Travelling Light

Tuesday, Jan 03 2017

How To Make a Nomadic Life Stylish...

The past few weeks have sent me traveling the US with only backpack and purse. I’ve been to Chicago, New Orleans, New York, and Chicago again, visiting each place for only a couple of nights. My personal challenge has become how little I can pack and how ‘put together’ I can look while attending events, meetings, conferences, and touring in between. Each trip has required a variety of events, so strategy and thoughtfulness in packing is a must. I have to admit that I have become a pro. 

My pack with just a few essentials: toiletries, laptop, socks and such, my Kindle and yes, of course, a small bits of jewelry for the wardrobe change up.

While a nomadic lifestyle is not new, it has become a popular lifestyle for millennials who seem averse to settling down and anchoring themselves to one place (The Millennial Nomad/Global Living Magazine). In this very transient and mobile world, less is more as the famed Mies Van der Rohe used to say. 

The Farnsworth House by Mies Van der Rohe, Plano, Illinois

This home, by Mies Van der Rohe, for a single woman, Dr. Farnsworth, leaves no room (literally there is only one room!) for excess or tchotchkes. In fact, it hovers above the ground giving the feeling of transience and with all this glass, didn’t offer Dr. Farnsworth much comfort or security.

I got to thinking about the nomadic life and what people might carry with them as they move from place to place across the country.  What would they absolutely need to survive? Food, shelter and clothing are obvious musts. But what would someone choose to take along and why? What is that most valued possession that would be ‘schlepped’ because it means something to that person? And what does this object represent? Does this object bring them security, joy, memories, comfort, peace, good luck?

What might it be? A favorite cooking pot, a textile, a small piece of furniture? A stool, or table? A painting, a doll, a photo of a loved one, a book, a journal?

These ladies are packing beds, cookware, and textiles. I can imagine what their next ‘place’ will feel like when they ‘settle in’ for a while.

I’ve never been one to accumulate things when I travel (not big on souvenirs), nor while creating a home, (not a fan of tchotchkes), but I have thought of what I might want to have with me if I were never to return ‘home’, living in various places.  Being an artist and a visual person, most likely it would be a piece of art: a constant reminder of who I am, from where I come. Would it be my art or someone else’s art? How would I transport this? And why would this piece matter to me? 

Each individual has a need to express who they are. Even if their ‘place’ changes often, people still desire to personalize and make their own space.  Something that makes each of us unique, are those things with which we choose to surround ourselves.

As millennials choose the nomadic lifestyle, I wonder what they might like in their dwellings? Might they choose to keep a piece of furniture if it were easy to transport?  There are many innovative examples of furniture designed with a nomadic lifestyle in mind. Two companies that I like are …. Floyd….. and Grey Cork. LAMOU tables are also perfect for nomads: all come flat packed and easy to assemble, ready to remind you of your travels with a customized image of your favorite adventure.


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