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pi magazine | travel PI MAGAZINE 716716 | TRAVEL

Nomadism: Identity and Wanderlust

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here is little to set people like Stef Roberts and Alex Hill apart from the madding crowd in the hubbub of the train that takes weary-eyed commuters to work each morning. Even the most observant of us would never suppose that Roberts spends each night sleeping amongst the trees and runs his animation business from his computer, whilst IT worker Hill lives in his van on London’s side streets. Their lifestyle is just part of a melange of cultures and ways of life that increasingly define our identity, but what is so attractive about nomadism when there is ‘just no place like home’?

“Generation Nomad”: a lifestyle choice that promotes a similar idea to wanderlust, but on a tighter budget Ours is a generation that, at one end, avidly follows the growth of “clean eating”, wan-

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derlust and a hipster aesthetic, while at the other makes sacrifices in a time of economic hardship. Finding a middle ground is one of the motives attracting growing numbers of people, such as Stef Roberts and Alex Hill, to “Generation Nomad”: a lifestyle choice that promotes a similar idea to wanderlust, but on a tighter budget. Scrolling through Instagram, we see countless picture-perfect scenes uploaded by self-proclaimed “wanderers”: a moment in time pierced with an inspirational quote endorsing travel. Technology has released us from the neat confines of an office block and a life governed by nine to five: the internet has become our new governing force as more and more of us work from coffee shops, libraries and from home. The endorsement of so-called “digital nomadism” has become a growing trend: a sort of “new-age nomadism”. Nomadism, both physical and spiritual, is often met with thoughts of “hippie” Instagram idols, with ideas of long-standing tribal tradition or with a desire to escape the world and find isolation. It is however, in varying degrees, something that is ‘close to home’ for many of us at a “global uni-

versity” like UCL. The university campus becomes a base for affiliate students and international students alike, nestling them down in the Big Smoke for times spanning from a couple of months to a few years. London is a melting pot for different cultures, or perhaps put otherwise, a home for nomads. What is it then that draws people away from their culture to pass into another one, and hence possibly pass into creating another identity?

Nomadism draws many people for this very idea: contrary to popular belief, it does not promote isolation or ‘hermitism’ but rather creates a unique culture of its own For many, nomadism is less about moving physical boundaries and more about

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Pi Magazine, Issue 716 - The Mind  

Our Second Issue of the 2016/17 academic year is focused on 'The Mind'. We delve into topics such as mental health, neurological disease, an...

Pi Magazine, Issue 716 - The Mind  

Our Second Issue of the 2016/17 academic year is focused on 'The Mind'. We delve into topics such as mental health, neurological disease, an...

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