on global nomading

Wikipedia says that nomad is a Greek word νομάδες, nomádes, meaning “those who let pasture herds”, denoting communities of people who move from  one place to another, in other words a practice of continual movement with no fixed settlement. This rough definition implies to early communities of hunter-gatherers in Tibet or Siberia, but in industrial and information society it is a metaphor for aimless wandering, vagabonding from place to place. Modern nomads are high tech creators, frequent miles flyer’s, restless minds who have chosen nomadic way of life with no permanent residence, but rather moving from place to place. Either for work, education or personal reasons.

I didn’t think about this on deeper level, always took for granted when people would say: ah you’re world traveller, global nomad, as labeling in this context doesn’t mean much to me. And last night I had chat with an old colleague and friend residing in Amsterdam who recently returned from San Diego, California (one of the places I used to live) sharing the photos from the conference and time on the cliffs, as I was reminiscenting warm sunny winter Californian days from my studio in cold and foggy Oxford, when he said that we travellers, nomads never get bored. Which made me think: have I, by often travelling and changing place of living, working, studying, actually created in my subconsciousness denial not to be bored so I’d run for adventure, excitement, upgrading my knowledge and practice in work, meet new people, collaborate, search without the search, helping out where needed, being everywhere and nowhere? I assume a bit of all stated. And some more.

Which reminded me on one of my favourite novels – Baltasar and Blimunda, epic novel by Jose Saramago, where intuitive Blimunda who can see inside people, wanders for years for the search of millions of human “will” and together with soldier Baltasar in a quest of helping Bartolomeu, a renegade priest, to construct a flying machine. It all happens during inquisition time, in 18th century Portugal. We are living in 21st century where collaboration form of gathering inner “will” and building a flying machine is changed for gathering data and creating other forms of innovative endeavours where technomading is without the borders (even if it requires physical visa forms or paper) and individuum is free to move more than ever.

That provisory freedom may look for someone from aside as a great adventure, free spiritualism, carefreeness, but after years and years of global nomading, it becomes, in political, economical under threat to-become-insane-society, an urge to find a place or settle somewhere what would one call a base or a home. This apres nomading time was noticed even at our ancestors. Internet has gathered us into global tribe where many do practice global nomading online, but what about us who spend nights in hotels, waiting at the airports, celebrating important events in the air or conferences, out from family or friends?

I will return to this over and over, and maybe start writing somewhere my global travel notes (as I was suggested many times by my friends and family) and share them with you. This December and January is pretty full of travels and conferences [Englands, USA, Englands,  France?], everything is open. What is for sure is that I’m looking forward to sail the calm seas in the next period, looking for my future base. Encouraging news for the people in my country is visa-free system from December 19th, and is a reason plus for nomading around Europe, and beyond.


  1. My blog is about going to and from between places – Πέρα δόθε” (Pera thothe). I prefer the term ‘transhumance’ to nomadism. Humance derives from the latin for earth or ground – humus. Humans have become so preoccupied with speeding up their journeys that they have begun to blight their destinations – among other things with immense freeways and developing airports, but also by settlement patterns that destroy place by turning it into placeless sprawl and street design that gives greater attention to human movement than to human interaction. In the text below the image called mobilities see the work of Urry, but also Adams on ‘hypermobility’


    We are belatedly discovering the value of slow travel, giving greater attention to ‘access by proximity’ and slightly less attention to ‘access by mobility’. We are rediscovering the need for ‘place’. Those nomads who have no longer have a ‘village’ will often have a dream of one, even as those who feel trapped in small communities long to escape into the limbos that are part of restless wandering.

  2. […] field, as the 2009. was absolutely wonderful bringing lot of great events, people, awards, places I’ve been living/working, and the great adventures. I’m looking forward to 2010, hoping to be even better, as the same I wish to all of you who […]

  3. Henry Story says:

    But where should one settle? And why there, and not elsewhere? 🙂 I am always settling, just never for very long.

  4. Danica says:

    Lovely thoughts Simon, I guess I’m the other restless individua wandering and in the search for a place that will be my base for work and all those things I’ve been taken from all over the world. Those that needs to be stored and be present at that specific spot, as they are part of me, and part of my life and work.

    Henry, that is the question I’ve been asking myself lately. Hopefully, I defined geographically where I want and where I do not want to live. The important factor for choosing “that place” for living and working, at least for me, are people. People that are friendly, inspiring, that I can create/communicate/have fun/you-name-it on everyday basis, the people that will be around me in physical space as well.

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