Longterm traveling isnt always easy. There are many rewards, as Matt and I continually point out. But there are difficult challenges as well.
Perhaps the greatest challenge comes from loneliness. When you stay on the move it becomes difficult to keep a social network. Im facing this problem now as my longterm travel partners consider a return home.
But this problem effects non-travelers as well. Modern life makes "convivial gatherings" (to use Hakim Bey's term) quite difficult. We become increasingly separated. Work, economics, media, and mobility serve to isolate us.
Most of my adult life since college has been spent in a continual struggle with isolation. My hometown had few economic opportunities... just a large university... and so my friends always moved away. Lately, Ive been the one on the move. In either case, Ive found it damn hard to keep a vibrant social life.. especially as Im not a particularly extroverted person.
But Im not alone. Most of my friends have the same struggle. Most adult acquaintances over age 28 complain of the same challenge. There's a larger societal process going on here, one which hits the nomad and the stationary wage-employee just as hard.
The esteemed Mr. Bey, in fact, identifies loneliness at THE big weapon of corporate power, "Capital", wage-slavery, etc. Convivial gatherings outside of work/authority (ie church) become rarer and rarer. People plug into TV to fill the gap. They consume to soothe their dissatisfaction. They plunge into the virtual reality of media because their real lives feel so disconnected, lonely, and boring.
Mr. Bey urges us to fight this trend.... to make spirited efforts to establish convivial social groups... ones which do not revolve around work or consumption... but rather around play. He calls these Immediatist groups.
Can neo-nomads establish such groups too?
Is it possible to live a nomadic life with other people?
Or is this nomadic (vagabonding) life inherently a lonely solo undertaking?