Global nomad

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Global nomad is a term applied[1] to people who are living a mobile and international lifestyle.

The term is a neologism rarely encountered before the year 2000.[2]

"Global nomads" travel from one country to another without a permanent home or job and their ties to their country of origin have loosened.[3] Most of them work in jobs that are location-independent[4] such as IT, writing, teaching, and handicraft.[5]

Nomad originally referred to pastoral nomads who follow their herd according to the seasons. Unlike traditional nomads, global nomads travel alone or in pairs rather than with a family and livestock. They also travel worldwide and via various routes whereas traditional nomads have a fixed annual or seasonal pattern of movement, and although pastoralists are professional travelers, they move in relatively limited areas mostly walking or riding donkeys, horses, and camels.[6] Global nomads, on the other hand, travel worldwide.

The modern-day global nomads' lifestyle has become possible because of fast and relatively cheap transportation methods as well as the communication technologies that enable people to connect in real time across wide geographical distances. Global nomads often come from Western countries. They are privileged actors: they have the financial resources to move (either they have savings or they sell their property or they get a pension) or they have the talent needed to set up a small business venture in their new location. Global nomads also hold passports that allow them to move more or less freely.[7]

Global nomads' lifestyle is characterized by high mobility.[8] They might stay in one place for days to months. However, sometimes the term is also used to refer to lifestyle migrants who travel between their country of origin and their new, chosen home country.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Richards, Greg & Wilson, Julie 2004. The Global Nomad: Backpacker travel in theory and practice. Clevedon: Channel View Publications.
  2. ^ an early reference to backpackers in Philip L. Pearce, The Backpacker Phenomenon: Preliminary Answers to Basic Questions, James Cook University of North Queensland, 1990.[page needed]
  3. ^ Kannisto, Päivi 2014. Global Nomads: Challenges of Mobility in the Sedentary World. Tilburg: Tilburg University Press. Available at
  4. ^ Mike Elgan (1 August 2009), Is Digital Nomad Living Going Mainstream?, Computerworld 
  5. ^ Kannisto, Päivi and Kannisto, Santeri 2012. Free as a Global Nomad: An Old Tradition with a Modern Twist. Phoenix, AZ: Drifting Sands Press.
  6. ^ Khazanov, Anatoly M. 1994. Nomads and the Outside World (2nd edition) [1983], translated by Julia Crookenden. Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press.
  7. ^ Korpela, Mari 2009. More Vibes in India: Westerners in Search of a Better Life in Varanasi. Tampere: Tampere University Press.
  8. ^ Elliott, A., Urry, J. (2011) Mobile Lives. Cambridge: Routledge
  9. ^ D’Andrea, Anthony 2006. Global Nomads. Techno and New Age as Transnational Countercultures in Ibiza and Goa, e-book.