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The making of an urban nomad, sans commitments

open page urban nomad 030219

open page urban nomad 030219  

These wanderers are actually running away from it all for their own survival

A simple Net search at urbandictionary.com brought me the precise meaning of ‘urban nomads’ as “a small but diverse section of society that lives and works in an urban area, yet does not rent, own or otherwise reside permanently in any one location.” The term ‘nomad’ suggests a chosen lifestyle, as opposed to a ‘refugee’ by compulsion, and it also suggests that nomads feel they have a home, as opposed to the ‘homeless’.

The definition of an ‘urban nomad’ is, someone who refuses to settle down in just one home, but chooses to live in multiple locations around the globe or just keep moving across locations.

Mind you, he or she does not need to be a bachelor to become an urban nomad!

People have become more mobile today than in the case of past generations. It has become easier to move abroad for work or studies.

In the ancient past, nomads used to travel to find food, but the modern urban nomad instead travels to find work or simply to work in another workplace.

The historical nomad travelled in large groups. The modern urban nomad travels alone and is city based.

What makes the modern urban nomad still a nomad is the fact that he exists in community through the wireless and Internet technology and is constantly immune to the urge to belong to some place.

“A global nomad, or glomad”, say Richards and Wilson in their book, The Global Nomad: Backpacker Travel in Theory and Practice (2004), “is a person who is living a mobile and international lifestyle.” They go on: “Global nomads aim to live location-independently, seeking detachment from particular geographical locations and the idea of territorial belonging.”

So why do we have this nomadic lifestyles in modern times? I feel that the above-mentioned definitions and meanings of the urban nomad are grossly misleading. It is so because they are covering up something real and deeper with a morphological aspect of the term.

The way I see it, it is not about geography at all. It is about some deeper human crisis — something like a phobia of commitment. Some people can simply not feel like belonging anywhere. While the lifestyle challenges faced at various workplaces are kids’ stuff, belonging to humans, such as having one’s own kids and family is actually an absolute no-no.

So my dear, the urban nomads are not what Google makes you believe; you should be able to read between the lines! They are the ones who are running away from something or the other for their own survival.

At the end of the road, he or she is a mad urban wanderer because the modern relationships offer fewer benefits and takes you away from your comfort zone. To add to these, the cost of commitment is higher than ever!

Have I graduated to being truly an ‘urban nomad’?

sangeetabsahay18@gmail.com

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 8:34:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/the-making-of-an-urban-nomad-sans-commitments/article26162309.ece

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