Humans have been on the move since the beginning of time – seeking prosperity, more abundant pastures, an easier life, or just new adventures. As exploring the world has become possible for more of us, various styles of travel have emerged, making labels like “tourist”, “traveler”, “holiday”, and “vacation” too limiting.
During, and after, our recent seven-month trip, I found myself struggling to explain that we were not really “on vacation”, or even “traveling”, as the term is understood by most, so, I decided a new word was needed to better describe those of us living on the road, homeless by choice.
“Vacation” or “Holiday” a rejuvenating break from the pressures of a hectic life and/or work schedule.
“Tourists” prefer a structured itinerary, seeking to maximize the “must sees”, and through careful planning, waste no time, and leave no room for mishaps. They can be part of a group, or individual tour, but want things to be easy. (There is nothing derogatory about being a tourist!)
“Travelers” have a more relaxed itinerary, often winging it and moving slowly. They accept that wrong turns, missing a train, or getting lost, often result in the most memorable experiences. They enjoy a degree of challenge and the unknown in their journeys.
“Nomads” have no home to go back to. Some have never owned one, but many have just opted to sell, or rent it out for months, or years, to help fund their new lifestyle. Some nomads stay in one place for a few weeks or months, others just wander, with no set plans. Nomads can at times be tourists, and travelers, as part of their nomadic lifestyle, but they are primarily just living day-to-day, on the road, integrating with the local culture, often skipping the bucket list sights of tourists and travelers.
The term “digital nomads”, is used for those of all ages working remotely, and in Australia, they use “grey nomads”, to describe wandering retirees. I guess we fit into both of these categories, but I don’t really care for the grey nomad term, since retirees can be 45 or 85, grey or not! And for all of my single girl friends, we met so many female nomads, of all ages! Maybe I just noticed them more, but it seemed to me that 80% of the single nomads we met were women, some young, but many of them over 60.
So, I hope this inspires you to think out of the box about what kind of holiday, trip, or life you want to have. As I like to remind myself – there are so many ways to define success, happiness and to live this life!
In my next posts, I will get into more specifics about our Nomading.