What is a Technomad?


Picture: Seth K. Hughes

Technomad (n): A person who foresakes full-time habitation in favor of frequent movement to new places, possibly but not necessarily in an RV. Like a retiree (n), but with a job (n). Characteristically accompanied by devices like the MiFi, signal boosters, ranging devices and other nefarious-sounding implements that are essential to job (n).

If you’ve ever had a panic attack because you can’t get a cellular signal, or you will live in a dry lakebed in the middle of the desert for a week because of good cell service, you might be a technomad.

If you work online and rely on good internet service to make money, you’re all tech, without the nomad part.

You could wander if you really wanted to.

It’s a good lifestyle if you love to travel, or if you staying in one place makes you fidgety. Best case scenario is both.

It used to be hard to work online and live on the road. People have been doing it for at least a decade nonetheless, pioneering twenty- and thirty-something online workers who thought—why do we have to wait until we retire? People like Aluminarium and Technomadia.

They set a precedent for people like us. Nowadays, it’s a growing trend.

Living on the road forces you to simplify your life. You can’t hide from your surroundings. If you’re off the grid, you feel every gallon of water and bagful of waste. It’s liberating or alarming, depending on where you are and how much water you have left.

It forces you to be friendly. You rarely know who your neighbors are. Seeing what they throw back at you after “hello” can say a lot.

It also increases your burden of time spent making things work. Plugged into city water and electricity? That’s two worries gone. Got a washer/dryer, food processor, grocery store nearby? Ditto three.

In a way, it’s akin to living in a developing country, where resources are limited and you can’t just space out on life.

But that’s the core of travel, isn’t it? To avert habit, to stay fresh.

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