Definition of Nomad
When you google Nomad, you get the following definition:
A Nomad is a member of a community of people who live in different locations, moving from one place to another.
Nomadism is also a lifestyle adapted to infertile regions such as steppe, tundra, or ice and sand, where mobility is the most efficient strategy for exploiting scarce resources.
A nomad is a person with no settled home, who moves from place to place as a way of obtaining food, finding pasture for livestock, or otherwise making a living. The word nomad comes from a Greek word that means:
one who wanders for pasture.
Most nomadic groups follow a fixed annual or seasonal pattern of movements and settlements. Nomadic peoples traditionally travel by animal or canoe or on foot. Today, some nomads travel by motor vehicle. Most nomads live in tents or other portable shelters.
We can distinguish 3 kinds of nomads through time:
- The hunter/gatherer
- Pastoral nomad owning livestock
- Peripatetic nomad
Nomads keep moving for different reasons.
Nomadic hunting and gathering
Nomadic hunting and gathering, following seasonally available wild plants and game, is by far the oldest human subsistence method. Many groups of ‘nomadic’ hunter-gatherers (also known as foragers) moved from campsite to campsite, following wild fruits and vegetables.
Pastoralists raise herds, driving them, and/or moving with them, in patterns that normally avoid depleting pastures beyond their ability to recover. Pastoral nomads make their living raising livestock, such as camels, cattle, goats, horses, sheep, or yaks. These nomads travel to find more camels, goats, and sheep through the deserts of Arabia and northern Africa.
The pastoralists are sedentary to a certain area, as they move between the permanent spring, summer, autumn and winter (or dry and wet season) pastures for their livestock. The nomads moved depending on the availability of resources.
Sometimes also described as “nomadic” are the various itinerant populations who move about in densely populated areas living not on natural resources, but by offering services (craft or trade) to the resident population. These groups are known as “peripatetic nomads”.Nomadic craft workers and merchants travel to find and serve customers.
Most nomads usually move in the same region and don’t travel very far to a totally different region. Because they usually circle around a large area, a community gets formed and the other families generally know where the other ones are. Many governments dislike nomads because it is difficult to control their movement and to obtain taxes from them. Same problem modern nomads face nowadays with governments.
These days more and more people are starting their life as a nomad. There are lots of names for the nomad lifestyle like: digital nomad, nomad, urban nomad, location independent professionals, etc. Most nomads are working travelers that have chosen to not have a house, a traditional career, but a life of freedom.
Why the nomad lifestyle
Everybody has their own reason to start that lifestyle. For me it was the quest and freedom that push me in taking that lifestyle. I first started my own company to have the freedom to work whenever I wanted and on projects I like. And with having my own working hours came the freedom to be location independent and travel the world. And with the freedom came detachment from stuff. So I started selling my stuff and move into a smaller place in Holland. I became with the nomad lifestyle a minimalist (another time I will tell you more about this term). I own a few furniture, all my cloths can fit in a bag pack and there is still room left in it. With cleaning out my stuff I experienced new freedom in my head to think and freedom. Even my administration is fully digitalized, no maps anymore.