The lost art of the analog nomad

If you believe what you read here on the Interwebs, the path to travel salvation is through a Wi-Fi connection.  The Ultimate Setup is to be location independent, a digital nomad, with the freedom to go anywhere you want, at any time, while the PayPal payments roll in. Your laptop will set you free.

But what happened to being an analog nomad? An analog nomad is location dependent. You go where the work is.

Take your music on tour. Follow the harvest. Work the festivals.  Give medical care where it’s desperately needed. There must be a million more examples.

The downside to this lifestyle is that you can’t just go wherever you want. There needs to be a reason for you to be there. Some sort of demand, and you show up as the supply. The upside, though, is if you pick the right place, you’ll be welcomed wherever you go.

There are dark avenues here, just like anywhere else: The trafficker, the mercenary, the snake-oil salesman, Bonnie & Clyde, the truck-stop pimp. But we’re all adults here — you can make your own decisions.

I started thinking about this when I saw the video below. It’s made by a guy I used to go to summer camp with, who’s crisscrossing America by relying on his guitar and converted wagon. Playing on small stages for small crowds, making it work.

The irony, of course, is that the tour was probably set up through the web, and is obviously being cataloged and marketed through the web. No matter. There’s no mistaking the main event.

Posted by | Comments (2)  | June 16, 2010
Category: On The Road, Vagabonding Life

2 Responses to “The lost art of the analog nomad”

  1. GypsyGirl Says:

    On the contrary, the nomadic force is not lost- it just remains silent too much of the web chatter. I find this more of a relief, than an issue. Personally, I have found less of a salvation and more of an obligation to be lashed to an internet connection. I’ve over-land traveled extensively for 10 years now, perpetually for the last 5 and did not converse with anyone who I hadn’t met in person, over the web, until the spring of last year.

    So have hope, those people are not lost- but you won’t find them in the virtual “coffee houses” of the inter web conversations. They are those in the rocking chairs on the front porch-gazing at the fields, the ones gathered round a campfire- laughing and sharing stories. Much like the irony of “reality” TV shows; the world wide web was set up to pass information, to add fuel to the fire and if that inspires people to travel, overcome their fears, so be it.

  2. Jeanette K. Says:

    Gotta love that irony. It’s definitely an interesting lifestyle though. I’ll have to try it at some point. Maybe *next* summer 🙂