I recently read an article by Sean Bonner on neo-minimalism and techno-nomads. Bonner is part of a “movement” to trim down on belongings, live a life less burdened with “stuff,” and to unhitch oneself from property owning. You can see evidence of this kind of paradigm change–which is also aesthetic–in the “tiny house” movement, inspired by attempts to live an ecologically sound life (although the energy and resources squandered in travel might be questioned), and also a more authentic life, less inflated, more true to the reality of your finances and the economic reality of the nation. This is more than just frugal living in response to a down economy. It’s an exploratory lifestyle that is questioning our ideas of home, identity (what things define us?), and perhaps even family, and nation.
Although I can’t say I’m ready to jettison all my stuff and go nomadically traveling all over the globe (for one thing, I’m over 50), I did (and still do) think of this blog as an exploration of the several communities that I live near, while still retaining the option of moving on to another locale. I’m not a homeowner; I rent, which frees me from the psychological and material ties that come with homeowning. I keep wondering, though, about the memories and emotions I have that are linked to “place,” and how significant they really are in the long run.
It’s often said that those who have lived in one area for a long time have a depth of knowledge about that place, and thus can contribute more to the local community (of course, there are lots of folks who have such knowledge, but contribute little). On the other hand, doesn’t the current global ecological crisis demand that we extend our vision and knowledge further beyond parochial boundaries, to understand the world in a larger perspective? Breadth, in other words, may be just as important as depth.
The danger is in becoming a perpetual techno-tourist, slumming one’s way across the world, collecting experiences, rather than objects, and doing with them — what? That’s the question. Technomads website.