Monday, February 14, 2005

Cool Connections

by AJ/Skald

Ok-- this wireless internet thing is supercool. I'm a minimalist at heart but this appeals to the nomad in me. Here I am in Tokyo-Narita airport with a 9 hour layover and instead of suffering through abject boredom I can post to the blog and email friends. Which goes to show that recent technological innovations are adding a new wrinkle to the nomadic life.... opening up new possibilities. Its possible to be nomadic and "plugged in" at the same time.... possible for a freelance writer to live anywhere in the world and instantly submit articles to publications anywhere else in the world. Its possible for computer geeks to freelance their skills from anywhere on the globe as well (anywhere with internet access... and that's alot of places these days).

And its not just freelancers anymore. My sister works for IBM-- from her home. She chooses to live in Indiana near our family but she could live in any location. With a laptop, internet connection, and phone line she's set. If she gets tired of Indy she can leave. No more office prisons. Some people seem scared by all this mobility and volatility but I think its great! Grand new worlds are opening. There have always been those admirable folks who lived edgy hobopoet lives. True hoboes riding the rails, for example. But many (most) prefer a bit more comfort and connection and there's nothing wrong with that either. The nomadic freelancing life is open to all lifestyles. I prefer a "student" lifestyle usually: a tiny apartment, and enough money for coffee shops, books, restaurants and travel.... or at times its nice to live out of a bookbag or a van-- stay on the move.

But that's just one approach. Sunwalker wants to ditch money completely and walk around the US/Canada. Fantastic! The Cyberhobo (see link on sidebar) is a computer programmer with a nice income and an incurable case of wanderlust. Stefan bought an ambulance and lived in it for a while. Great! What binds them is the love of new experiences and a determination to be free... to live life on their own terms. Not locked in an office. Not lorded over by some petty dictator "boss". Not bound by rigid schedules. Not locked into a soul sucking bureaucracy.

Look at my own example: I live in Bangkok, Thailand; write articles for magazines based in New York, South Carolina, and Georgia; edit a blog read by people in America, Canada, & the UK (mostly); and am finishing a Masters degree through a University based in Virginia. Through email I stay in weekly contact with friends based in Japan, Malaysia, the UK, and the States. My friends are equally connected to diverse points around the globe.

Some prefer security and a sedentary life. But for the rest of us,... the world is open.

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