up shop. This is because I love Chile (and Argentinian girls make me look like a rabies patient), mostly because the climate in southern Chile in the winter is exactly the same as the climate in Seattle in the summer. There are blackberries!  There are tide flats! The only thing different is that it’s thousands of miles away and people speak a different language.

So that’s kind of my thought for today. Settling down doesn’t have to be a physical thing. You can settle your spirit down. You can work out a life for yourself that involves moving around nomadically, but still, to a certain extent, have roots. You can have people that you see regularly, people that you see regularly. You can have routine. You could even have a love life.

Though let’s not get ahead of ourselves.


Like this post? Hate it? Show your indifference by buying me a non-fat caramel machiatto!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *