The Urban Nomads

So, yesterday day before few days ago at a cruise ship in HCMC, we were doing an event for the Indian offices for a UK based company. And one of the acts was a Filipino band that had two singers, one of them a Cuban.

Picture this. Retro English pop. In Vietnam. Arranged by a French woman who works for a company owned by an American. Artists from Cuba and Philippines. For guests from India and UK.

I dont even know how many countries is that. But I do know one thing. The mobility and opportunities that you have if you are an artist and are talented!

Thing is, I think that talent allows you to live wherever you wish to. And that is such a fascinating life to have!!

You know what am saying? You can choose a country you wish to live in. If you are talented enough, you can make enough to pay for your bills, and then some more. You can make friends that are not just accidental. You can chase your craft. You can hone it while you earn your bread by performing. You can see sex and cash in action. You know, you happen to things, rather than things happening to you!

Lemme park the talent bit for a while and drift.


There is this thing called the Urban Nomad. Its essentially refers to people that live in urban locales and yet are not tethered to a particular location. These people dont own anything that ties them down to one place (immovable assets, large families, a job that requires you to goto office everyday etc etc). You are free to move across borders and all that. And these people are skilled in one particular discipline that is in demand across borders (painters, photographers etc) and thus they can fend for themselves. Oh, and modern world is introducing lot more professions that allow you to become an urban nomad. Think of those bloggers, language tutors, Yoga instructors, chefs, entertainers and more.

And why am I talking about this? Because I have had this fascination with being an urban nomad and at various times in life I have thought of multiple ways in which I could become one. At different points in time, I have considered becoming a designer, a coder, a photographer, a writer, a yoga instructor, an English language teacher and / or more (assuming I can be all of these).

But then I've, sort of, held back myself for three reasons.

A, I know I am way too good to be cast in just one mould (and at the same time, not that good that I am in top 1%ile of any). This means that its in my karma to be never satisfied. I will run from one thing to another and my life will be defined by "chase" rather than "destination."

B. I've wanted / still want a luxurious life for myself. Ok, not luxurious but abundant life. Where I dont have to think for 5 months (or wait for a stupid cashback scheme) to buy an iPhone X (PS: RG gifted me one and I couldn't say no. Thank you, sir). Where I know I can travel business class without any fear (of poverty) or guilt (of splurging when my parents dont even travel in the plane). Where I know I have provided for enough to discharge my duties as a son and a brother and a friend. Where I know that if I were to take off, people would be happy and will not miss me. There is more. But I am sure you get the drift.

C. I dont want to live as someone who came, saw, enjoyed and left. My epitaph has to mean something. I want to give back. I want to pay it forward. I want to make an impact. And that can not happen if I an urban nomad, drifting from one place to another and one opportunity to another.

So yeah. I have wanted to travel the world and see the sights and soak in the experiences and meet new people and taste the different flavours that the world has to offer and talk to new people and learn all I could and all that. But then I've held back.


Coming back. This That evening at the boat where I saw that Cuban lady, the painful memories of the time when I wanted to move out of the country came back rushing to me. To the extent that my heart actually started aching. And ache as in ache. Like I had to sit down and sip on a glass of water.

But then, I realised that am not talented enough to chase nomadic life. Neither am I someone who has what it takes to hold onto a stable job that can pay me well enough to provide for my family. And I am miles away from the impact. So, I cant. And I need to accept it and put this on the list of things that I could not do (other things include play Cricket for India).

Also, I am reminded of this wonderful post by one of the giants that I stand on the shoulders of, Jan Chipchase. He recently wrote about moving to a new place, a new country. He says if you stop learning, you become obsolete and the best way to continue to learn is to move to a place that challenges you and makes you learn. And he says that the hardest part is making the decision.

For me, I think thats where it is. The #lifeGoal.

I want to be a nomad. I want to explore the world. Learn new things and make the fucking dent. But then, how do I...  leave my family behind? run away from my "responsibilities"? do this at this ripe old age of 35? Etc.

Any ideas?

Oh, I believe that I am one of those birds that hates to be caged!

From Shawhank

P.S.: One of the ways in which I can do this is by becoming a famous author. That allows me to make an impact (I will have an audience), travel (to talk about my book, on book tours etc) and provide for my responsibilities (royalty etc). But then odds of getting successful as an author as tiny as me hitting a royal flush on my first hand at the WSOP ME (whenever I get to it). 

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