The ancient origins of the new nomads - Deepstash
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The nomadic lifestyle

The nomadic lifestyle

The digital nomad movement is driven by remote workers who are not bound by office jobs. 

Nomadic lifestyle enthusiasts proclaim that you can have a happy, free life, go where you want and do what you want when you want. You don't have to live in a traditional way of a 9-5 job, a mortgage, or be stuck in the same city for 20 years until you retire.

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Ideas behind nomadic philosophies are ancient

Ideas behind nomadic philosophies are ancient

In the ancient world, it was common for humans to live as nomads.

  • The nomadic Scythians lived in wagons. They were the most advanced equestrian warriors and possessed sophisticated weaponry.
  • In the 12th Century, the advanced nomadic Mongols were seen as rebel people, yet they had the largest land empire in history.

Living your entire life in the place of your birth is relatively recent. The rise of agriculture and the domestication of animals led to more permanent settlements.

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Ancient prejudice against nomadic communities

Nomadic communities were seen as inferior or less developed than passive ones. This has led to discrimination with violent consequences.

Not too long ago, we used to see a nomad as the hobo or gipsy. But a massive shift is taking place where nomadism has become a status symbol.

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Nomadic literature

Nomadic literature

In many US stories, the nomadic hero is reimagined as a cowboy, pioneer or settler.

In the twentieth-century classics such as Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, the nomad is seen as the enlightened rebel who won't reform to urbanised life. There is a rejection of the traditional family and a focus on the individuals' liberty while searching for inward meaning. In Kerouac's world, a hunger for life and new experiences are vital for liberation.

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Nomadism is romaticised

In the 21st Century, nomadism is increasingly associated with minimalism, self-reliance, liberty, and self-discovery. The idea of leaving your home behind and pursuing an adventure on the road feels more reachable and less like a kind of homelessness. It is seen as a luxury.

But pursuing a non-sedentary lifestyle requires sacrifice and the reality of things such as a cold outdoor shower or emptying portable toilets. The purpose is no longer migration but embracing and exploring new places and people.

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