What lifestyle is better to lead?
This question often launches a series of points and counterpoints in favor of one lifestyle over the other. The fallacy in this line of thinking is that it targets general ideas instead of application in real life. It doesn’t take into account each person’s individual situation and desires.
It is such an overgeneralization to state there are two camps; the nomads and the ones that have settled down. These are labels. Labels cannot possibly describe the sheer vastness of life circumstances that exist. The labels make it easy to denigrate one side or the other.
“Those nomads are hoots. They’re arrogant crazy hooligans upsetting normal societal confines.”
“Those settled people following the American Dream are enslaved to ideals they don’t understand and can’t break free from.”
Who is right? Does it matter? Technically, they are both right, and they are both wrong. The view on the nomadic or stationary lifestyle is in the eye of the beholder. Is it Nomadic vs. Stationary?
Or is it…
Vagrant vs. Template
Lost vs. Established
Mobile vs. Grounded
Independent vs. Conformist
Wanderer vs. Conventional
Free vs. Enslaved
Homeless vs. Having a Home
People following the template lifestyle look down upon those that follow a non conventional path. This is the herd mentality. This has been established. It can be so hard to do things differently. If you have the urge to do something different, you know those feelings of uneasiness that creep in and make your stomach uncomfortable as you imagine how people you know would react. It’s hard to break free from these thoughts. We are indoctrinated our entire lives to think a certain way. People who challenge the status quo are ostracized or deemed crazy.
There is another side of the coin. There are a group of us nomads, independent thinkers, and entrepreneurs; those lifestyle igniters trying to break free from the template lifestyle and living life on their own terms. Sometimes, they ostracize the people who choose to settle down and live life in the conventional way. This is just as wrong. Who are the nomads to say what is right for the settlers and who are the settlers to say what’s right for the nomads? Additionally, who are the nomads to say that the “settlers” aren’t independent thinkers, lifestyle igniters, or not trying to break free and live life on their own terms? Staying in one place is enjoyable to many. The familiarity, continuity, and proximity to family and friends is highly valued. This continuity only becomes a problem if it becomes, and burden and hinders growth and happiness.
Mark, tell me what lifestyle is better to lead!
Making a blanket statement about which lifestyle is the correct one would be ridiculous. Everyone has their own unique situation, and their own unique hopes, wants, and desires. A nomad putting down someone who lives in the same place is just as wrong as someone living in the same place to put down a nomad. The lifestyle that is better to lead is the one that works for you.
Are You Happy?
Happiness is what it comes down to. Are you happy being a nomad? Are you happy staying in the same place? You can have a lifestyle that encompasses principles from both. There are innumerable combinations of lifestyles that incorporate values from each system. Some are more nomadic. Some are more settled. Incorporate ideals from each lifestyle to find that perfect combination. The combination that works the best for you will make you the happiest.
Right now I love being a nomad in Chicago. Some would say that I’m not a nomad. “You live in the same city.” “You’re a settler.” “You just move around in the same place.” I guess I’m a Nomettler or a Settlad. It doesn’t matter. I’m tailoring my life in the way that I’d like. It doesn’t fit into the confines of a label. Once I start my nomadic world journey, my life will. I will be a nomad in the literal sense. After that I may want to be a settler. I may fall in love with a place and settle down there. I may return to Chicago. I may move to Austin, Texas. The concept of movement and what I value is constantly changing and will continue to change. It’s impossible to state which label is better to slap onto one’s personal existence. The question is not, “Which lifestyle is better to lead,” but “What lifestyle is better for me.”