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Hobos, drifters, bums, nomads and tramps as called by some of society’s political niceness have always been classified as "homeless". As housing and daily living costs skyrocket and as daily commutes of 90 minutes or more (one way) becomes a national average, more people have sold off materialism un-necessaries, packed up and hit the road.

However, don't confuse a hobo with tramps, bums or drifters who have very little in common with the hard working and often generous Hobos. Hobos are travelers who most definitely work, whereas a tramp will travel but not work and a bum will do neither. The Hobo Foundation provides a magnificent clarification called What Is A Hobo? It's a wonderful page that starts by saying

To begin with, there is no real way to visually tell who a hobo is, there are no specific uniforms, or style of dress. No secret hand signs, or greetings, no membership cards, and contrary to most police attitudes, no organized gangs.

While the origin of the term hobo has never confirmed, there are many popular speculations to what a Hobo is. As with any group, it's unclear exactly when hobos appeared on the American scene. With the end of the American Civil War in the mid 19th Century, many soldiers returned home by hopping freight trains. Hobo is a term that in the beginning referred to wandering homeless people, particularly those who made a habit of hopping freight trains. A popular theory of the origins is that it derives from shortening of the phrase which best describes the early hobo's method of transportation, which was "hopping boxcars'.

Throughout the years, any full time traveling person who braved the expedition of new places was seen as an uncivilized drifter. The hobo imagery has been employed by entertainers to create wildly successful characters in the past, two of them being Emmett Kelly's "Weary Willy" and Red Skelton's "Freddy the Freeloader".

In spite of this, people continue to allow they're free spirits to roam free and do what feels natural to them; to travel and to live within minimalist concepts. Today, people of all ages, cultures, religions and professional industries are Nomads or Technomads; which refers to the more modernized adaptation of a hobo. On the other hand, the term Nomad is as specific to one type of individual as is saying someone is a nurse. It's a trunk type term that states only one aspect but holds several branches into other portions of who a person is.

Nomads exist in several career groups. One of my favorite readings was of a Computer Consultant who wrote in his blog

"Last month I was renting apartments in three cities, and occasionally a fourth hotel on the weekends. Play along as I try to remember what state I left my shoes in."

Than there is the Administrative Officer who recently received a People's Choice Blog award at the Philippine Web Award show for her Sexy Nomad writings. She's an accomplished writer and traveler as well as a corporate professional.

As technology has progressed, new branches in the IT tree has been created.

Smart Mob

Smart Mob was a hypothesis introduced by Howard Rheingold in his book called conveniently enough, Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. The book was published in 2002 and according to Howard Rheingold (in 2002), Smart Mobs were to be an indication of the evolving communication technologies that would empower the people to new levels. Three years later and his predictions have rung true. Internet social networking is in full flow just as mobile phones are considered a necessity.

Technomads

Technomad are those who are fulltime travelers (or for an extended amount of time) and are technology skilled. Last summer of 2006 a group of MIT engineering students took part in the Mongol Rally which is an 8,000 mile charity race from London to Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia. Apparently they're car made it as far as China, but the adventures they had were as one commenter said "insanely awesome!"

Steve Roberts is a Techomad - A term he originally created to express his passion to combine using his passions for high tech and travel & adventure. Steve Roberts is a adventurous technological geek deity who is gifted with both technology intelligence and the creative talent to bring forth his high tech nomadic designs. He is none other than the man who rode 10,000 miles on the 1st bicycle that held a computer and wrote the book Computing Across America.

For better and worse, technology has filled our lives; and I firmly believe that the advances of technology far out weigh the few who abuse it. Advances in technology has changed the way we live, communicate and reach out to others beyond our office cubicle. However, no advanced breakthrough has revolutionized life as much as the initiation of the "wireless world." Having computer access in our homes was significant for a time, but it is no longer enough. We want to use our wireless tools everywhere. The computer processors are getting smaller and the world of technical opportunities is growing larger.

CNN's Top 25 (2005)

Technological Breakthroughs list, the ability to squirrel away tons of information in cell phones (rated No. 10) or digital cameras allows us to keep all of our information at hand and portable. So it should come as no surprise that the Internet was / is considered number 1 for the top 25 innovations of the past quarter century.

There isn't just one or two reasons why people choose to turn their hobby into a life-time of adventure while maintaining a professional career. I don't think I could limit a list to a handful of reasons why people choose a Technomad lifestyle. Each person has they're own personal reasons. However the general feeling seems to starts with "why not?"

You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"

George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), "Back to Methuselah" (1921), part 1, act 1

References

Comments

  1. technomads

    Hey,

    I'm launching a new site at http://www.technomads.org on Feb 1st, and wanted to invite you early. There's also a blog at technomads.info.

    Anyway hope you'll check it out and would love to get a guest article or something from you!

    J

  2. I love the idea of the Technomad website but I really hope you'll make it more of a how to be. Right now it looks more like a Get Rich Scheme. technomad is real work and is as hard and often much harder than working a 9 to 5 career / job.

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