Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World
This book by Rita Golden Gelman, is the story of how she left the perks of a modern, urbane living and embraced a nomadic lifestyle, to explore new realms of life, and how she stayed at various places, enjoying new cultures in different parts of the world.
A nomad is a person, who usually wanders from one place to another, making a temporary home every time. He might change his location with the changing climate, occupation, or for other reasons.
Before cultures flourished and settled, man was a nomad. There are still many communities that have a nomadic lifestyle. They wander from one place to another, making camps or settlements in that place only temporarily. They usually have their close-knit groups to roam. However, in the modern scenario, most of us prefer to have permanent settlements, a stable life, and a comfortable zone.
Yet, there are some who embrace a nomadic lifestyle. It means, instead of staying at one place permanently, they prefer to move from one place to another. With developments in transport, conveyance facilities, tourism, etc., there are many people today who have started adopting this lifestyle. Most of them are retirees and single men and women. But even those with families are not far behind. Attracted to the thrill involved in a nomadic living, even they have started adopting this lifestyle. Basically, those with an inner desire to travel and explore, and with a love for adventure, may prefer the nomad's way of living.
However, with the excitement in traveling, comes instability. With thrill, come the many challenges of adjusting to the ever-changing living conditions. Here, we give you the pros and cons of a nomadic lifestyle.
Do you love exploring new places? Then a nomadic lifestyle could be for you. Your inherent desire to travel, explore nature, lifestyles, learn about various socio-cultural backgrounds, cuisines, attires, traditions, festivals, etc., can be fulfilled through a nomadic lifestyle.
A New Perspective
You get to see life through the eyes of others. You understand how people think and what influences their thinking. You are exposed to different points of view. You understand how one's social and cultural background influences one's thinking and living. A nomadic lifestyle exposes you to different cultures, their history, and their teachings, giving you a chance to pick the good from each of them.
Improves adaptability and sustainability
When you travel to different places and learn their ways of living, your adaptability increases. You are able to accept change more easily. Even your body learns to adapt to the environment with greater ease. With time, you are able to sustain the harsh conditions, you learn to survive in the absence or irregular supply of everyday essentials. Also, you become more capable of accepting challenges and facing difficulties.
With a nomadic living, your needs decrease and you learn to be content with what you have. In a stable life where the options are many and life is filled with luxuries, you become extremely choosy about everything right from clothes to food. As a nomad, you learn to live with the limited options you have. You cannot afford to be picky. Some places don't even offer you the basic necessities. You learn to live with the available resources without overspending.
Real Essence of Living
Traveling to places far and near, exposes you to the reality of life. It helps you understand the living conditions of different people and you realize how some of them have accepted living even without their basic needs met. A nomadic lifestyle teaches you what it means to live under the sun and stars, and what it feels like to meet a new adventure at every step. In a nomad's life, each day is different; there are new challenges to overcome and new lessons to learn. And that's the very essence of life.
With exposure to the different ways of living and patterns of thinking, your rigidity reduces. When in one place, you are less open to different points of view. You may lack the ability to think in different directions, and may be less ready to accept different perspectives. Confined to one place, you become rigid in thinking, sometimes, even without knowing it. You may become prejudicial and overly critical of other places and their cultures. A nomadic lifestyle exposes you to the diversity in thinking and makes you less rigid.
Impact on Finances
There is no job security and you do not have an assured income. You may have to do odd jobs to earn a living. You may have to do without food for days together and sustain on meager resources. You can be in the jobs of a scuba instructor, travel writer, travel guide, photographer, attender at restaurants, etc. But, a lot depends on the place. And if you have a family to tend to, it's going to be very difficult to sustain this way and also provide for your family.
If you are staying away from your family and friends, you are going to feel lonely. The feeling of not being able to reach them, may make you feel sad. The lack of stability might make you feel alone and helpless. Living a nomad's life, you are not going to be staying at one place for a long time, making it difficult for you to establish permanent relationships. The sense of lacking social support is likely to add to your loneliness.
A nomad's life calls for a lot of sacrifices. You are going to miss all the important events in your friends' lives. You will be bidding farewell to the comfort of your home; your food, your couch, pets, and so much more. You are going to have to be ready to leave things behind, make sacrifices, and move on.
If you are living a nomad's life with your family, you may not be able to provide your children with good education. Every place that you go to, may not offer good education facilities. And even if it does, the teaching techniques are going to be different. Chances are that the children find it difficult to cope with the studies due to the changing methods of teaching. Also, there are chances that they find it difficult to make friends, which may further hamper their emotional development.
No Place to Call 'Home'
Since you will be shifting your place of living every few months, you are not going to develop a sense of belonging towards any of them. At every place, your stay is going to be only temporary. As you begin to develop a sense of attachment towards a particular place/people, or sometimes even before you feel any association, you are going to be moving to an altogether new place. Thus, even after traveling miles, the truth is going to remain, that you won't be having a place that you can call 'home'.
Feeling like an Outsider
Moving to a new place will need you to accommodate with the new group and the new living conditions. There may be times when you feel that however you try to fit in, you are not being able to. There are going to be times when you will feel like no one is trusting you. You will be new to them and they to you. It is going to take time to build a sense of understanding and mutual trust. Moreover, you are not going to be fully aware of the culture and living habits of the people of the new region. You will be taking time to adjust to their living style, language, manners, etc. You may seem different and feel left out. The unfamiliarity is bound to bother you and you are going to end up feeling like an outsider.
On considering the pros and cons of a nomadic lifestyle, it is difficult to say whether it is good or bad. It has its share of advantages and disadvantages. A nomadic living is for someone who loves to explore the world and enjoys the thrill in moving from place to place, breaking away from monotony, living a new life each time. However, it is not for someone who finds happiness in leading a stable life, and seeks comfort and luxury. Whether to choose a nomad's way of living, is for you to decide.