Of being a nomad

2021-12-23 @Lifestyle

Is anything strange about considering oneself a nomad? To appeal to the nomenclature for defining not only identity, but the profession, the outlook, the origins, the lifestyle? To this I increasingly resort in view of many such inquiries into my persona.

I’m not a digital nomad, the other fashionable description. As appealing of a concept in my earlier peregrinate, I’ve long become wary of the digital. Not only do I sense the aesthetic waning, but the term no longer accurate of my ways. I’m presently less pegged to the media, the platforms, the networks, the remote work, in contrast to these other nomadic species anyhow.

As online portals continue to proliferate, with more interaction online, more content on social networks, more of the smartphone, more of the virtual, that is, much of what we’ve already observed ten-fifteen years back, but more of the same, the continuously rising expectation that one carry and domesticate the device, that one coexist virtually with other beings: while all this explodes on multiple fronts, I’m desperate for the inverse trajectory and the ever compacter virtual footprint. What remains but my personal, old internet website anyway? No social nets, no smartphone, no messengers, no content sharing, no following, no commentaries save for personal emails.

I appreciate the traditional nomadic existence: the roaming of ambiguous constraints, the hopes of discovery of whatever vague a notion, the stray cat neither overambitious nor careless, survival instincts within radar, ferreting around the foggy valleys, wary of the panther of strife.

My inner advocating voice often argues for proactivity in reaching out to persons by any means traditional: my plain button phone, an SMS message, email or any independent P2P communication protocol (ie XMPP, IRC). I’ve done that to an extent, but hardly shown the initiative or the aggression to render such socializing sustainable. On the contrary, I’ve not set a sufficient example. And I am not of the pestering humour.

My humble network consists of either the handful of contacts which have suffered me all along (far before the pervasive messengers and social networks when we eagerly called and exchanged emails); or the more recently acquired contacts, yet not obstinate for epistolary interchange (who knows for what sustainable time frame?)

Alas, much of the modern expectation falls with the Matrix.

The marginal existence is likely to bar me from a sea of opportunities. In such case I’ll make due with the shore of that islet with whatever shells, pebbles and coconuts, too acute to the neurological dividends of a disconnected existence, having lived both variants for considerable time frames.

I hear the familiar argument: I little use ____; it’s there just in case [heavily paraphrased] to maintain …

With me, the just in case commodities, though sound in theory, haven’t worked out. Even the seldomest access to one of these portals, the mere login, already exposes a flood of tumult.

Not long back I spent a season in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco (MX), a decent portion in considerable isolation. If for naught else, I resided quiet a distance from the remotest of tourists. But I learned of a fairly active online group that propagated local activity. Naturally one needed a Facebook account to gain access. I’d likely have quintupled my social circle were I to mark my presence. But I wasn’t inclined. Internal sensors adversely triggered. I prefer isolation to the two extremes.

Whatever little dosage of that online doctrine, if nothing else, fosters eagerness to plug in, however subtly; fosters an alternate form of thinking, causing the mind, at least mine, to segway from the here and the now. It will do so continuously if I loosen the reins but slightly: not how I wish to characterize my brief existence.

Do I exaggerate? Pen a tragedy?

Questions, comments? Connect.