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Yu Jie Wu (M, 26)
Guangzhou, CN
Immortal since Jan 19, 2008
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    Nomadism: "What is a home?" & Other Starting Questions
    Hello all,

    So, I haven't been around here as much as I would have liked, not because I've been busy, but because I've been afraid that what I write may not be deemed interesting or worthy.

    Lately, however, I've been thinking a lot regarding the future of our lifestyles, and I finally feel that I've gotten enough of a whisper of an idea to finally write something for my personal cargo.

    From here on, I will try to develop my ideas in various blog entries. The idea revolves around being a modern nomad. Note: This idea is somewhat related to the "Digital Nomads" movement, but taking it to a whole new level. This is not some gimmicky post about how technology and social media are changing our lives (which I'm pretty sure everyone knows anyway), but a look into how we live as human beings, and where we are headed.

    First, in order to develop more ideas on living without a permanent home, it is first essential to define what a home is.

    A home is a place of residence or refuge and comfort.[1] It is usually a place in which an individual or a family can rest and be able to store personal property. Most modern-day households contain sanitary facilities and a means of preparing food.


    Of course, that is the broad definition, I ask everyone, what is the definition of a home for you?

    Second, a definition is all fine and good, but the function of a "home" is more pertinent to the discussion. Here is a list of what I believe a home provides.

    • Offers protection from nature/other people.

    • Allows for storage

    • Provides sanitary facilities, cooking/eating facilities

    • Acts as a grounding base, a point of contact for intimate relationships

    • Allows for sentimentality

    • A place to play, to recreate (referring to land outside the building as well)

    • A sense of security and ownership



    These are just some of my ideas, please feel free to add to the list.
    What are these things good for? Can other things satisfy these needs?

    A home offers intangible and tangible benefits, everyone can agree. But can these benefits be satisfied by other structures/interactions/lifestyles? Can a person truly live without a home and feel comfortable, safe and 'made' in our modern world? Nomads have existed for at least tens of thousands of years (thinking only in terms of their relationship with settled peoples); what is stopping the rise of a new group of modern nomads?

    The key question may be: Are human interactions more important than a sense of physical being? As in, is it possible to replace the security that people feel when having a permanent home with a security derived from personal relationships?

    Or has media, our culture and a whole host of other factors made that impossible?

    What is the viability of this sort of lifestyle for those with families, young children or aging parents? What age group would be most likely to become temporary nomads? Is this something that can be done on college campuses to increase productivity? Will it increase productivity or intellectual stimulation? What can come of this?

    So many questions, very few answers.
    I will hopefully answer a few in the months/years to come.

    To do:
    Research nomadic groups of ancient history
    Research nomadic groups in modern times
    Research the psychology behind homes
    Interview the homeless (?)
    Develop a theoretical system of rotating living areas that can be shared, and which provide the flexibility of nomadism
    Others?


    Tue, Jun 2, 2009  Permanent link
    Categories: nomadism, future, society, life
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    Comments:


    vcky     Tue, Jun 2, 2009  Permanent link
    interesting, this subject has been circling my mind allot lately
    collective matt     Tue, Jun 2, 2009  Permanent link
    I had an inspiring encounter with a homeless man once. Some friends and I were walking along the railroad tracks and came across this friendly man and decided to chat with him. He said that he used to be a lawyer, but that he couldn’t take the pressures of life anymore and became an alcoholic. He became homeless, and stayed that way even after giving up drinking. He said that the freedom he now had was worth it. His daily routine consisted only of a few hours of can collecting early in the morning to give him just enough money to get by for the day.
    Yu Jie     Thu, Jun 4, 2009  Permanent link
    @collective matt: What if we could live like a homeless man but have a steady income/job? Replacing those hours collecting cans with a freelancer's/tele-commuting life?

    The premise of this style of living is that the physical needs are met, and that includes income and monetary needs. How can we 'transplant' the happiness of a "homeless" or nomadic lifestyle into a more accepted, and comfortable situation?

    Thanks for the great anecdote, matt.

    @vcky: I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject :-)
    collective matt     Wed, Jul 15, 2009  Permanent link
    Ahh yes, that would be true freedom. There would be nothing better to me than traveling the planet, while staying connected and living the life of the digital nomad.
     
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